o pop into the Biyagura shop, where I got to cans of Shinto beer for the wait and two copies of The Japan Beer Times.
This made for nice reading on the short train ride to Matsusaka, where we headed to a friend's pub for what has become a monthly drink-fest featuring an ever-changing roster of Japanese rice wine (nihonshu), Australian red wine, and the occasional wild card.
I flipped through my magazine and read a few things myself, but I couldn't help spreading The Good News to my friends, who took at least a passive glance before letting it come back to me. Most of them probably don't care that much about craft beer, in Japan or anywhere. Others, perhaps, can't be bothered to read on a train when there are friends to speak to (loudly).
We arrived at the pub in a convoy of taxis (OK so just two taxis) and began a marathon session. It began with two glasses of red wine, followed by a cascade of pours from the nihonshu selection. The course was rounded out with an Asahi-produced Belgian style ale, and my remaining drink ticket went toward another beer.
Oh, right. Also we ate food.
By the time we headed back to Ise, we were all pretty well laced. Which, naturally, led to karaoke. We had amassed, in two rooms, by nature of intersecting parties, one of the larger karaoke groups I've seen in recent memory.
And that's where things get fuzzy.
Here also, is this warning, which we heeded: