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f.k.a. Edo


"They call this place an 'amusement district'. The giant digital screens fastened to the sides of buildings fall silent as midnight approaches, but loud-speakers on storefronts keep pumping out exaggerated hip-hop baselines. A large game centre crammed with young people; wild electronic sounds; a group of college students spilling out from a bar; teenage girls with brilliant bleached hair, healthy legs thrusting out from micro mini-skirts; dark-suited men racing across diagonal crossings for the last trains to the suburbs."
- Haruki Murakami, After Dark

Obviously everyone has different interests and agenda, and the neighbourhoods all offer unique insights into Japanese life in their different ways - be it the Edo-era Yanaka, hipster Nakameguro, frenetic Shinjuku, eclectic Shimokitazawa or salaryman-laced Shimbashi.  


Shibuya Crossing, Tokyu Food Show (”depachika” basement food hall wonderland), Hikarie Building - D47 gallery on 8th Floor, view from 11th Floor), Fujiya Honten (standing bar for drinks and snacks), Cerulean Tower Bar Bello Visto on 42nd Floor (cocktails, jazz and view), Sake Stand, Junmaishu YATA (standing sake bar), Nagi (standing restaurant for sake and food) Potsura Potsura (kappo restaurant), Rakuchin (izakaya good for groups), Ryan (fancy but affortable soba) About Life Coffee.


Kyu Asakura House (beautiful traditional house), Saturdays NYC (coffee and deck chills), Log Road (stroll), Saigoyama Park (view), T-Site (bookstore). 


Isego Honten (sake shop & bar), The Hangar (sake bar), Niku to Wine (natural wine bar with snacks), Tsutaya (bookstore), Meguro Ginza (stroll), Yuuzuki (kappo restaurant), Hamaguriya (izakaya), The Breakfast Club (cafe).


Nonbei Yokocho (indoor food and drink alley), Kimijimaya (standing sake & wine bar), Waltzstand Waltz (wine bar), Gem by Moto, Pizza De Michele, Tokyo Photographic Museum, Ifuu (yakitori), Bar Martha, Kaoriya (soba).


Little Soul Cafe (record bar), Bear Pond Espresso (coffee shop), Rojiura Curry Samurai (soup curry), Salmon & Trout (cosy restaurant serving modern Japanese). 

Harajuku/ Jingumae/ Omotesando

UNU Farmers Market, Commune 2nd, Spiral Gallery, Narf Bar, Aoyama Oath/ Hachi/ Tunnel (clubs), Yoyogi Park, COBI Coffee, Shimizu-yu (sento), Omotesando Hills, Hasegawa Saketen (sake shop with a bar), Pignon, Parc (wine bar), Terra Australis, Bonobo, Umi no Ie. 

Yanesen (Yanaka, Nezu, Sendagi)

Scai the Bathhouse (gallery), Yanaka Ginza (stroll, eat, shop), Yanaka Beer Hall (beers and snacks).

Shimbashi/ Yurakucho/ Ginza/ Nihonbashi

Ozu Washi (traditional washi paper shop, also does classes in paper making), Pasona (urban farm), Amazake Yokocho (for traditional sweets & amazake), Hakobune (irori dining), Uoharu (seafood izakaya using Tsukiji market “waste” seafood).

Azabu/ Roppongi

Jomon (yakitori), B-Flat (jazz bar), Electrik Jinja (bar/ club), Mori Building (gallery and view), 21 Design Sight, Nezu Museum (gallery and garden), Toraya (wagashi), Gen Yamamoto (cocktails), Bunon (izakaya in old Japanese house serving natural wines), Osuzakura (wine shop specialising in Japanese wine), Kikuya (standing tempura izakaya).


YATA (standing sake bar), Moto (standing sake bar), Yakitori in Piss Alley,  Golden Gai (bars), Shinjuku Gyoen (park), DUG (jazz cafe), Pitt Inn (jazz bar).


Hokusai Museum, Edo Museum, Edo-yu (sento), sumo match, Cheese no Koe (cheese shop specialising in Japan-made cheeses).

Yamamoto-tei (traditional house)

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日々旅にして旅を栖とす – 芭蕉
Each day is a journey, and the journey itself home – Basho