Already established as one of the coolest areas in Tokyo, Koenji should definitely be marked on maps of all those who are interested to see vibrant nightlife outside of the already familiar (and oftentimes, overwhelming) spots such as Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku. One of the reasons why Koenji gained such reputation is because it was a birthplace of many Japanese independent and alternative bands. Hence a large number of bars, venues and cafes scattered all over the neighborhood. If you’re a tourist with no or limited knowledge of Japanese, you will have a hard time of finding anything that’s not a chain marked in English, but that’s what kind of makes it fun. After spending some time exploring the busy alleyways, bookshops and going through vintage clothes, we decide to stop at one izakaya – the fact all of their chairs and tables were unpretentiously made out of old crates was a good sign. We had some local beer and a jazzed up yakitori, made up of all sort of stuff, including chicken heart, avocados and fried and marinated tofu. The place was an excellent pick!
Don’t be scared to try different types of yakitori! I though I’d hate eating animal organs, but they somehow managed to make them delicious.