No Friend As Loyal As A Book

Said Ernest Hemingway. And perhaps I am in half-agreement, as there are two types of stores that I can spend hours lost inside: bookstores and record stores. It’s no secret that Koenji is a Tokyo hotbed for political discourse–or at least protest. It was after all the birthplace of Japanese punk, which at one time (before…

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…

Board Game Bonanza

Since the 1970’s the gaming world has been shifting from the manual and mechanical to the digital and (more recently) mobile. The global video game market jumped from zero to $35 billion in its first decade and has since grown to $91.5 billion worldwide. Movies became games, games became movies and even those manual, physical,…

Good Morning Okinawa!

Just over a year ago, one of my first posts was about my favourite neighbourhood bakery, Good Morning Asagaya. And earlier this year, I was quite disappointed to say “Good-bye Good Morning Asagaya” as they were closing their doors for good. Perhaps the 600,000 yen monthly rent was too much for a small bakery and four-table café to…

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…