Hole in the Wall: A Guide to Tokyo’s “Listening Bars” ~Funky Chicken Bar Yakitori Mongen ~

Joe Yokomizo

Funky Chicken Bar Yakitori Mongen

“Funky Chicken Bar Yakitori Morigen” is located deep in Shibuya’s Hyakkendana district; practically the love hotel sector. The delicious scent of yakitori grilling and good ole soul music playing flows out from the vent in front of the bar. The window is decorated with countless  7” soul records. When you walk inside, good ole soul and funk music greet you with a smile along with Gen-chan, the owner.

Gen-chan used to curate soul music compilations while working at a record company. He had the concept of his establishment and the keyword “funky chicken” brewing for a while, and when he quit his job, he opened this joint where yakitori can be enjoyed with a serving of soul and funk. How special it is to spend time listening to quality soul music while enjoying Japanese soul food. Thanks to its great concept, Funky Chicken Bar is celebrating its 17 years in the highly competitive culinary battlezone of Hyakkendana, Shibuya. But, why is it located in the love hotel sector? “Soul and funk can be somewhat erotic,” Gen-chan points out. ”You can come with a group of friends to have a good time, or you can bring a date and with the help of the music continue onto a hotel. Either way works!”

While in high school, Gen-chan started getting into soul music after hearing the line, “...sad soul rhythms of Marvin Gaye...,” from Motoharu Sano’s Downtown Boy. His record collection is now up to a thousand. In his bar, you will find a portion of that collection, and some of his very special records are among the mix.

Funky Chicken Bar Yakitori Mongen
(BLDG: Sun Mall Dogenzaka 1F 105)
2 Chome-18-11 Dōgenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0043, Japan
Mon ~ Thur: 6:30pm to 1am (last order at midnight)
Fri, Sat: 6:30pm to 4am (last order 3:30am)
Closed: Sundays, 1st and 3rd Mondays for the month
Musical Genre: funk and soul
Record Quantity: about a thousand
Approx. budget per person: 2,500 yen

Translation by Mika Anami

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