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This article describes what it’s like at a Japanese Mahjong parlor.
As some of you may know, I love Mahjong (of course!). And I play Mahjong at Tenho and Mahjong Parlor. I assume most of non-Japanese players never step into this mysterious place, so I want to describe Japanese Mahjong Parlor from my view point.
The Mahjong Parlor I always visit is located in Shibuya, one of the largest town in Tokyo. It is roughly five-minutes walk from the station, and in the multi tenant building. Their interior is like this.
5 tables, and usually 2-3 tables are occupied. Probably this parlor has around 30 regular visitors, from twenties to seventies. Level of players varies, and probably from Tenhou 5 dan to 9dan. I don’t know their occupation, but seems to be company employees, small business owners, and retired old persons. We can drink beer, and eat delivered food like Yakitori, Chinese, Ramen etc.
We play for some money, but basically the atmosphere is very good with jokes and halmless chat. I personally feel sense of unity that everybody loves the same game here.
This is really nice place for me to visit after work for refreshment. I used to live in the U.S. ,and really missed Mahjong Parlor much then. It is good to play Tenhou, but also good to touch real tiles.
Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics and, the restriction for gambling can be more strict. But I strongly hope we won’t lose this kind of comfortable small places.