Tokyo changes fast, and of late, that speed of change seems to have picked up even further, with the likes of dated little bars and shops in particular disappearing. In the newly created space below, however, it was a relatively large and modern building that fell foul of the bulldozers, whereas its old and overgrown neighbour somehow survived.
In so many of these cases, the patched up and often corrugated sides of suddenly exposed structures are incredibly revealing, but this tiny restaurant and its previously unacknowledged narrowness is something else altogether.
Amazing. Did you go inside?
It’s quite a place eh? No, unfortunately not. In different times I wouldn’t have hesitated, but being so small, and with no windows open, I didn’t want to risk it. Hopefully it’ll still be up and running when I’m fully vaccinated and things have finally settled down. And seeing how it’s got this far, there’s definitely a good chance of that.
Let’s say that next time I get to come to Tokyo, I’ll buy you lunch there 🙂
That sounds like a good plan.
😮 I know folks who I think wouldn’t even get through that door!
Haha, certainly not the widest of doors!
That’s not a building it’s just a thick wall! 😉
And not thick a wall either!
These tiny buildings really are something that you dont seem to find in other cities. Whether it is a tiny police koban, a 2.5 metre wide three story apartment, or tiny stores on miniscule street corner plots. I once saw there was a book dedicated to them – but more concentrating on newer buildings.
It is great to see more of the older examples, especially from such a good vantage point. It looks similar in width to the absolute sliver of an izakaya you took us past (rotten luck that it was closed) a couple of years ago on Otakebashi-dori. Nice to see that in dec 2020 Street View shows that one open and serving customers.
Yeah, definitely something very Japanese. The use of what limited land there is really is incredible at times.
Ah, went past there not that long ago. Alas no more it would seem. Still standing I’m happy to say, but not a going concern anymore. Or at least it looked that way. And if that is the case, it’s hard to see it lasting much longer…
So this is a building rather than the facade/wall of what used to be there?!? The building next to it looks pretty worn out as well.
The apartments next to it definitely seem to have seen better days, but yeah, a building, that houses a business, that amazingly is still a going concern.
Spanish fan says
*I once saw there was a book dedicated to them – but more concentrating on newer buildings.*
Perhaps azby Brown’s “The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space”?
I had to look twice to understand that there is indeed a restaurant.
One of my favorites building, lovely.
Incredible, isn’t it? A very special little place. Definitely the best time of year to see it with all that foliage. Plus even better with no neighbour.
The sign (kanban) promises coffee and spaghetti, and the red banner is for that Japanese delicacy curry rice (kare- raisu), so it looks like a Japanese coffee shop (kissaten), another vanishing breed.
Definitely seemed much more in the way of an eatery than somewhere just for a coffee, although I suspect that wasn’t always the case. But yeah, a lot of old kissaten are closing. Thankfully still a good few left though, and hopefully that’ll be the case for a good few years to come as well.
Well that’s just amazing. First I thought it was a movie setting, only a facade. Then thought that they were starting construction of a new building while keeping the external “skin”. Finally I noticed the side door, and computed the thickness of the place. Or lack thereof. The fact that this restaurant is covered in greenery adds to the perfection… A tanuki in human form would eat there, finding respite from all the concrete.
I’m definitely curious on how it feels once inside, how it’s laid out. It’s also fun to have to imagine it.
Thanks so much for the puzzle, take care!
You are very welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. Definitely a unique place. Totally impractical it would seem, and yet at the same time thank goodness places like this exist. Sights that make you stop in your tracks and simply stare in disbelief.
I was going to wait til it’s safer to go inside to see what the interior looks like, but someone sent me a link that I couldn’t resist clicking. It’s sort of what I expected, and somehow not quite, so still plenty of reasons for a future visit.
Would you share the link so we can get an idea of what it looks like inside?
Yeah, of course. No problem at all. Here you go: https://bit.ly/3jTRIKy
A place for the undecided where you can get both a window seat AND a quiet seat at the back. Next door looks to be for those altogether more together.
That’s very good, and very true. Something for everybody. Well, not everybody of course, as they’d never fit in.
Ha, ha, ha!