Kichijoji is a suburb in Western Tokyo that’s gained popularity in recent years for its hip boutiques, convenient department stores and large park. (The author grew up in the neighborhood, which earns it extra brownie points)
A unique feature of Kichijoji is Harmonica Yokocho, a retro-style stretch of tiny shops, eateries and bars. There, one of the most popular spots with locals is Tetchan, a yakitori (grilled, skewered chicken) shop that recently underwent a vibrant facelift.
“A wondrous bystreet that still retains the atmosphere of black-market stalls during the post-World War II period,” says architect Kengo Kuma, precisely summing up the vibe of the narrow alleyway. Kuma was responsible for Tetchan’s renovation, which was unveiled late last year.
The 2nd floor looks as if it’s been yarn-bombed. But what you’re looking at are recycled LAN cables rather than yarn; and a lot of them! On the walls, on the lights, on the seats and on the tables, weighed down or sealed to prevent anyone from actually getting tangled in them.
On the ground level is the bar with counter stools (these fill up fast) and a few more tables. The place looks like it’s been visited by Queen Elsa. But again, not ice. The bar and stools are actually made from left-over melted acrylic byproduct. “As the result, some amazing interior emerged, where form becomes invisible and only materiality and various colors appear as if floating in the air.” And it serves as an interesting contrast to the edgy mural created by artist Teruhiko Yumura.
Whether not you decide to visit this unique eatery you should definitley pay a visit to Harmonica Yokocho. It was included in our Tokyo Guide on the Musashino area.
1-1-2 Honcho, Musashino-shi, Tokyo (Gmap)
Hours: 4:00pm – 11:00 M-F; 3:00 – 11:00 Weekends