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…

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…

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…

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….

“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 Jazz Streets 2015

The 21st annual Asagaya Jazz Streets was last weekend. Construction at Suginami City Hall caused its stage to relocate to building’s side facing the much busier/louder street of Ome-Kaido. And while the space was a bit more cramped, the traffic wasn’t much of a factor. And it is a much sunnier spot. There were some…

Event of the Year: 59th Koenji Awa-odori

Perhaps the most important festival in the country — nay the world — is upon us. The Koenji Awa-odori Festival is in full-swing. After a misty but more or less rain-free day yesterday, the festival continues today with the ren (dance groups) doing their thing from 5pm-8pm. The Koenji Awa-odori has grown to be counted…

61st Asagaya Tanabata Festival

Dating back to 755 AD in Japan, Asagaya has hosted its own annual Tanabata Matsuri (Seventh Night Festival) since 1954. Tanabata festivals are held throughout Japan, some held in July and some in August. While timing and traditions vary by region they usually involve some form of decoration display or competition. The Suginami-ku Tanabata Festival…

Sugimoney Sold Out in 18 Minutes

We were fortunate to be having breakfast this morning at Victory Cafe, a small chain with 13 cafes across Japan, one of which is on Asagaya’s Pearl Shotengai. Noticing a line of people forming outside, I asked the girl behind the counter what was so special next door. She informed me they were queuing to…

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…

Busker’s Paradise

The Koenji Bikkuri Daidogei (高円寺びっくり大道芸) was initially held to mark the opening of the neighbourhood’s new public theatre, Za Koenji (which has a great little market last week). The Daidogei (Japanese for street performance) has since grown into a fairly large event, replete with jugglers, clowns, mimes, acrobats, musicians and all artists outside or in…

Za Market of Za Koenji

Za Koenji is a public theatre for contemporary performing arts on the north side of the JR tracks near Kannana-Dori. Funded by the city of Suginami and managed by an NPO, the theatre produces, presents and supports a wide range of cultural activities from drama and dance to music and storytelling — and beyond. This weekend its…