The Hoppie Hopper is all about the experiences of Japanese culture in New York City, some on the beaten path, others less obvious. We relish the chance to celebrate this culture in a City that takes it seriously while also having a ton of fun. Is it something we can see, hear, taste, smell? Did it come from Japan, and is otherwise something we can lavish our Hopper attention on? We’re there.
Hoppie Hopper started with an examination of the city’s izakaya. Japanese food is a whole world unto itself and izakaya– classic Japanese pubs specializing in little bites and strong drinks over which patrons linger to talk, debate, argue, and laugh– give us ample opportunity to sample the savory delights that we wash down with sake, shochu and, of course, hoppie*. It was in these places that we came to realize our deeper, more engaged interest in Japanese culture as it appears on these shores.
We are two old friends, one Japanese and one American. While we work day jobs to pay for all the hopping we must do, our true passion is the perusal of both Japanese and English-language press, quick chats with those in the know among the places we visit, and close study of Japanese community sign boards, newsletters, and websites, all in the interest of finding the best, latest, most exciting iterations of Japanese culture in New York City.
On this site we’ll be covering a range of topics and experiences of Japanese culture. While our content currently remains izakaya-heavy, we are eagerly expanding to this larger focus, and can’t wait to share our findings with you.
Now hop along, hoppie hoppers!
* Hoppie is a low-alcohol content beer made popular in Japan during the difficult post-war years. Its devoted fans bought the beer cheap and bombed it with shochu. That’s exactly how most places in New York offer hoppie today. When paired with all the thoughtful bites on offer in an excellent izakaya, where hours melt away and conversation just flows over plate and glass, a hoppie is the perfect quencher.