"Nomunication" -- Places to Network -- Ubusuna

Back to Contents of Issue: March 2000

by Kyoko Fujimoto

It probably won't immediately strike you as the kind of place to get smashed in - it's more conceptual than casual -- but a new bar in Shibuya called Ubusuna is a great place to network with Bit Valley types. More important, there are drinks to be had, and tasty Japanese snacks. The whiteness of the walls and floors and chairs -- even the jackets on the bartenders -- creates a sort of clinical feeling, but it all makes for a polished, high-tech atmosphere -- perfect for when casual conversation morphs into sophisticated dealmaking.

One odd thing: You have to register (it's free) to enter, at least at night on weekdays. Perhaps this is some misguided attempt to resemble an annoying website. On the plus side, it should help filter out the non-digerati, especially since the one requirement is that you be "aware of the value of the Net."

Wired iMacs let members enter the bar, log on to Ubusuna's BBS, and let other members know they're there. "It's a combination of virtual and real-world communication," says Toshihiko Iizaki, general manager at Digital Hollywood, the multimedia/Net school that owns Ubusuna. "Through the virtual bar on the Net, members inside the real bar can tell outside members what's going on at the bar in real time. The outside members can then come into the real bar and participate in real world communication."

What he means will probably become clearer after you've had a drink or two.

Ubusuna, cafe and bar
Q Front Building, 6F
Tel: 03 5459-4502


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