f.k.a. Edo


There are over 9 million locals and 20 million visitors each year to Tokyo—here’s some of their tips.

Kat Chetram, Photographer/ Teacher, Tokyo

NADiff a/p/a/r/t is a gallery and bookstore and one of my go tos for visual inspiration.  When I want to eat something beautiful I head Takeno To Ohago Their seasonal and artisanal wagashi always hits the spot. Moon Coffee Factory is an elusive, hidden coffee gem in Sangengaya. The slow and quiet atmosphere alone is worth going for as well as their hand picked teas and coffee. When I fancy a bit of nature I head to Shinjuku Goen.  I bypass all the touristy bits and go straight to the botanical greenhouse. I also like to chill out at Meguro Sky Garden and try and catch a glimpse of Fuji-san.

Ewelina Skowrońska, Artist/ Illustrator/ Printmaker, Tokyo

POPOTAME. Cool small bookstore with selection of many independent publication, zines, and illustrations. Plus small gallery showing art from interesting Japanese and international artist. The neighbour is very nice and local, with some hidden coffee places and other small shops. Sakurai Tea Experience in Spiral building on the 5th floor. Beautiful atmosphere, great space, amazing selection of tea and traditional Japanese sweets as well as tea based alcoholic beverages. SCAI the Bathouse
- contemporary art gallery placed in old bath house. Very well curated space with great exhibitions in the heart of lovely Yanaka.


Fuyuko Mochizuki & John Enos, Photography & Documentary Makers, Tokyo

We love a small secondhand, antique shop called Sein in Yutenji and a used clothing store called Tranpot in Gakugeidaigaku. On the weekend, we like treasure hunting at the biggest flea market in Tokyo at Oi keibajo mae, which has over 500 stalls. Jindaiji Yumorino Sato, which is an onsen located near Jindaiji Temple in Chofu. The onsen has amazing water that almost looks like coffee and is a little salty. Jindaiji is a place well known for soba, so go for soba after, and visit the cool botanical garden behind Jindaiji. We love a restaurant called Margo in Yutenji. It’s a small creative restaurant owned by a couple, the husband serves, and the wife cooks and both are charming and the food great. Usagi ramen shop, which serves good ramen with a modern twist. G/P gallery established by professor Shigeo Goto. The gallery supports the young photo movement in Tokyo called hyper materialist movement. Interesting exhibits as well as good book store attached to the gallery.

Dan Ishibashi, Rapper, Tokyo

Eat at Shitorasu, an Izakaya-style dining bar with fresh food from all over Japan and a good selection of shouchu. Drink at Organbar, a destination for all the alcoholics worldwide. They serve you one of the best lemon sour in Japan. Party at JUNXION. I organize this party with best hiphop/ disco/ house mcs and djs in Japan. Sometime at a club sometime outside festival. You can dance through the night with highly sublimated music.

Hideto Iida, Curator & Artist, Tokyo

The Japan Folk Crafts Museum used to be private house of Muneyoshi Yanagi who is founder of “mingei” (Japanese folk art movement). We can see  Japanese arts and craft to his Asian collection. Asakura Chouso Museum Nippori - The museum was used to be private sculptor’s studio. His name is Fumio Asakura who planed and built with his assistants and carpenters. We can see sculptor’s detail from architectural elements and garden. UTRECHT book shop Shibuya - one of the best independent book shops. They precisely select the little edition books from all over the world. Even though it’s a tiny space, you spend long time and get lots of inspiration. Maison Margiela Ebisu - I like Maison Margiela in Omotedsando, but I prefer the Ebisu fashion space, which composed with sophisticated displays. Although most elements are painted white, you can feel their tactile presence, especially cowhair carpet pinned with nails.


Sam Billen, Owner of Primary Color Music, Kansas

Berkana is a little whiskey bar overlooking the train tracks just a short walk from Ebisu Station. Perfect hidden spot for a quiet drink with friends (or alone! - trust me, I've done it). Aside from the amazing beer and whiskey selection, I've discovered some of my favorite old-school Japanese music here. Ebisu Yokocho - an old fashioned alley-style clump of restaurants, hidden right in plain sight. Great selection of food and lots of locals. If you're a Beatles fan, you MUST visit one of the many Beatles live-music bars during your time in Tokyo, like un10 - it's a quaint little basement nook filled to the brim with instruments anyone can pick up and play. Did I mention they have beer? So get yo drank on, loosen up, and sing a few classics! Tell em Kansas Sam sent ya. Enban record store in Koenji. It is TINY, so don't bring too many friends, but they have the best, most obscure Japanese (and non-Japanese) music.


Sofia Solamente, Ceramicist, Mexico

Sake at The Hangar by the river in Nakameguro. Kyu Asakusa House - a beautiful and serene traditional-style Japanese house just a 10 minute walk from the madness of Shibuya crossing. Yakumo Sayro in Meguro has eye-wateringly pretty wagashi and matcha whisked freshly for you. The building itself is worth going for, designed by Shinichiro Ogata. Modern wabi-sabi vibes.

Maxine Thompson, chef & founder of PolkaPants, London 

Go to level 42 of the Cerulean Tower for sky high views and martinis at Bar Bellovisto. Nightcap(s) sake at Kei in Gakugeidaigaku. Just let the staff choose for you and also get the plate of assorted sashimi followed by whatever tempura is in season. Visit depachika - basement food wonderlands. 


Georgia Thompson, art director, London

Visit sento to get deeply cleansed and extremely relaxed. These are Japanese public bath houses (like urban sento) are all over Tokyo. Aoyama’s Shimizu-yu is handy if you’re around Shibuya/ Omotesando, and has baths with white-ish water from the microbubbles. Dreamy! Eat curry pan... donuts-buns filled with Japanese curry, rolled in panko crumbs and deep-fried. Try Tenma in Aoyama, and get them while they’re hot. UNU farmers market sake flea.


Ros Thompson, Australia

Mitsukoshi Ginza basement food hall to experience the surprising wonderland of things to eat, then go to Hamarikyu gardens for a picnic.
Contemporary art followed by a champagne at the neighboring Cafe/ Bar at Mori Art Museum. Nezu Museum for exhibitions on pre-modern Japanese arts and a walk through the beautiful traditional garden. The Cotton Club for a Jazz show

Devii Alderman, freelance chef, Mallorca

Hokusai Museum and Edo-Tokyo Museum - right by each other and great insight into Japanese history and art. Nakameguro for riverside promenading. Yanaka for street eats and old buildings!


Neil Thompson, Australia

Cooking workshop with Savory Japan (the miso one is a lot of fun - just have to wait 6 months to taste the results!). Japanese class at COTO Academy. Visit Hamarikyu Gardens for traditional gardens that are beautiful in any season. They date back to 1654 as a feudal lord’s duck-hunting grounds. Yanaka chills - street sake drunk sitting on milk crates and watching the world go by
Tsukiji market for street eats.



May I be a great big tree
so big I can’t see those taking shelter under me,
a deep green conical figure wrapped in serenity
Just as I dangle my bare feet in the water
may my roots joyfully draw
from an unknown subterranean current .

Kiyoko Nagase
From, A Great Big Tree, 1947
︎︎                About me           
日々旅にして旅を栖とす – 芭蕉
Each day is a journey, and the journey itself home – Basho