Monday, June 25, 2012

CRYSTAL SKY: Tachikawa's Super Sentai Hang-out!

A brand-new bar in Tokyo that will attract even teetotalers like me! Whether you drink or don't drink, the Crystal Sky bar offers much to tokusatsu fans of all backgrounds.

Over the weekend, I had the good fortune to visit the new Crystal Sky bar in Tachikawa, Tokyo. Actor Masaru Shishido opened the bar in April, and given his association with Japan's long-running Super Sentai series, decided that a tokusatsu theme was the way to go. Mr. Shishido, who played the Red Ranger in Toei's Ohranger (1995-96), goes the extra mile and gives his patrons much more than what you'll find at similar theme restaurants in Japan.

Signage pointing the way to the Crystal Sky bar. If you find yourself in Tachikawa, be on the lookout for it!

My friend totorom and I entered the bar, not knowing much about what to expect. I've eaten at Kamen Rider: The Diner in Ikebukuro, which was an experience you can read about here. While that diner provided its guests with some great memorabilia, it lacked a personal touch. That is not at all the case with Crystal Sky.

Mr. Shishido happily mixes and mingles with the fans and patrons. When totorom and I walked in, he sat down with us, answered our questions, and even signed autographs! Truth be told, we weren't even expecting to meet him at all! The wait staff was especially friendly and knowledgeable about tokusatsu. One of the bartenders informed me that I was the first non-Japanese customer in the bar's short history. With this blog post, I hope many more will follow!

A record of my surprise meeting with Mr. Shishido, who was happy to pose for pictures.

One drawback is that photos are not allowed to be taken inside the bar. That was a big disappointment, as many cool items were on display, from Godzilla and Ultraman figures to autographs from several fellow tokusatsu stars. In fact, Hiroshi Miyauchi (Kamen Rider V3, The War in Space) signed a huge portion of the wall itself! I was dying to photograph it, but alas... Afterward, I sang a bit of superhero karaoke in front of the entire bar (namely Ultra Seven), which helped lift my spirits.

Mr. Shishido told us that the bar is open seven days a week because, appropriately enough, a hero never rests. Also, he plans to host personal appearances of tokusatsu stars at his establishment, which certainly had me intrigued. Suffice it to say, this will not be my final visit to the bar!

I give Crystal Sky my highest recommendation. Its friendly atmosphere and gracious host are well worth the trip to Tachikawa, even if Super Sentai isn't your bag. For more information on Crystal Sky, this article has the scoop.

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