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…

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…

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…

Tokyo’s. Best. Coffee.

Unfortunately, Tokyo’s best coffee isn’t Koenji or Asagaya. But it is right next door in Nakano, so fortunately falls within the purview of this site under the “Neighbour Clause” (to occasionally include exceptional nouns within the other Suginami-ku neighbourhoods of Ogikubo and Nerima and the adjacent vicinage of Nakano). Anyways, if you enjoy great coffee and the…

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…

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 Kansai Bakery in Tokyo

Because it is such an amazing neighbourhood,  the small bakery chain Hijirian Bakery, selected Asagaya as its first and only location outside of Osaka and Kobe. They’ve got one of the larger selections of baked goods in town, ample seating inside and a few seats on the sidewalk patio. They’re also generous with the nuts (a rarity…

Good Morning Asagaya

I finally sat down for a meal in the cafe section of my favorite local bakery. Bakery Good Morning Asagaya (ベーカリー・グッドモーニング) bakes up a delicious selection of sourdough, rye and other breads. The round style loaves that are great for hollowing out for dips. They also make a tasty (albeit less healthy) bacon-cheese-onion loaf. For an…