I must admit that I have an inexplicable personal fascination with Japan. I can’t pinpoint a very specific moment or situation when it started. But throughout my life, this fascination grew steadily day by day. Since Japan is way away, I can only try and look for its pieces in my backyard, which is Vilnius.
And for a while now, I’ve been blessed to have a dedicated place with a fluent Japanese vibe, called Oišy izakaya in Trakų str. Oišy is a Lithuanian twist on the Japanese word Oishi – meaning – delicious. Izakaya are informal bars, common all over Japan, where people have drinks with small plates of food to pair. Similar to Spanish tapas.
Oišy is just as described, super chill, with loads of tasty snacks slash meals, like roasted pork belly or Takoyaki to accommodate a beverage of your choice. Those of course include sake, local Kuro aparatūra’s beer, or delicious organic wine (from Europe though) as some of my occasions have recently demanded. This place invites a colorful crowd, from Asian expats and tourists to trendy locals, but everyone is always welcome here.
I know it might not be your first pick when trying to get to know the authentic Lithuanian Vilnius per se, but this city has always been a melting pot of cultures, so another influence from further away is well appreciated. Especially when everything is executed by locals who had a chance to live in Japan and bring their memories into a place like this.