When you think of Tokyo, you imagine the tall buildings covered in lights; Shibuya crossing, Shinjuku station, Tokyo Skytree. What you don’t imagine is vintage clothes shops, cafes with old Italian scooters parked outside, musicians in the street and jazz bars with sixty different types of spirit. Welcome, then, to Koenji.
Only two stops west of Shinjuku on the Chuo line, lies one of Tokyo’s coolest and laid back districts, Koenji. Known for music, hipsters and the setting for the blockbuster Japanese novel 1Q84, we at TATCo believe it’s a place worth spending some time. Thanks to a height restriction the local government enforced after World War Two, none of the towers which sprung up around the rest of Tokyo were ever built here, therefore allowing Koenji to build a unique vibe. The lack of tall buildings adds to both the aesthetic appeal of Koenji since the tall buildings allow for more light on to the city streets. Additionally, developers looking to make profitable, but often generic looking buildings would look elsewhere. Since there were not so many offices to rent here, Koenji needed it’s own culture, and its culture which thrives here.
For those familiar with Camden Town in London or Burleigh Heights in the Gold Coast, you’ll know the kind of place; the small independent shops, individual, one-of-a-kind cafes and the quirky bars. It’s not the places themselves which create the atmosphere, but the people they attract. They’re not younger, nor older; they’re not richer, nor poorer. They’re just cooler. Their clothes are second hand, but could cost a hundred dollars or a hundred yen, their outfit has been designed as to not look designed; their hair may have had three hours put into it, or it may not have had three seconds. But you can be sure that in Koenji, you shouldn’t be surprised with anything that you find.
There’s our favourite supermarket nearby, OK store, plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants with meals ranging from three dollars to fifty, stores which sell almost anything you might ever want or need and my favourite izakaya (bar) which I’ll only tell you about if you book your tour with us.
Why am I telling you about this place? Well this is where you can stay with us. Five minutes walk from Koenji station is a studio self-catering apartment that gives you the freedom to have your own space with all the facilities you have in your own home – Air-Con, Wifi (even a portable Wifi to take with you on your days out), a fridge, shower and security. Your home from home, close to the city centre, but away from the crowds. Perfect.
Other options are available of course – whatever your budget, dreams, desires or needs, TATCo can help to make them a reality.