As well having hop fever, I seem to have lens fever right now. Last night I bought a Tokina 10-17mm and went out in search of hops.

First stop O’Connell in Nippori for a special edition Yokohama XPA – with 4 times as many hops as usual.

Nice place O’Connell – just across the road from the East entrance of Nippori station, two buildings along from the McDonald’s.

Through the McFisheye - McDonalds, Girlie bar, and O'Connell

Through the McFisheye - McDonalds, Girlie bar, and O'Connell

You can just see O’Connell to the right of NaNa Girlie bar. Inside – O’Connell, not the girlie bar – it’s a fairly typical Irish theme pub.

The bar at O'Connell

The bar at O'Connell

O'Connell taken from the rear

O'Connell taken from the rear

The stools at the tables seemed to have been designed for midgets – and that’s not the only thing designed for midgets. Check out how small this “pint” glass is:

Midget pint glass of Yokohama XPA

Midget pint glass of Yokohama XPA

It claims to be a US pint, but I’m not convinced. It was only 1000 yen though. And very tasty. I had three.

Drafts at O’Connell are fairly standard Irish fare, but they do have Hoegaarden on tap and a range of bottles from Baird, Hitachino Nest, and Shiha Kogen (house IPA was sold out though).

A lovely pair for the ladies

A lovely pair for the ladies

From Nippori to Shinbashi for the last day of Dry Dock’s Golden Nights event – basically a bunch of pilsners and lagers at cheapish prices.

I’ve never been able to take a decent photo inside Dry Dock before because it’s so tiny.

Inside Dry Dock

Inside Dry Dock

That’s the whole of downstairs – space for about 10 standing, though they always seem to squeeze in more. Upstairs there are a couple of table. Last night the beer drinking spilled to outside the bar.

I had a Loco Brewery Kolsch which I though was good until I tried the Fujizakura Heights Pilsner and Hideji Pilsner. Hideji was awesome, Fujizakura Heights pretty good too – I’ll need to try to get them on bottles sometimes. Going back to the Kolsch after those, I really missed the bitterness.

From Dry Dock, a quick bolt to Kanda for Maltan.

The outside of Maltan

The outside of Maltan

In a street full of dodgy sex places – you can even see a geezer hanging outside and a “7000 yen” sign in the photo – Maltan is one of a number of craft beer bars in Kanda. It’s definitely my favourite – nice laidback atmosphere inside and decent prices at about 1000 yen a pop. Last night they had Shiga Kogen IPA on draft:

Shiga Kogen IPA at Maltan

Shiga Kogen IPA at Maltan

Lovely drop that Shiga Kogen IPA – one of the best Japanese IPAs I reckon.

Shiga Kogen finished and no signal on the iPhone to check my last train, I made a reluctant retreat from Maltan around 11:30 and returned home.

A nice night of drinking like a fish with good beers, nice company, and a lovely new lens.

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