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…

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…

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 Cloth for All Occasions

I’m not a tailor nor a grandmother, but I appreciate craftsmanship and handmade goods. While there are many places to buy new swaths of fabric, Fujiya on Asagaya’s Pearl Shotengai packs the most punch per square metre. It is a small shop with a prodigious selection. This makes it both fun to explore and easy…

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…

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.    

Big Fun in Small German Village

Just south of the midway point in Asagaya’s Pearl Centre Shotengai lays a whimsical little shop called 小さなドイツ村 (Chiisana Doitsu Mura or “Small German Village”). The owner is undeniably passionate about the craftsmanship behind his imported inventory and will merrily demonstrate each item’s unique characteristics. With my purchase of a new Christmas ornament and three advent calendars he offered me…

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…

The Koenji Rice Rice Meal Meal Project

Twenty shops, ten tickets, one stomach. And fifteen-hundred yen. The rice event of the year went down in Koenji today: The G-Meshi 88 (or Gメシ★88 or Gohan Meshi). Gohan, by the way, is Japanese for “cooked rice” or “meal”. And meshi is Japanese for “cooked rice” or “meal”. No, that’s not typo. It was our third…