Enjoy friendly international karaoke night at Bar Roots
By Jun Ikemura
Bar Roots, located at Futenma, Ginowan City, is having a friendly international Karaoke night every day!
The bar has a retro American atmosphere where you can sip tasty cocktails and belt out you favorites on karaoke when the urge hits. Roots boasts a Joy Sound Karaoke machine that offers a very large selection of international songs for patrons to sing. It also has a Shure retro microphone fit for those who fancy 50’s and 60’s rock tunes, with or without the Elvis-look.
On the beverage side, Roots is the only place on Okinawa that has Heineken draft on tap. Cocktails are the other exceptional point at Roots, as bartender To-Ki Uema puts his vast experience as a bartender in Tokyo to work. He’s ready to accept customers’ special cocktail requests, too.
As the party season is just beginning, it’s good to keep in mind that Roots offers chartered parties, and is ready to negotiate the cost to fit the customer’s budget.
As a rule, Sunabe and Chatan are the districts where bars catering to foreign clientele are common, while the Futenma area has traditionally seen much fewer international patrons even though many foreigners live in the area. Camp Foster and MCAS Futenma are both also very close. The owner of Roots, “Ta-Ka” Takafumi Kinjo says, “We want our bar to be a space where Japanese and foreigners can enjoy friendly exchanges over drinks and join in singing.”
Roots opens at 19:00, and people can enjoy the bar from early night. Kinjo especially emphasizes that he welcomes U.S. military customers. “There’s no need to hesitate, people singing and drinking together will make friends easily, and a conversation is not a problem, as our staff is bilingual, and, besides, we also have an American staff member.”
A man who goes by name Fester DX, is a staff member at Roots. He is a retired military man, and a member of a softball team on base. That’s why many sports lovers have adopted Bar Roots as their regular hangout.
Kinjo continues, “I’m very proud that some Japanese and foreigners became friends at our bar, and they sometimes go to an Izakaya for a dinner, or have a BBQ on the beach together. I really like to hear that.”
It was not always so. Kinjo says that, “To tell the truth, my great-grandfather was hit and killed by a military vehicle, and I really hated the U.S. military once, but talking them personally one-by-one changed my mind. The accident was the fault of a man, and had nothing to do with him being a military member or a foreigner. People are people, and my friend is my friend. It’s simple like that.”
He says that he loves the Okinawan proverb “Ichariba Chode” meaning, people get to meet once, and they are brothers. “A friend’s friends are my friends, and if people connect wider and wider with others, the world will become very peaceful,” Kinjo believes.
The concept of Bar Roots is classic American style, but their background music is varies, as they aim to play music adjusted to customers. Bar Roots is on the facebook, and If you click “Like” button or write a review, one drink is on the house! It accepts Yen, dollars and credit cards.