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My Town // Mari presents Tokyo

December 17, 2012

“My Town” is a brand new feature wherein friends and family from around the world give us the lowdown on their home town – favourite bars, restaurants, record shops and more. Forget Time Out – this is the only city guide you need.

Next up is Mari, the Tokyo resident ‘It Girl’.

Where is the best place to:


Luckily enough, many international artists stop by Tokyo! I am proud to list these venues where you can find good music. Each club and venue has such a  great character! I usually choose where to go depending on who’s playing where… so I have also listed who’s played where.

- eleven
Capacity: 500+
Ex-Yellow, Proper dance music spot.
Who has played? DJ Spinna, Joe Clausell, Danny Krivit, Francois K, Louise Vega, DJ Harvey.. & more!

B1F/B2F Thesaurus Nishiazabu
1-10-11 Nishiazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
106-0031 Japan

- Unit Daikanyama
Capacity: 500+
3 Floor Dance floor/Live Space, Lounge, and Cafe
Varieties of Parties!!
Drum’n'Bass Sessions, Dubstep, Techno, House…
Who has played? Goldie, Silkie, Mala, Floating Points/ Eglo Take Over, Low End Theory, Kompakt… & more!

Za House Bld., 1-34-17 Ebisu-nishi,
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

 - Air
Capacity: 500+
Another proper dance venue/mainly house – good sound system!
Who has played? Defected Night, Inner Vision Party, Derrick May, Kaoru Inoue, Kuniyuki, DJ Krush… & more!

B1, B2 hikawa bldg 2-11 sarugaku,shibuya-ku tokyo

Capacity: 600-800
Best Venue for all sorts of Music… Rock, Alternative, Dance, Jazz…
Who has played?  SOIL&”PIMP”SESSIONS, Moodymann, Matthew Herbert Live, Theo Parrish, Takkyu Ishino, DJ Nori… & more!

This is where WORLDWIDE Showcase, Gilles Peterson’s annual music event in Tokyo takes place every year.

3-16-6, Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

- Bar Music
Good Music, Good Vibes, Good Drinks & Coffee in SHIBUYA!
Owned by Tomoaki Nakamura (MUSICAANOSSA) who is a jazz DJ / Music Selector.
This Place is filled with thousands of records!! I usually buy one when I go. Good selection!! DJs and Musicians play music Live few days a week. It’s a Music people’s hang out spot and where I take my musical guests. Been there with Jose James, Lefto, Bugge Wesseltoft, Joe Clausell, Toshio Matsuura… and more!

1-6-7-5F Dogen Zaka
Shibuya, Tokyo
Tel/ 03.6416.3307
Open / 18:00~Midnight
Close / Sundays, Holidays

- The Room
Owned By Shuya Okino (Kyoto Jazz Massive)
Must check out ! place brings magic moments – many musicians & DJs’ favorite spot in Tokyo (many secret Jam Sessions and Parties)
Who has played? Kyoto Jazz Massive, Alex (Jazzanova), LEFTO, Jazz Sport Crew, DJ Kawasaki, Root Soul, Sleep Walker… & more

Just stop by! It’s special :)  VERY good cocktails too!

Daihachi-Toto Bld. B1
15-19 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuyaku
Tokyo, Japan 150-0031

Eat / Drink:

It is not difficult to find good food / drinks in tokyo. I like to keep my favorite spots secret, but I’ll give you my special one, and a sushi spot that is good to know!

- Et Sona
Very cosy japanese/italian spot owned by a lovely couple. From salad to pasta to dessert – all carefully handmade.

Open/ 19:00-3:00
Closed: Sundays/Holidays

- Sushi Zanmai
If you crave for Sushi, “Sushi Zanmai” is open late (until the morning).
You can even stop by after dancing all night. And it is everywhere in japan.

Where is the best place to buy music? 

Tower Records, Shibuya - From J-Pop to Jazz to world music

Disk Union, Shibuya (B1 – Jazz Floor)
Vinyl, Second Hand CDs, Good for Crate diggers.

JAZZY SPORT music shop
No explanation needed!? Good Hip-Hop/Dance Music/Soul and beyond

What’s the local expression/saying?
hmmm… here are some useful words to know

- Domo – means thank you. usually “arigato” but Domo could work as thank u.
You can say doom arigato too. It’s kinda like ‘thanks’.
- Oishii – delicious, yummy
- Kawaii – cute
- Yattane – YAY!
- Yabai – Bad
- Itadakimas – Thanks for the meal. You say this before start eating to show that you are grateful for the meal. kinda like “bon appétit”
- Gochiso Samadeshita – Thanks for the meal. You say it after eating.

Sum up your town in three words…

Tokyo is …


What’s the best local delicacy/street food/snack?

Curry Rice – One of the most popular dishes in Japan. You can find many styles to curry from Indian Style to totally Japanese Curry rice!! You can find very thick and rich ones to very healthy and spicy ones. hmmm I can eat them everyday!!

Wiki : Japanese Curry

Who is the best local talent in your area?

DJ KRUSH – Best DJ/producer

SOIL&”PIMP”SESSIONS – the most humble and powerful jazzmen

KINGDOM☆AFROCKS – the best afro beat band in japan

mama!milk – their music is art!

Check the other My Town features

Lefto Presents Brussels // Edgaro Presents Havana // Hiatus Kaiyote Presents Melbourne // Clea Presents Stockholm //  Sinden Presents Los Angeles // Ahu Presents Istanbul // El G Presents Buenos Aires // Andrew Jervis Presents San Francisco // Bobbito Garcia Presents Harlem