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…

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…

A Classical Cafe of Lynchian Appeal

Café Le Violon in Asagaya is a wonderfully queer little place tucked away in Asagaya’s north side. At least to me. I could see a segue in a David Lynch passing through here. But it’s the first classical music café I’ve been to. First appearing in the 1920’s and experiencing their heyday during the 1950’s–a time when…

Board Game Bonanza

Since the 1970’s the gaming world has been shifting from the manual and mechanical to the digital and (more recently) mobile. The global video game market jumped from zero to $35 billion in its first decade and has since grown to $91.5 billion worldwide. Movies became games, games became movies and even those manual, physical,…

“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…

Asagaya Morning Market

Next weekend is the Asagaya Morning Market (“Asaichi” or 朝市)on Shouwakai, one of the smaller shotengai just north of Asagaya Station. It’s a small street market with the shotengai shopkeepers as vendors, with everything from second goods to and locally grown food. There is also a Hawaiian Fest component this year taking place at the…

Asagaya Swing Walk

The 5th Asagaya Swing Walk was a big hit on the Asagaya Pearl Shotengai. The shopping arcade turns into a music festival with small busking stations from beginning to end. The array of instruments include the banjo, mandolin, violin, accordion, saxophone, kazoo, spoons, washboard, and more! It’s a free festival (tip your buskers!) that runs from 13:00 to…

Christmas Clowns & Riverboat Jazz

Just another reason to love Asagaya. There was a small troop of street performers enhancing the mood along the Pearl Shotengai on this fine Sunday.    

Asagaya Jazz Streets 2014

A little video compilation I made of the incredible annual Jazz Streets festival in Asagaya last month.