By JJ Walsh
Wonderful Joke is one of those fantastic finds that you come across purely be accident while out gallivanting with friends. We decided on it simply because it had an amusing name and sandwich board and we were not in the least bit disappointed. With its cool rock and roll style interior decoration, free karaoke for customers and great atmosphere it's somewhere we find ourselves going back to again and again.
Located in Nagarekawa it is just a stones throw away from some other great bars like Midnight Oasis. The inside of the bar has a rock and roll style theme with red paint, metal tables, black chairs and band posters covering the walls. The inside of the door is plastered with purikura stickers of the regulars and there are Rolling Stones tongues and Wonderful Joke stickers everywhere (which you can take a few of if you ask the bartender nicely).
It is a small bar holding maybe 20 people, but then again many bars in this area are of a similar size, so if you plan on bringing a large group a good idea might be to ring ahead and reserve the space. If you are reserving the whole bar for you and your friends they offer a 120 minutes all-you-can-drink party for 2,000 yen and an-all-you-can-drink 2 hour party for 3,500 yen including food. The bar food menu is mostly the standard, fried pub grub and small nibbly bits and is cooked to order by the bartender in a little kitchenette adjoining the bar.
The bartender Ken is friendly and has good English. His name adorns some of the t-shirts that hang behind the bar for sale and his face appears on posters around the bar that marked his birthday last year. Beers start at a reasonable 600 yen. There is a long list of delicious cocktails to choose from starting at only 600 yen and if you are unable to read katakana Ken will happily recommend something or make you something on the spot if you tell him what flavors you like.
At any point you can request the karaoke machine (if you're the singing type) and the flat screen t.v. behind the bar becomes the center of attention as everyone sings along to the words on the screen. There is a good selection of songs to choose from ranging from pop to dance to rock including English and Japanese and there is no charge for karaoke.
Overall this bar is comfortable, stylish, has a good drink selection and great atmosphere and if you love karaoke but hate the price the free karaoke here is just one more reason to come on down and enjoy Wonderful Joke.
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Originally from Ireland I came to Hiroshima for a year to teach English in elementary schools throughout the city. I blog about Hiroshima and my various escapades at http://japan-by-ciara.blogspot.jp/ When I'm not teaching, blogging or adventuring I can be found in an arcade posing in a purikura booth or playing the drum game, at home watching anime or hunched over my Japanese books trying to soak up the language.