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,…

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…

Sincere Gelato… and Damn Good Coffee

Gelato Master Nakai Yosuke wants to bring the experience of small town Italy to Tokyo. And he does so with his elegant gelato shop just north of Asagaya Station. It’s down the hill at the end of Shouwakai Shotengai, but definitely worth the short hike. With perennial standards like pistachio (the must-try flavour), Gelateria Sincertia…

A Southern Neighbour (Sometimes)

Koenjagaya has some neighbours of note and it would be remiss to exclude them based solely on geography. Therefore, I should on occasion remark on noteworthy places adjacent to Koenjagaya (ie: Nakano, Ogikubo, Nerima and others within Suginami). Qjitsuya (pronounced “Kyu-jit-su-ya”) is one such neighbouring establishment. Still within Suginami-ku, it is further south, well-hidden deep within a…

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…

Soba by Day…

Izakaya by night, soba shop by day, Kakizawa Soba is located a few steps down a side street off the Asagaya Pearl Shotengai. They’ve got a great lunch set for ¥1,150 that includes three pieces of lightly fried tempura, soba, rice, tsukemono and tea. A high ceiling, modern interior and background jazz make for a…

New Ramen On The Block

Koenji is not for want of ramen shops, however Kou Kei Menya (Emperor Chicken Noodle Shop) opened a few months back and is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood’s noodleverse. Small yet spacious, it seats six at the counter and four others at two deuces along the wall. The standard coin-op ticket machine is right inside…

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…

Hidden Handmade Soba

On a small side road running parallel two streets west of Nakasugi Dori is Yanoshin, a great little soba shop hidden among the neighbouring homes. The soba is teuchi (handmade) and the tranquil atmosphere conveys a similar unhurried, attention to detail. Two tables sit along large windows opening to a small yard with enough greenery to obfuscate…

Hawaiian Siesta

“Within Hawaii, “honohono grass” was used as medicine to aid with deep cuts. While other Hawaiian herbs just get superficial cuts, honohono grass is an herb to aid with deeper troubling issues.” A 3-minute walk from Shin-Koenji Station, Honohono Cafe is a stylish little cafe at the south end of Koenji’s Look Shotengai. It’s got…

A Small & Elegant Addition

This is not a bakery blog. There just happen to be a lot great bakeries in Koenji and Asagaya. And the newest kid on the block, Boulangerie & Cafe Mon Bijou, is no exception. Although I couldn’t really identify the “cafe” area (the second floor is the kitchen), it lives up to its name being…