Down in The Honch located in Japan are numerous places that one would possibly consider to be “gems”. No matter who you are and what you may be looking for, you’re sure to find it there. So upon arriving to Yokosuka, my friend tells me she is going to take me to a soul food spot so we can get some chicken. In my head I say to myself, “I did not come all the way to Japan to eat fried chicken”. She must have been able to read my mind because before I could say anything she said to me, “I know it sounds crazy but trust me.”

So we head over to a spot named Customs after we leave the Chu Hai spot. I walk in and I am immediately floored. Upon entering the establishment the walls are lines with photos of some of the greatest R&B and soul singers who’s music provided the best feel good memories from our childhoods.Image-1 When we approach the bar the walls in the corner are lined with CDs and the soundtrack made you want to order your drink and two step the night away. Again it’s my first night in Japan and I’m unsure of any and everything so I’m cautious and timid in my moves. Everyone else on the other hand seemed to be right at home and it didn’t take me long to feel the same way.

While we waited for our food we played a few games of pool and I noticed the chalkboard on the wall. Image-1I had forgotten my stickers, not that it mattered because I probably wouldn’t have put one up anyway because I was way too scared to tag anything at that point. So I go to the chalkboard and simply write The LAME Way in slot number 3 (my favorite number) and kept it moving. Shortly thereafter our food arrived and when I tell you that I unexpectedly had some of the best fried chicken I have ever had in my life (outside of my Gma Leo’s) I lie to you not. Served with the chicken was a scoop of potato salad, cabbage over rice, and a slice of cornbread. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was actually eating like this in Japan, I definitely cleaned my plate. Then to top it off, The meal was less than ten American dollars.

I washed my food down happily with a Corona that was nearly impossible to find anywhere else and continued to request awesome music while playing pool. Image-1My time here was so good that a friend of mine met me in Japan from Korea and I told her she absolutely had to try this spot. She also was a skeptic turned believer when she ordered the chicken for herself. This time I had the fried fish (which was also amazing), due to the fact that they had run out of chicken upon our return during the following week. I think we may have visited customs 3 times before I left Japan, twice in which I ate. The second time my tag was still standing strong upon the third time someone had wiped me off the board. It doesn’t matter to me how long it stayed I just know I left my mark. I plan on returning to Japan someday and I will not leave without first stopping by Customs and the next time I’ll be sure to have some stickers on hand. If you ever happen to visit Japan and get a chance to experience Yokosuka be sure to find someone that can point you to Customs, it’s one of those places you won’t ever forget.

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