Get Lost in Deep AsagayaArea Guide
Like every other major city, Tokyo has two different faces: one for the globally appealing “touristic” part and the local centered “non-touristic” part. Personally I like the latter side of the city. To visit the underrated restaurants, asking where to go to next to the locals, are what I love doing while I go travel. If you are the same type of person, you are on the right page!
As a local resident and a DJ at a music bar in Asagaya, I, Ko Noguchi, will take you to the deeper journey!
Catch a Glimpse inside the Local Life !
I assume not every tourists from overseas are familiar with the city; Asagaya.
Although it’s located quite close from central Tokyo, slightly west of Shinjuku to be exact, and has all the city-life necessities, the place offers a nice local friendly vibes with lots of families, elderlies, and many young singles with as their residence. Plus, the great news for a nightlife fan is that Asagaya has nearly 200 of bars and restaurants including several music spots all in a walking distance!!
I can hear some of you saying “Yeah but you could still find them in Shinjyuku too, right?”.
Yes, to some extent you are right but imagine, big cities are so crowded, always packed with tourists and stressful workers (salary-man as we call), and the paths are too complicated to find out the right exit (Even a local Japanese get confused by the exits in Shinjyuku station).
What if you could avoid all these and don’t even have to care about the last train to go back to your place? Just a few minutes journey by train you could find that kind of place.
In Asagaya you could find a fancy drinking streets called “Star Road” on north side. Nice illuminations and pretty tiled road there presents very photogenic view. But actually here’s my favourite side of the town, “Ichibangai” which locates on the south side. Not sure how to get there? If you see the narrow path with tempting signs, that’s the entrance to the deeper side.
Juicy Yakitori is a Fine Intro.
One of my favorite drinking routine starts from a yakitori (grilled chicken) bar “Kuishimbo.”
They serve high-quality yakitori and drinks in affordable prices. I just know if it were for the same quality in bigger cities it will cost much more. Here everything is “local friendly”. Many of these local Yakitori bar has their regular customers, called “Joren”.They usually lives around area or they drop by on the their way home and come to the same bar almost everyday. Having such a daily basis experience, they are the ones who knows what are the best to have today and they are very honest to their taste. I would say taking their advices are the key to discover the local side of the town. As a joren of this place I would give you tips like this.
-First try your yakitori with salt. Why? Special sauce tingle your sense, too. But the ingredients here are just great by itself so better try them out with the simplest style first.True Yakitori lovers go with just a salt. Wondering what to drink? Ask again.The joren knows what goes best!
I know it is hard for you to spot those Joren when you are abroad and everyone seems new to you.But no worries! Either he or she is even they are a Joren or not, any Ichibangai’s guys will be so happy to guide you!
Hidden, Dark but Friendly Ichibangai
After you fill your stomach with Yakitori, let’s take a walk around Ichibangai.
Walking along this area is so much fun because the place has several alley that you can wander into. It is so quiet that you could almost forget that you are in one of the world’s busiest city, Tokyo! “Are you sure?? We are walking into a dark hidden street like this???”
If you are on the dope street of deeper Shinjuku, ok I’ll just pray for you not to be robbed. But in Asagaya? Of course you won’t! As I said before, Asagaya locals are friendly and happy people. Each bar and restaurant on this street has cool entrance and unique vibe you can feel from outside. Strolling down on this asphalt, under those small red lanterns, and it make you feel like you are in a movie.
Liven Up your Night at Musician owned Bars
To finish up good night with good local, let’s get groove on. Fun fact about Ichibangai is that many bars in Ichibangai are owned by musicians. You can hop around between these cool bar enjoying their good music selection. Or, as I always do, go dancing. “Cafein” is a small club that satisfies local needs of musical experience and has one of the best sound systems in Tokyo. If you want to go clubbing and check out local girls or hook ups with local boys, please go to one of those “big” clubs in Shibuya or Roppongi. Warm sound of vinyl coming from the gorgeous speakers hit your brain so good that you cannot resist. You might hear some of your favorite tunes or unknown song by unknown artist that touches your heart. If you like the song and no clue what that is, don’t just ask your phone, ask the local. Run up to the DJ and shout “Who is this!?” People at Cafein are either true music lover or true party lovers. The DJ and those around are so excited to share good music with you.
Touristic places are good to look at. Local places are great to get involved!
Want to check this place out with a local? Visit https://fukuroz.com/