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Ten Tobé

   Ten-madé Tobé (lit. Fly to Heaven)[1], the dive on the first floor of my apartment building, celebrated its 25th anniversary last night. When Ten Tobé, as it is affectionately known, opened a decade and a half ago at the height of the bubble economy, it was a wildly popular “no-pants coffee shop”. Hostesses wearing mini skirts and roller skates would glide about a floor covered in mirrors, giving the male customers a fleeting, yet titillating peak up their skirts as they skated by.[2]

   The Ten Tobé of 2012 is a run-of-the mill snack, a bar where women pour drinks for and chat with their predominately male customers. Gone are the mirrors, the skates, the panty-less hostesses. From the point of hygiene, I suppose you could say the bar has greatly improved over the years, but I don’t think the men patronizing Ten Tobé these days are flying as high as heaven anymore.


[1] Ten-madé Tobé could also be translated as “Fly me to the Moon”.

[2] And people used to complain that the Japanese didn’t invent anything!

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