A British pub in Takasaki
It’s impossible to create the atmosphere of a genuine British pub. Cosy log fires, chunky chips with home made ketchup, bad music on the juke box, rugby on the screen, and ‘warm’ ales in hand... There’s just no home away from home to be found when it comes to this particular watering spot.
The Red Lion, however, is a step up from most usual attempts. It’s not underground, shady and windowless, or sitting on the eleventh floor of a tower building. It’s a normal, first floor establishment with a good listing of beers and some traditional grub on offer. It's not a huge building, with small tables and bar stools, but the staff wont complain if you put a few tables together and make space for a bigger group.
The food list includes shepherds pie (something quite difficult to get hole of elsewhere in Japan), fish and chips which come with vinegar for the Brits, as well as ketchup and tartare sauce. They also serve a selection of New Zealand pies including steak, mince, mince and cheese, and butter chicken. The pies come with a side of mashed potato but be warned, if you’re used to creamy mash lovingly made by your mothers at home, with a dash of butter and pepper, you’re going to be disappointed by the stodgy, powdery substance delivered here. The pies, however, are fantastic, if slightly on the small side.
For sporting fans, the bar has a flatscreen on the wall which usually plays live basketball, rugby and football.
The waitresses aren’t particularly friendly but they will do their best to understand English and help you out with the menu, which is written in katakana.
Happy hour is a particularly good time to go. Fish and chips come at 800 yen, beers at 500 and cocktails at 400. If you’re looking to meet some fellow foreigners who might be able to guide you around the city, this is the time to go, particularly on a Friday night! Happy hour runs from 5 until 7pm.