Tokyo Walking

An Afternoon in Tokyo


Notice how the title above doesn’t refer to a particular area? Well, that’s because this past Saturday I finally went ahead and did something I should have done ages ago: bought a new bike. Yes, it’s a Muji bike, the black sports one that has an 8-speed shifter (pictured above, but I also bought a small stainless steel basket for the front). Since the purchase, I’ve been having a blast cycling around the city, and yesterday was particularly fun.

I needed to go the Embassy of Canada for some passport-related business, so left around 10:30 and headed to Aoyama 1-chome. The ride was great, took about 40 minutes, and even though it was a scorching hot day — I even have the farmer’s tan to prove it — you didn’t feel it much while on the go. When I was done at the embassy, I headed to Cafe 246 to have lunch, but the place was packed, with people waiting in line (it was just past noon), so I decided to skip the cafe, and just have a look at the bookstore. After that, I went to Sign Gaienmae — I’m just so in love with the Groovisions decor — and had a tasty demi-glace om-rice. Yum! I then wanted to see the “Bye, Bye Nam June Paik” show at the Watari-um, but only realized once I got there that the gallery is closed on Mondays. I spent some time in the bookstore, and then was off to try and find the Kurkku cafe (I just had an address and my city atlas). I did find it, but wasn’t ready to go into another cafe just yet, so continued biking through Ura-Hara. I can’t really explain how liberating it felt to be able to quickly zoom around. I’m usually a big walker, and don’t really mind covering lots of ground during my outings, but it just couldn’t compare to doing it all on a bike. I then went up Omotesando, through Aoyama, and stopped at ABC, where I picked up the latest issue of +81 (which I think is one of their best issues yet). I then decided to head towards Daikanyama, since I hadn’t been there in a while, and so went through Shibuya, enjoying the nice weather and surroundings. I finally felt like it was time for another cafe stop, and though I’d try the Quatre Cafe (1-8-5 Shibuya) — the new incarnation of the Deux et Neuf Cafe — and again, found it using my atlas. For those who also missed the Conceal Cafe (they were both located side-by-side in the building that got destroyed earlier this year), you’ll be happy to find out that it is again located in the same building as the Quatre, but on the 3rd floor (Quatre is on the 4th). After that, I started the long trek back home, and got back in time to take a breather before heading to the cafe to start preparing things for last night’s edition of PauseTalk. A very long, but very satisfying, day.