A Night Out in Tokyo’s Kichijoji Neighborhood

Tokyo is huge, and dense. As Anthony Bourdain has observed, you could spend years exploring just one little corner of the city. Which is why it’s so awesome to have a local showing you around their neighborhood! My lovely friend Mai took took us around some of her favorite spots in Tokyo’s Kichijoji neighborhood, giving me a taste of the Japan I’d been missing so much. 

First stop was the (at least locally) famous Iseya Yakitori. All recollection of my camera was temporarily lost in the presence of barbecued meat and beer, but I eventually remembered to Instagram our food!

Along narrow alleys packed full of bars and izakaya perhaps only 20 feet wide, but comprising multiple stories, we climbed to the third floor of this fantastic little bar with rooftop views. My favorite kind of bar; a little divey, plenty of atmosphere, and obviously, bonus points if it feels like you might be in Blade Runner.
Plenty of beer, along with some pretty solid fried shrimp and spring rolls!
Another little narrow bar, counters lined with salarymen– most of whom seemed to prefer the bottom level. The higher floors were less crowded and had great views…but maybe all those stairs aren’t so practical for the serious drinker.
Just a random porthole placed along the stairs. As one does. Not seriously snarking though, I’m sucker for novelty and invariably find these things charming. 
Not our last stop for the night, but the last at which photos were taken, as alcohol and relaxation took over!  
This little place was another three story bar. The third floor was empty when we arrived, and they sent an employee up to bar-tend for just the three of us. What you see is almost the entirety of the floor, and the arrival of 4 businessmen filled up the rest of the space. I’m not so crazy about the cigarette smoke in close quarters, but I love these cozy little bars!

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