As I will be traveling around Tokyo at least once a week visiting different branches, I have decided that I must find a good local hang-out in each area. I have decided to do this for two important reasons: 1) I need a place to throw down a few rounds after a long day. 2) I must gather information about the instructor to get to know them better. So, I can kill two birds with one stone. Knowing a good place to relax after work, I can have a few beers while `feeling out` the instructor.
The challenge with this idea is trying to find the time to search out a good drinking spot. I could just go to the area on an off day and scope out a good place. This way I would appear to be knowledgeable about the area thus earning me some quick trust points with the instructor. The problem with scoping out a spot on an off day is that it would be taking away from my off time. The other option I have is arriving in the area very early, on the day I am to visit the branch, and finger a decent spot. Well, showing up presents an issue of timing. For most of the branches I will be showing at a time when all the bars and cool places will be closed to the public. I can walk around and see the outside of all the different hang-out spots, but I will have no idea what it is actually like.
My third option is to ask the if they know of a good place. The advantage of doing this is employee empowerment. They will feel like they are leading me. You know, `I showed the boss whats up` kind of thing. Hell, the instructor in the area should know better than me concerning a good place to have a few beers. If they can show me a good place that is a sign that they actually spend time in the area for other than working. It is good that instructors out into branch area. It is a easy way to get our name out into the community. Maybe some of the locals might think, `Look! Its those cool teachers from ----. I bet they give interesting lessons. Maybe we should go and sign up.` As long as the instructors are not raising too much hell having them out in the community is a big plus.
In the end I will most likely end up doing a combo of my three options. Some areas you only have to walk down the street and take your pick of the places to drink; while others take a bit of gum shoe work to find a decent spot. Still, I am sure I will go to an area in which only a person who has hung out there would know of the best hang-out spots. Anyway it is just a minor, yet important detail, that is all part of the fun of my job.