Autumn Leaves Light Up

One of the best things about autumn in Japan is not only the abundance of, but the appreciation for, koyo (紅葉 or autumn leaves). And one of the great things about Suginami-ku is the abundance of parks. This, of course, means one can enjoy koyo without leaving the city — or maybe even the neighbourhood….

Homestyle Bakery Home Bakery Pop

During some random, directionless wandering of the neighbourhood today, I came upon not only the impressive campus of Nihon University Second High & High School, I also found a new bakery: Home Bakery Pop (ホームベーカリーPOP). Even though it falls just outside the border of Koenjagaya and it’s a small shop with not a huge selection,…

Gorgeous Gallery of Handmade Household Goods

Beside the Kaldi shop, overlooking Asagaya’s Pearl Shotengai from the 2nd floor, is a halcyon shop and gallery of handmade Japanese tableware and miscellaneous goods (or zakka, 雑貨). ZAKKA 土の記憶 (Tsuchi no Kioku), or “Memories of the Clay”, is a shop and exhibition space with a constantly changing inventory of beautiful handmade goods. Exhibitions highlighting…

Honey, Damn Good Honey.

It’s time to bee serious. One thing I love is finding a specialist. Especially one who loves what they do. And that’s exactly what I found at Yoshino Junsui Hachimitsuten (hachimitsu ten = honey shop) on Koenji’s north side, nearing the far end of Koshin Dori shotengai. Everything from the owner’s explanation about the varieties…

Thai Street Food

A few minutes walk out of Asagaya Station’s south exit and you can find yourself as close to Thailand as you can get in Tokyo — plastic chairs and all. Dao Thai is a small Tokyo chain of three locations serving up traditional Thai fare — everything from grilled meat to curries, soups and stir…

“KoenjiFes” Street Festival 2015

This past weekend (Oct 31-Nov 1) Koenji played host to its ever-growing street festival called Koenjifes. Just more to add to the towering pile of evidence that Koenjagaya is the coolest district in Tokyo. Koenjifes is a two-day street festival that began just a few years ago in 2011. Up and down the village’s many…