New Curated Tokyo Guide: Koenji by Ryutaro Seki

koenji guide

Haruki Murakami chose Koenji as a setting in his novel 1Q84. Find out why so many others are gravitating towards the Western Tokyo suburb.

In the last 10 years Koenji has transformed from quiet Tokyo suburb to trendy hotspot. It became the heart of the anti-nuclear protests in 2011, its Awa Dance Festival in August has been attracting record visitors (close to 1 million last year) and Haruki Murakami chose the neighborhood as a setting for his novel 1Q84. So what’s the reason behind Tokyo’s popularity? Is it their microbrewery’s? Their public baths that also host musical performances? How about you find out for yourself?

Explore Koenji with one of its foremost experts, Ryutaro Seki. The DJ and Shinto priest has lived in Koenji for the last 35 years and when he’s not managing the family’s Shinto Shrine in Northern Koenji he’s organizing musical events and performances around town.

Head over to out Tokyo Guide for the Koenji map.

(Think we missed anything? Tell us in the comments!)


  1. You should really check out the 60’s ‘western style’ cafe, or ‘jun kissa’, called Coral. Best iced latte and retro ham & cheese toast! Lovely owner!

  2. Don’t forget to check out the used bookstore under the tracks.

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