Smoke-Free-Baby-Friendly Izakaya

NOTE: This post was actually written in December 2016. I think I was waiting to edit some photos before hitting PUBLISH. However, seeing as this site has been gasping for breath on life support for the past 18 months, I decided I should get uploading. Having a kid and writing two novels can evidently keep…

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…

“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…

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…

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…

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…