Tag Archives: Japan

Golden Gai – Tokyo, Japan

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Shinjuku Golden Gai

35.6939° N, 139.7047° E,

Shinjuku, Tokyo , Japan

Tokyo’s Golden Gai is a Labyrinth of six narrow alleys hosting over 200 tiny bars;  some with a maximum capacity of six people!. There are a few private club/bars and most are open to public.  Do to their small size and to avoid bar-hoppers, most charge a small cover that includes  a little appetizer.  Our advice is don’t sweat the cover – you’re on vacation!

Bar Otokichi was our favorite,  a very friendly local crowd and the barman (who we think lives upstairs?)  kept up an amazing mix of rare, upbeat old jazz tracks….. and the shochu with matcha green tea is defenately worth the try!

Give yourselves an hour or two in Golden Gai before heading to the Robot Restaurant!

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Bar Otokichi 003Bar Otokichi
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Kayaba Coffee – Tokyo, Japan

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Kayaba Coffee

(81)  33.823.3545
6-1-29 Yanaka, Taito-ku
Tokyo 110-0001, Japan


Open Hours:
8:00 – 23:00    Monday – Saturdays
8:00 – 18:00    Sundays

The Kayaba coffee shop originally opened a few streets away from the Yanaka Cemetery in 1938. It  continued business until 2006, when it shut down due to it’s owner’s death.  In 2009, the community rallied to bring back this much loved and missed hub.  Today it is a combination of local meeting place and coffee destination.

Kayaba takes up an entire 2 floor house built in 1916.  The second floor is a combination of traditional tatami floor siting and Isamu Noguchi tables.   Old meets new in Japan again!  This little brown gem seems right out of a Ghibli world!

Kayaba is a great destination as it is across the street from a local museum that describes the history of the neighborhood, and only a block away from the famous art gallery “Scai Bathhouse “.

Pop in for a cute menu hot and cold drinks, tea sandwiches,  a weekly lunch menu and sweets; and then explore this simple yet alluring Tokyo suburb.

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Kayaba Coffee 005roast nuts macchiat and vegetable sandwich

Itoya – Tokyo, Japan


Itoya Stationary

(81)  33.561.8311
Ginza, 2-7-15 Chuo-ku
Tokyo  104-0061 , Japan
othr locations


Open Hours:
10:00 – 20:00    Daily

As if everyone in Japan, Stationary is raised to a level that trumps most of which you have ever seen before!   If you ever debate over which pen to write with, or which paper is best to write on, then a visit to the top Stationary store in Tokyo is in order!

This position is held by the venerable Itoya Stationary.    While there are multiple locations, the flagship in the heart of Ginza is definitely the one to visit; for not only the high quality of products but also the attention to display.

Each floor is dedicated to a subject.  An entire expanse of every mechanical pencil and ball pen imaginable.  A floor for agendas, and if you can’t find one you are happy with?  Then head for the the customized agenda atelier.

A wonderful floor to create your own stationary holds a large wall with swatches in every color imaginable!  Just pick the swatches you want and have the paper cut to ever size or envelope you desire.

We were so mesmerized, we forgot to take more photos !!

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