If I find myself in Osaka, I’m definitely going to make a point of checking out Bird Coffee. Produced by Truck Furniture, it’s a beautiful cafe, and I recommend you take time going through the videos on their site — those donuts look delicious.
Time Out Tokyo has a list up of what they consider to be the top cafes in Tokyo. It’s quite the decent list — of course, there’s sure to be someone’s favorite missing — and a good place to start if you’re on the lookout for new spots to check out. Nice to see Fuglen (pictured) at #2 — that was my local cafe for the last 2 years of my life in Tokyo. Found via my friend Mio.
My buddy Said Karlsson has written quite a few guides for Navitime’s JapanTravel site, and his latest contribution is for the lovely Yanaka neighborhood of Tokyo. The best thing about these posts is that they all feature great photography by Said. I also like this post that offers up a selection of kissaten (old style coffeeshops).
This was definitely something that I was already seeing before I left Tokyo, and I see that it has continued with gusto. I’m referring to the growing love of all things Portland in Tokyo, via quirky cafes/bars that go as far as serving imported craft beers from the city. Here’s a piece that offers up a tour of a few of these spots, like Paddlers Cafe (pictured) and PDX Taproom.
Back during the heights of the Shibuya-kei scene, Escalator Records was one of my favorite labels, and I loved visiting its shop and cafe as well. Kokoro & Moi were responsible for a lot of the label’s branding (including at their physical spaces), and it’s nice to see a few examples here. Now I really need to get my hands on the two compilation series they mention, We Are Escalator Records and We Were Escalator Records.
The indie gaming scene in Tokyo is on the rise — the Branching Paths documentary illustrates this quite nicely — and one of the components of that growing scene is the Picotachi series. Organized by game dev Joseph White at his Pico Pico Cafe — a lovely space in Kichijoji — it’s a bilingual show-and-tell series where local and visiting devs can share what they’re working on. The next edition, Vol. 35, is set for this Saturday (August 20), starting at 20:00.
Not that it’s really worth mentioning, but I updated my Cafe Pause mini-site, taking away the blog and simply keeping it as an info page — basically, somewhere to link to when I mention the cafe in a post (since the cafe’s own site is in Japanese). I used the lovely illustration Luis created for the Cafe Pause Poster series as the header.
And let me take this opportunity to clear up a few things, as a lot of people seem to be confused by my relationship with Cafe Pause. No, I am not the owner of the cafe, I’m just good friends with the owner and staff, which is why I’ve been able to produce events and host PauseTalk there. I was managing the gallery space, but don’t really do so anymore — although I’ll still help out if a foreigner wants to rent out the space for a show.
Thursday night I was out in Shibuya for the opening reception of the new Diesel Concept Store, which opens to the public today (November 20). Like the Diesel Denim Gallery in Aoyama, the store features a gallery space, and the opening show is Simon Henwood and Fannie Schiavoni’s “Black Sun” (until February 23). I rather like the diner-like cafe/bar area, but I have no idea what the regular menu will have to offer.
The party itself was a bit too packed for my taste, although I did get a kick out of seeing Takashi Murakami waiting in line to get in when I was on my way out.