Smoke-Free-Baby-Friendly Izakaya

NOTE: This post was actually written in December 2016. I think I was waiting to edit some photos before hitting PUBLISH. However, seeing as this site has been gasping for breath on life support for the past 18 months, I decided I should get uploading. Having a kid and writing two novels can evidently keep…

Koenjagaya Massive Triple Event Weekend

One of the great things about Koenji and Asagaya is the number of cool events taking place on a regular basis. One week might be a festival of circus performers, magicians and buskers on the side streets of Koenji, while the next weekend could be a Hawaiian Festival in Asagaya. Only to be followed by…

Death by Chain-ten

[Originally written November 2017] I’m not too happy about Suit Select opening their sterile, salaryman uniform shops in my hood, but at least their main threat is aesthetic. They’re not really stealing business from anyone, except maybe Aoki, another ubiquitous purveyor of cheap, off-the-rack clothes for corporate drones. It’s the small, local businesses that I…

Today: Adult Party Ichiban Gai

It’s not as racy as it sounds. Ichiban Gai (First Street) is lined with little bars, pubs and restaurants.  Today is their street festival. Lots of food stalls, a live music venue on the street and a samba parade.

Tanabata Festival 2017 (now!)

This is coming a little late, but you’ve still got until Tuesday to enjoy the creativity on display for Asagaya’s annual Tanabata Festival. Here are a few of my personal favs.

Today: Hawaiian Festival

Just a few quick posts here. It’s a big weekend in Asagaya. The annual Tanabata Festival is in full swing, having kicked off on Friday. Today, Sunday, is the annual Asagaya Hawaiian Fes just north of the station. There are food stalls, a flea market and hula dance groups. See the photo below for more…

Losing Victory 

July marked the end of an era in Asagaya,  at least for some joren (regular customers), with the closing of a great little sandwich shop. Victory Cafe closed its doors for good.  It was a spacious cafe with a large selection of sandwiches, which you could choose to have toasted in a sandwich press if…

Tanabata Trumps All

An increase in Asagaya’s population by one has kept me rather busy lately. However, between diaper changes, I did find time to take a quick stroll down Pearl Shotengai for this years Tanabata Festival. There were, of course, the standard players–Toy Story, Minions, Doraemon and Anpanman. Nejime had their traditional Japanese display done in colourful fabrics. Inageya…

The Passing of a Koenji Legend

There was very sad news earlier this month, that struck close to home. While we were not mateys, we’d tipped our hats to one other in passing numerous times over the better part of the last decade. That was, after all, a large part of his joie de vivre–being one with The People. Not only a…

Precious People-Watching Moments

Now I generally don’t like to promote corporations or chain stores, but I’ll make an exception in this case because of three key factors invaluable to travellers and wanderers–power, people and wi-fi. Anybody who’s spent 30 seconds in Japan is familiar with UCC–the ubiquitous canned coffee in vending machines throughout the nation. The U in UCC stands…

Double Street Day in Asagaya Tomorrow

There are two street events worth visiting tomorrow. Sure, it’s short notice, but then again, this isn’t really a blog about upcoming events. The first, which I have mentioned before in this post here, is Asagaya Morning Market (“Asaichi” or 朝市)on Shouwakai, a few minutes north of Asagaya Station. As it’s name suggest, it’s good to head there…