Archive for the ‘Cafe Views/News/Reviews’ Category

Hello Tokyo

Jiyugaoka Streets

Hi Tokyo. I’m in your city for the next week or so and I’m having a blast so far. Normally I’m in Los Angeles, USA but decided I’d wanted to come to Tokyo for too long and not come so so now I’m here. I’m going to try and make a few posts here while I’m in town that don’t sound like a total tourist but I might not be able to pull that off. We’ll see. If you are into the total tourist perspective feel free to read this post from my own personal blog about the trip so far. I’m also posting tons of photos to this flickr set but fair warning there are tons of street scenes and probably things that folks who live here have seen plenty of times and aren’t impressed by any more.

Dinner in Naka-meguro

I can say that the trains are not nearly as scary or confusing as I was led to believe before getting here. Everyone I talked to made them out to be completely impossible to navigate and tried to convince me to stay away from them unless I had a well versed guild. Totally not the case, and very easy to use if you know where you are going. Anyway… Nice work with this whole city of yours, I’m enjoying my visit very much!

The first Blue Seal Icecream shop in Tokyo!

BLUE SEAL in Fussa

BLUE SEAL Icecream is famous Okinawan icecream company. It was started to serve icecream for Americans in Okinawa. (Okinawa used to be occupied by US and there are many military bases in there) It is one of the place you have to go if you visit Okinawa.

but you dont need to fly to Okinawa, you just take a train to come here for icecream :) we have a new store in Fussa, where is west part of Tokyo, near US military base.
it’s always crowded but it worth to wait. they serve good stuff and cheaper than Baskin Robbins!

Canadian Style Opening Party on Saturday Feb. 4

Canadian Style

Wednesday of this week marked the beginning of the twelve-day long
and 日本語)
event that design maven Jean Snow

is producing at Cafe Pause in
Ikebukuro. There’s an opening party this Saturday night, February
4, starting at 7pm
. I plan to be there for it to find out just
what the hell this thing is all about – so hope to meet some other
curious and interesting people there too.

To get to Cafe Pause for the event, just make your way to the
Ikebukuro JR station, take the Seibu East exit and follow the
directions in the map below. (It’s only a 5-minute walk.) Or see the
Tokyo Art Beat page for Cafe
, where you’ll find other maps and a QR code you can use to
access and store directions on your mobile phone.

And since Cafe Pause is after all a cafe, in addition to the normal items on its menu — light meals, snacks, sweets, and a full drink menu ranging from lemonade, “lemon cola”, “triple berry soda” and a variety of tea and coffee drinks, to beer, wine, and cocktails (including some of their own original cocktails, with names like “May”, “Lily”, “Jun”, “Teany”, and “Florent”) — a few special Canadian-themed specialities will be available, including a special meat pie and a bunch of maple stuff, even a maple-flavored cocktail.

As far as what else to expect, here are a handful of details from Jean:

… various installations (the main participants include
designer Sonia Chow
and photographer/DJ Marc Xavier LeBlanc)… video projections,
compiled themed mixes of Canadian (most independent) artists, and an
interactive installation, “Red + White/Read + Write,”

But to find out more, well, you’ll just have to head
there on Saturday night and/or before the event concludes on February
12 and see it for yourself.

Note that Jean has also created a Flickr
photo set
for the event and is posting
up-to-date details at his site
as it proceeds.

Gaienmae: The Office

The Office
Right now I’m at a place in Gaienmae called “Office”. If you’re in Tokyo and looking for an interesting place to while away a couple of hours alone or with friend(s), you can’t go wrong stopping by here.

It has a bit of the feel of a college coffee house, except that instead of having a view out to some “quad” or whatever, it has a 5th floor view out to a neon-lit busy Tokyo intersection.

Other particulars: a full drink menu, including liquor, sake and shouchu, beer, wine, juice, tea, and coffee. Nice lighting, nice staff, usually good music. Seating for about 30 people and not usually crowded (so a good choice for impromptu gatherings). A selection of decent light food. And reasonable prices. A variety of interesting books and magazines you can borrow and enjoy along with your food and drink.

Also, a real rarity in Tokyo: outlets into which you are free to plug in your laptop’s AC adaptor and/or keitai charger.

And to top it all off: it’s open until 3am every night, including Sunday and Monday.

To find it, just ride the Ginza line to Gaienmae station, take exit 3, and you’re there. Well, almost. What you’ll see at the street level when you come up and out from the exit is a place called “Sign”. Office is in the same building, just on the 5th floor. So just go around the corner, left from the entrance to Sign, and climb the stairs (no elevator) up to Office, and enjoy.

A visit to Cafe Pause in Ikebukoro

Jean Snow (the hardest working blogger in Tokyo) has written quite a bit about Cafe Pause in Ikebukuro. (see his postings at MoCo Tokyo, at Gridskipper, and at his site), and I’ve been wanting for some time now to visit it. So today I stopped by to check it for myself.


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