Tokinon 50 1.4, a Photographer’s Pub…

Hello, readers. I am going to share something different to you guys this time, I am going to make a pub review! Yes, a review of a pub! But this is not your ordinary pub as you will see soon in the next paragraph.

Today, I am going to introduce you to a very nice place near my house in Tokyo. It is a pub that is inspired by photography and is being ran by a photographer and his partner. The place is appropriately named Tokinon 50/1.4 and the place is in Nakano Station (2 stops from Shinjuku). The place lies in between 2 of the better camera shops there when looking at the map, they are Fujiya and Nitto respectively. It can be difficult to find at first because it is in the back alleyways. In fact, I used to live within 2km of this place and I frequent the area but I would not have known about this place unless somebody had told me about it.

IMG_0666The front of the bar is simple. The only clues that it is a photography related place is the sign which reads “Tokinon 50/1.4” as well as the photographs featured in the front. If you are walking past the place with no intention of looking at the details then you can be sure that you will miss this place.

IMG_0667This will greet you as you enter. Any classic camera lover should be familiar with this. Nice.

As far as bars here in Tokyo go, this is kind of standard in terms of size, pricing and drinks but the real charm of the place is it’s interior, customers, the bartender/owners and what this place stands for.

IMG_0668The ceiling and walls are all festooned with photographs from the patrons.

The ambiance is lovely and it is hard to believe that the place is actually 14 years old. When you enter the place, you will be greeted by the owner and patrons. You will find it easy to blend in with the rest of the gang if you are a photographer. If you do not speak Japanese, it is going to be tough communicating with everybody inside so that’s one thing that you have to keep in mind but I am sure that everybody is welcome.

In other places and cultures, the local coffee shops, hipster joint and Starbucks will fill in for Tokinon 50/1.4 but it is just not the same. I have been to a few and the experience is just different and not genuine unless you hang out with the photographers that you are already friends with. Alcohol is also a potent factor to relax the mood. I am a Buddhist (I try to be one at least) so I try my best to abstain from alcohol and for people like me, the place also serves non-alcoholic drinks.

This place is like a clubhouse where people who are passionate about photography meet and talk. It is also a place where industry giants and neophyte photographers can get the chance to talk casually without the nuances of Japanese social etiquette. Imagine a sports bar where you can sit and talk to Larry Bird, Magic and Dom Wilkins. I hope that you got the idea. I was told that industry bigwigs such as Goto Tetsuro (Nikon F3-Df) is a regular. I should have my 2 F3’s signed since I am such a fan of the F3. Always wanted to buy one as a young boy but I just could not afford it back then so I shot a Canon T60 (more affordable).

IMG_0669At the counter. You can have a meal here if you wish.

Food here is pretty good and reasonably priced as far as bar chow goes. I was hungry from junk hunting the whole day so I ordered something to eat. It was a hot day as well so some cold drinks were also ordered.

The pub also doubles as a gallery for some of it’s patrons as you can see in the previous two photos. That little thing actually adds to the appeal of the place, something that the coffee shop in the corner will never have.

I also suggest that you read the following links below to get more information. They sites are all in Japanese but I am sure that the pictures will be more than enough. (The official site) (The official blog) (Food)

Next time you are in Tokyo, be sure to check this place out. It is a about 3 to 5 minutes from the north exit of Nakano Station by foot, just use this map to find your way.

I would like to thank monsieur Thierry Ravassod for showing me this place and for the very kind donation of a Nikon F3 camera back. It will be put to very good use, I promise. Thanks to the gracious host and owner of the pub, Akinaga Tokitaro. I will visit the pub again when I have the time.

That is it for today. I will publish a similar short blog post in the coming days about how to make your own tool. It has been in the draft section for weeks now and all I need to do is add some paragraphs before I publish it. I never expected that maintaining a blog can take this much effort so please bear with me. Until next time, Ric.

Help Support this Blog:

Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my account ( Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Review: Fujifilm Natura 1600 | Richard Haw's Classic Nikkor Maintenance Site
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