If you’re looking for an establishment in Japan with a lively atmosphere where you can dine and dance the night away with your friends and family, and the izakaya is where to be.
In Japanese, the term izakaya is composed of three kanji 居酒屋 — which means “home drinking spot,” and that’s precisely the kind of establishment they are secret locations where you can enjoy drinks and small meals and snacks to keep your spirits up. In many people’s eyes, izakaya serves as the central heart of their Japanese dining scene. It’s an ideal spot to meet locals and forget about your worries in a relaxing atmosphere that feels like a place far from home.
It’s a feeling many would love to keep in a bottle and take home, which is what Nike has currently done, only instead of using bottles to capture the essence from an izakaya, they’re making use of the shoes.
The new Air Force 1 “IZAKAYA” was announced to celebrate Nike’s Air Force 1 40th anniversary.
The new sneakers represent all the things we like about the Japanese izakaya. It starts with the dark brown tones that bring back memories of the wooden interiors of tranquil drinking spots and conjuring memories of the charcoal-grilled Yakitori skewers often served in these establishments.
It’s a great color to complement the color of oolong tea, beer, and highballs brewed with oolong tea. These are also associated with the izakaya.
Nike takes a risk in the area of copyright by using an image of a star symbol for Sapporo Beer on its shoe, while it also features an alcoholic beverage bottle that looks like a mix of top beer brands Sapporo as well as Kirin.
Other notable features include tongues that look like receipts and a picture of a Shigaraki-ware raccoon that sits outside an izakaya to help bring wealth to business.
There are also two Tanuki’s lying around, one of which is holding a pair of Nike shoes.
The receipts in the tongue aren’t just for show only. The tongue lists out the history of AF 1 Mid model.
To celebrate the launch, Trunk (Hotel), located in Shibuya, Tokyo, will host an exclusive “Ichibanboshi” Izakaya, which is operated by Atmos and will sell the sneakers between the 25th and 28th of August. Reservations made online are required for the izakaya. It will serve yakitori skewers and cocktails in a chic atmosphere to advertise the new sneakers.
The sneakers themselves are available to purchase through the online lottery, which will be held between 19 and 25 August. Lucky winners can purchase the sneakers at Atmos stores or online for 15400 yen (US$113.05) starting on August 25.