I’ve been really getting into the Shimokitazawa district lately. It’s kind of hard to believe that I’m only just cottoning on to it. I mean, I’ve been looking for somewhere like this in the Tokyo area for ages, and now I feel like a bit of an idiot for not knowing about this place. That’s what you get when you work 80-hour weeks, I guess.

In all honesty, the big draw for me is the coffee. It’s the best I’ve come across in Japan, or at least the most adapted to my Melbournian tastes. I spent the whole afternoon there on Sunday, just moseying around with a stack of trashy magazines and a research paper I’m supposed to read for work. I must have hit five different coffee joints. The barista at one of them stared at me accusingly when I pulled out my copy of Celeb Spotter, so I’m guessing that some of these places aren’t of the sit-downy persuasion. It’s all good, though – I plan to finesse my coffee shop game to within an inch of its life, now that I’ve found the place to hone it.



I’m glad Emmaline’s finally found something to do with her weekends – she’s been working so much lately, it’s actually insane. I didn’t really expect Shimokitazawa to be thing, honestly. I only brought her there because she looked like she could use some fresh air, and I’d had a tip-off about some vintage sneakers. But there she was, sauntering around in her sweatpants like she owned the place, flipping through crates of records and knocking back coffees like nobody’s business. I may not have found the sneakers I was hunting, but I did find the fun side of Emmaline. I was starting to think it had checked out for good. Next weekend, I’m introducing her to espresso martinis, Tokyo style.



Those two think they’re all that because they know about Shimokitazawa… um, sorry to break it to you, but you’re pretty late to the party. It’s nice and stuff, but if it’s coffee they want, they need to get with the program. My favourite joint is on the other side of town. It serves only two things: black coffee and onigiri, and all in a starkly minimal setting with moody lighting and beautiful wooden finishes. Screw the side order of vintage sneakers; I’m all about the rice balls.