Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ice Bar Tokyo

On my third day in Tokyo, which fell on a Monday, it was a public holiday (Health and Sports Day) in Japan to commemorate the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. We had a few places in our plan and the first on our list was Ice Bar Tokyo in Ginza, Tokyo.
Although Japan is a four-seasonal country, it does not snow in Tokyo. Even if it does, it will never be a heavy snowfall. Hence, Ice Bar Tokyo is one of the major spots for people living in Tokyo to experience the Arctic throughout the year. The novelty experience of stepping into the Ice Bar is just like when you enter Ice Hotel, known as the world famous hotel made up entirely of snow and sculptured blocks of ice.
Details about Ice Bar.

09-10-10 Tokyo
Ice Bars in other parts of the world.

Similar Ice Bars are available in major cities around the world like in Stockholm, London, and Copenhagen; all using the same concept like the original one in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden.
Ice Bar Tokyo is open throughout the year, except during seasonal renovating and when there are any events held there. We made our reservation on the night before just in case it is full. However, we went there on day time, and that is the time when there will be not many people. Unless you are going at night, reservation isn't that necessary. Entrance fee is 3,500 yen, which includes a pair of cape and glove to keep you warm inside the bar, personal ice glass, and choice of a cocktail (or non-alcoholic drink).
We were given a pair each of these capes upon entering the Ice Bar.
The wide ranges of cocktails available for selection.
We were there a little earlier than its opening time of one in the afternoon. So we took the time to camwhore in front of the Ice Bar. When it was opened, we realised that we were the first and only customer there. But it was a good thing too because it felt like we have the whole bar to ourselves haha. The temperature took an absolute swift when we stepped into the Ice Bar as it is negative five degree Celsius inside the Ice Bar.
The walls, bar, tables, the ice sculptures and art inside the Ice Bar are made of natural and pure ice from the pristine Torne River in northern Sweden and Finland. The interior design of the Ice Bar is done beautifully, besides some exotic elements. The Ice Bar is usually closed for about a week each year for renovation and redecoration works.
Even this board is made of ice.
The interior of the Ice Bar.
The ice in the bar is part of the natural eco-cycle of water. Ice will evaporate even in an extremely cold climate. Hence, the shapes and details of the works of ice art and interior design will change over time. The ice is also affected by the guests, who wish to touch and feel the ice and they are encouraged to do so, since this is a necessary part of the experience and the concept.
When people are encouraging you to do something, you ought to do it as a form of courtesy.
I know this picture might suggest something else, but well...
The water of the free flowing Torne River is dubbed as among the purest in Europe. During the Arctic winter, the frozen water forms the foundation for a fairy world of ice. The seasonal changes of the Torne River provide the yearly rhythm for people living nearby.
10,000 years ago the ice of the Ice Age carved its way through the landscape, creating the path of the Torne River. The water travels 600 kilometers through Lapland before reaching the coast in the southeast. Since the Torne River is the artery of Jukkasjarvi, Ice Hotel dreams of one day being able to return its generosity. By making the Torne River a World Heritage Site her future life as a wild and free flowing river would be secured (taken from here).

We placed our camera on the bar and we saw this just after a few minutes haha.
Algae inside the frozen block of ice.
I went for Viking, while WinD chose Tokyo Bar for our cocktail.
It was cool to see the bartender mixing the alcohol and fruit juice together when she was preparing our drinks. We actually took some time to chat and flirt with her as we saw her standing there alone so lonely in such a cold room.
The bartender preparing my Viking, consisting of Vodka, peach liqueur and grape juice.

Viking (left) and Tokyo Bar (right).
The interesting part is that our drinks were poured into ice glaces that resembles ice blocks. The feeling of drinking our cocktail from that kind of glass is quite an exciting experience.
The year was 1995. Ake Larsson, Ice Hotel architect, was standing in the Ice Bar together with creative director Arne Bergh. They were drinking whisky from plastic mugs. Suddenly, the thought stroke them: "Why are we drinking whisky from plastic mugs?" They went out into the winter cold, each found a piece of ice, and they carved two glasses. Back inside the Ice Bar, more whisky was served, but this time, in the newly created ices glasses. The ice stayed intact and the expression 'in the rocks' was born.
The ice glasses used for the drinks.
It did not take long before they abandoned the knife-carving method and came up with a more efficient means of producing the ice glasses. That first winter, 1,000 glasses were made, and the development process continues. Though the shape of the ice glasses has evolved, it was designed to resemble the ice blocks that are taken from Torne River each year. With nearly a million produced each year, the ice glasses are now their single largest export product. The Ice Bars are the largest customers. The original design, intended to be reminiscent of clear blocks of Torne River ice, remains essentially unchanged, despite all of the changes in production methods (taken from here).
Finally, a group picture we took with the bartender inside the Ice Bar.
I was standing on a platform, that is why I look so much taller than both of them.
Actually, it was just an excuse to avoid people from questioning about my height haha.


KOKahKOK said...

lick ice.... so desperate meh u haha...quite nice leh this place... shall visit it coming years when i visit jpn lol

sakura said...

so cool~ i wanna go too!!! =)

calvin said...

@ kokahkok:
say me? don't let me see you licking the ice if you happen to visit the place next time =.=

calvin said...

@ sakura:
yea, it was quite an interesting experience; something new :)

=chuan guan= said...

i am still waiting da chance to had this experience in this type of environment. Bravo man

Kae Vin said...

Wah gonna go there someday! You picked a right time to go i guess. No people inside :)

Innocent^^Guy said...

damn nice lor!!!

calvin said...

@ =chuan guan=:
at least this time you didn't ask for your glass of drink lol! who knows, perhaps one day your dream will come true :)

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
yes, although the atmosphere would be nicer at night, with the sparkling lights and cooling ambience.

calvin said...

@ innocent^^guy:
your comment like not sincere only hahaha!

sinye said...

hahaha..i had only tried the yakult they served in lo that place..>.<

hurm, hopefully by the time i step my feet there, this ice bar still hasn't melt yet..ahhahaha...=D

calvin said...

@ sinye:
does genting have such place?

haha, better go green as much as possible soon so that the global warming rate can be decreased, and the ice would still remain frozen by the time you visit the place xD

Ken said...

In my place, there's a place called Ice Bar too.

But inside of it, there's only a small room made of ice cube. People must keep the door closed all the time.

Looking forward to go to Icebar, Tokyo!! >.<

p/s: U're damn tall, dude!

calvin said...

@ ken:
you mean in sabah? where in sabah?

but if it is just a tiny room, the waiting customers outside must be real patient people haha xD

i am tall, but i think the camera angle didn't justify my real height >.<