Rock bar, or is it?

Takeshita street in Harajuku/Meiji-jingumae is known for its ‘kawaii’ (cute) culture. You’ll find mostly young teenage girls huddled together in groups, buying photos of their favourite pop idols, scrounging for bargains or having crepes. That’s what Harajuku is for. But, if you go through Takeshita street and come out the other side, you’ll find a slightly grungier side of Harajuku, which is where you’ll find the rock bar, HALF MOON.

You can’t miss it. Its entrance is a brick doorway (when was the last time you saw one of those?), and its name is in a neon sign right above it.

The interior doesn’t quite match the exterior. You’d expect the inside to be just as gritty or as ‘rock n’ roll’ but it’s not, really. That is not to say that it is not ‘rock n’ roll’-y at all–there’s a shelf full of vinyl records and a record player to play them. But besides that, the look and feel of the place isn’t quite the same as other rock bars that we’ve been to. There are these cloth things that look like curtains just hanging from the ceiling; there’s an odd Middle-eastern-looking lamp, and the tables and chairs remind me of Chinese restaurants. HALF MOON is a unique, interesting rock bar unlike any other I’ve ever been to. It’s interesting to listen to rock music in a properly-lit establishment.

The drinks menu here has got it all. Bourbon, whiskey, gin, tequila, beer, and so on. Cocktails are priced around 650 to 850 yen. If you’re hungry, they have an extensive food menu as well. Again, HALF MOON’s food menu is atypical of rock bars; they don’t have the regular Japanese rock bar snacks like french fries or potato chips. Interestingly, they serve appetizers such as vegetable sticks or garlic kimchi. If you want a full meal, they’ve got that too, mentaiko pasta and okonomiyaki to name a few dishes.

HALF MOON is not your average rock bar and that’s what makes it worth checking out, at least for a drink or two!