Roppongi: Gas Panic
Gas Panic is about ground zero for all the hell and potential of foreigners visiting Tokyo. Tokyo girls and boys who want to hit on or be hit on by foreigners come to this packed three storey bar. Foreigners who want to get lucky are invariably sent here by veterans who have submitted to their urges. Gas Panic is the reptilian logical welling-up of foreign-local skin trade, where pretense is stripped for pure fucking honesty.
This bar has a brilliant beverage policy. Gas Panic on a weekend is typically packed, ribcage to ribcage, with people dancing on narrow bar tables firmly anchored into the floor, or dancing up on the bar itself. The bar has a posted policy, signs in English, Spanish, Japanese - "you must be holding a drink at all times." And they send out busy busboys and drink cops with small menus. When you're face in shoulder and ass to hip dancing with some anonymous honey, they take away your three cubes of ice you were gladly watching melt into bourbon and coke leftovers. Then some punk explains that you'll have to leave unless you order another six to twelve dollar drink.
People dancing on tables, the sheer packed quality of it, night after night; Gas Panic does have an authentic ring to it. Gas Panic is not aspiring to be the ultimate Roppongi bar. It already won that distinction.
Ayako is quite a regular, at least downstairs in Club 99 (9pm to 9am). Why? She likes the music she says. I sampled some of the other Tokyo clubs, where DJs pause between records and play songs with no similarity or provocative difference back to back, leaving the dance floor mostly a disaffected jumble of poorly two-stepping smokers. At least in the fall of 2001, the DJs here were playing American gangsta rap and booty-jammin' classics without letting you rest. It created a thick dance floor. And perhaps premeditated some unruly advances.
Links (November 2001)
GasPanic.co.jp - the official site.
TokyoNight City - a bit of history and origins of Gas Panic. It first opened in a building without a bathroom. Hence the name?
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