A right turn and a few minutes walk from Takadanobaba station’s Waseda exit lies a branch of Jack’s Pool and Darts. A chain store of some 20 locations, Jack’s offers darts and pool in an environment which effortlessly induces comfort in both Japanese and non-Japanese alike with its homely Cheers-esque interior and high quality, well-maintained equipment.
Given the recent Japanese fad for darts, it is no surprise that the boards in Jack’s outnumber the pool tables by about 12 to 3. The price for darts is ¥100 per person per game, and the darts boards are certainly a step up from the kind most may be used to from bedroom walls or family garages as (befitting Japan) they are computerised and calculate your score automatically! This allows even the most arithmetically-challenged to enjoy themselves.
The three lush pool tables in the room positively ooze class, and yet, presumably owing to the aforementioned darts fad, I have never had a whiff of a problem getting on one. Pool starts at ¥600 per person for an hour, but if you have some time it might be worth taking the “pack” (packu) which is available and offers 3 hours for ¥1500 with a soft drink of your choosing thrown in.
The bar at Jack’s carries a decent selection of alcoholic beverages, including beer (Kirin, Corona, Heineken, Guinness, and Heartland) from ¥500 and spirits (bourbon, whiskey, rum, gin, and vodka) from ¥600. In addition, a small range of snacks including nuts, popcorn, toast, chips, and beef jerky are served.
The atmosphere is completed by a host of familiar, radio-friendly tunes from American and British groups, as well as a host of less familiar, but equally radio-friendly, songs from Japanese acts. The staff are friendly and accommodating, but as the clientele are predominantly Japanese, none of them have any level of English. However, while a little bit of Japanese will go down well, if you speak no Japanese at all it shouldn’t detract from the pleasure of the joint. With a smile, a point, and a mime, a good time can almost certainly be had by all.