Pronounced CHEW-HIGH; Chuhai often spelled Chu Hi is a traditional Japanese drink made from Shochu, carbonated water, and topped off with a flavorful option of your choice. Typical flavors include but are not limited to lime, apple, orange, watermelon, kiwi, and grape.

Upon my arrival in Japan one of the first things I did was grab some ramen and I was taken to an area called Honcho or The Honch for short, located not too far from the naval base in Yokosuka where most of the Americans would hang in their free time. I was told it was a must I hit “the Chu Hi spot”, I couldn’t even tell you the name of the place but I’m certain I could get you there if we ever got a chance to grace the streets of Japan together.

Walking up there were a few people lingering outside smoking cigarettes. Upon walking into the small space that was lined with people laughing and enjoying themselves I was looking for a small opening in the bar area to place an order. IMG_8680Beyond nervous seeing as though I hadn’t been in the country for even 8 hours I just wanted t get a drink and take in the scenery. My homegirl took the liberty of ordering us both an initial drink, we found a spot at the standing table located in the middle of the tiny bar. The walls and ceilings are lined with dollar bills left by people from all over the world over an overwhelming span of years. From the time I noticed this I knew I was going to tag a dollar and leave my mark, my only regret was that there I didn’t have any stickers on hand.

Inside were mostly military people mixed with a few local women and the owners of the spot who shut down every night promptly seeing as though they live in the building as well. Before we could even get to that point though I taste my first Chuhai and it is absolutely disgusting, IMG_8681I continue to drink it as I didn’t want to offend but ordered a beer to make the process a little more bearable. Some of my homegirls counterparts make their way into the Chu Hi Spot and begin to order more drinks. I opt for a new flavor this one being far better than the last and it’s effects were starting to kick in.

I began to loosen up just as the spot is getting ready to close which is probably a great thing because I didn’t need another. I made sure to grab this last pic and made plans to come back and line the place with stickers. I’m leaving you guys with this pic because obviously that never happened. So here is to my first international tag how fitting that it written by hand, my goal is to go back no matter the year and still see my dollar there. This time I’ll have stickers and hopefully a cool gang of folks to embark on the Chuhai experience with me.


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