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Utagoe cafe in Shinjyuku

Beginning in the 1950's there was Utagoe (Singing voice) movement against the atom bomb, discrimination and poor working conditions. At first they prefer singing working songs and Russian folk songs, later they made addition to music of wish to peace. With campaign as "Utagoe is a force of peace", or "Struggle with Utagoe", this movement had a strong hold on the public mind and Utagoe and Utagoe cafes were spread all over Japan during the 60's to the 70's.

 Neon-lit street in Shinjyuku

Neon-lit street in Shinjyuku

The time goes by; with changing of populace conditions and consciousness most of these cafes were forced to close one after another without a few in Shinjyuku. Its so happy Ieji and Tomoshibi are barely remaining, and we can go there and sing a song at any time.


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Ieji

All of Utagoe cafes in Shinjyuku I love to go Ieji most that means, "Start for home". Five tables and counter, as inside the cafe is small and little bit mess I put really myself easy like home at here.

inside of a bar

Welcome to Ieji. I'm very glad to see you here!

Let's sing a song! Let's sing a song!

We always gather and share wonderful time, chatting and singing together.



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Staff of Ieji

Pko-san

pianist is Pko-san

Master

Take charge of cooking
Mr. Hashimoto
instrument

There are many kind of instruments
all over the world hanging on the ceil
Assistant

Today's Assistant


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Tomoshibi

However location changed Tomoshibi is old-established Utagoe cafe in Shinjyuku. As they keep old style stage, there are deep-seated fan is gathered not only old but young. Well-lighted large room Tomoshibi has stage for Utagoe time.

Stage

Tomoshibi has stage for Utagoe time

Utagoe time

Playing with neon for background
Utagoe time

Every visitor can joins the stage



Although Utagoe means singing voice or sing a song Utagoe cafe is different to Karaoke bar. Have you enjoy play Karaoke before? You know that is singing along to machine by you Utagoe is with all join in the song to piano or accordion.


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