Places to Go in Tokyo by Masaya Kuroki of Maison KitsunéArea Guide
Masaya Kuroki is the co-founder of the globally popular fashion brand Maison Kitsuné from Paris, the music label Kitsuné Musique, and Café Kitsuné. We met up with Masaya at Café Kitsuné in Omotesando, Tokyo, which has recently started doing business at night. We asked Masaya - who is based in both Paris and Tokyo - for his take on the Tokyo nightlife scene.
-What do you do on an average night out in Tokyo?
Masaya Kuroki (hereafter, M): I go out to eat with my friends that are visiting Tokyo from abroad. One of the places I go to most often is a sushi restaurant where you can experience authentic Japanese omotenashi. In the city (Tokyo), I go to my favorite wine bar and engage in a conversation with the sommelier before choosing my bottle of wine. Some of the best times Some of the best times of my life have begun by opening a bottle of wine with some friends.
-Which are your favorite clubs / DJ bars in Japan?
M: I like Blue Note Tokyo in Minami-Aoyama and Ginza Music Bar in Ginza. You can enjoy live jazz - an uncommon experience in Tokyo - at Blue Note Tokyo. I like Ginza Music Bar because they always select the perfect tune for the mood from their massive catalog of records.
-I understand that club events are held at Maison Kitsuné. What are some things that you pay attention to when throwing a party in Japan (Tokyo)?
M: I try to plan parties where our younger customers can have a great time. It is important for us to play world-renowned and cutting-edge music. Since we also run the Kitsuné record label, we have staff in Paris, and many of them are young. They know many good artists, which isn’t surprising because they are in touch with the present and the future. I’m getting pretty old so all I want is to create a fun environment and have a good time, whether it be a store or a party. By the way, I go to the suburbs in Japan for events and the energy of the younger generation there is more wild and pure than in Tokyo.
-You’ve been in Paris for quite some time; can you point us to some nightspots where you can experience Japan in Paris?
M: I’d recommend checking out some French bistros. They have managed to merge the good aspects of French and Japanese to create dishes that I think Japanese travelers would really enjoy.
-What nightspots in Japan would you recommend to international visitors?
M: Café Kitsuné, for sure (laugh). I started the cafe as a place to hang out with my buddies. I opened the location in Japan 7 years ago and I am happy that many people visit from all over the world. The interior was designed with a Japanese theme and, since we also have a record label, we update the music every two weeks. It’s a great place for young people to check out new music.
-I heard that Cafe Kitsuné started doing business at night. What is the appeal of the night version?
M: We created a space for casually enjoying some drinks between 7 pm and 11 pm at Café Kitsuné in Minami-Aoyama. We hope it will be used as a place to meet up before going out for more late-night fun. It should be the perfect spot to get some drinks after work, before dinner, or before hitting the clubs on weekends. It’s really just the night version of the same cafe.
-What kind of drinks are available at night?
M: We have wine and Japanese sake. After all, we are located in Japan so we want to serve beverages made in Japan. My friend makes both the Japanese sakes and the wines. We also serve a yuzu drink made by one of my friends. It is great to be able to share things made by my friends. By the way, I love shrimp crackers so I made some Café Kitsuné original shrimp crackers. They come in various flavors, such as cheese and cream, and they are a great snack to have with drinks. They are quite colorful, too, and make great souvenirs. I look forward to seeing you at the night version of Café Kitsuné.
＜Café Kitsuné Information＞
Café Kitsuné Address: 3-17-1 Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Business hours: 9:00 - 19:00 (day menu), 19:00 - 23:00 (night menu)