five nights in Tokyo

Hi Guys

As an Australian from Sydney, I will be visiting the city of Tokyo at the end of June 2016, I have being anticipating this visit for a long time and I just wanted to get some brief info about what and where to visit the Creative and Artistic centres of Tokyo.

I am a very easy person to meet as I love people and enjoy a joke with a cup of Coffee Chocolate or Wine at a Cafe. I am a Cafe junkie,  I have a stutter so I do hold back a little at start but once I have some drinks I relax and have fun.

I come from the Arts as Artist (painter) and Graphic Designer and now Community Worker with Catholic Health. I am truly looking forward to seeing this vibrant culture and its complexities.

If you guys could let me know where the locals eat and have a drink I would really appreciate it. My passion for Art, Coffee, Tea, Chocolate, Wine and Food in general has always fascinated me where ever I travel to. Looking forward to hearing from you.

cheers guys

Hi John. I am sure you will really enjoy Tokyo and perhaps Yokohama if you get the chance to visit. There are places to eat everywhere, I like to wander around Shibuya as there are so many interesting small streets, restaurants and interesting shops. I also have a great appreciation for art but unfortunately am not familiar with the art scene in Tokyo. Now ask me about music and live bands and I could help you.

Anyway, hope you have a great time exploring this beautiful country.


Hi Hands-on

Really appreciate your response, and thank you for your knowledge of where to visit in Japan. I will try and make my way to Yokohama and shibuya.

I actually am a Jazz fan preferably contemporary jazz, similar music as The Crusaders, Lee Ritenor, George Benson, only as example.

If you could send me info on jazz cafes in Tokyo would super.

Ah....we have a similar taste in music. In Japan jazz fusion is very popular. I am also a fan of Ritenour, Metheny and Larry Carlton, Crusaders and early Benson. I have most of Joe Sample's solo albums and I liked Carlton in his earlier years, do you remember the red double album with Larry Carlton playing with the Crusaders live? He played an excellent solo on the Carol King song "So Far Away". I play guitar by the way, so most of the bands I see in Japan are jazz fusion bands, particularly with excellent guitarists.

The Japanese guitarists that I mostly see are Yuya Komoguchi and Akira Wada. Yuya Komoguchi is the current guitarist with the famous band Trix but also plays with bands Nikamoto and also performs along with other musicians sort of like the way the American session musicians record or play live with each other. Akira Wada is the founder of the band Prism and often played for the late Naoya Matsuoka since the 70's but does many live performances with various other musicians or solo with a backup recording. Akira is 60 years old whereas Yuya is about 29 years old and a prodigy as far as I am concerned His styles are jazz, rock, pop, blues, but he shines most in jazz. You can check out these names on Youtube.

We also saw Prism and Casiopea perform live last November at the Roppongi EX-Theater in Tokyo although that is a big venue. However, one of the most famous places for live jazz music is "Blues Alley" in Tokyo which is a medium to small venue. Many of the best jazz musicians play here.

Another venue we often go to is AfterBeat in the town if Mishima, but you need to take the bullet train out of Tokyo to get there. The owner is Mr. Kaz and a close friend but he doesn't speak English. They have some great jazz fusion bands playing there, nice food too.

There is a great venue in Yokohama called "Stormy Monday", a pub that seats perhaps 20 people at the most. Both these artists often perform here. The owner of the place is called Miss Kazuki and she is a friend of ours and speaks English. The place is about 5 minutes walk from the Yokohama Baseball Stadium. Yokohama is about 45 minutes train ride from Tokyo Main Station.

There is a site that lists many of the jazz cafes in Tokyo called although I haven't been to any of these.

Basically if you search any of the above venues on google you may get the English translation.

By the way, Yuya Komoguchi is an incredible guitarist, one that I think can play everything from Ritenour to Carlton to Holdsworth to Satriani. His playing is impressive and he plays with soul, remarkable for someone so young. If you go to Youtube and search a video called "TRIX LIVE 2011 at THE BOTTOM LINE [IMPACT] " and then forward it to 38.33 minutes into the video he plays a wonderful solo on the song Jasmine. I am sure you'll become a fan. I actually have some live recordings from a live performance passed to me by Mr. Saijo, the President of Saijo guitars in Japan who is a good friend and was recorded at a performance we both went to, so if you like his music let me know and perhaps I can email one or two goodies to you.

I'll ask my wife to check if Akira or Yuya are performing around the end of this month/early July and get back to you as she normally knows what they are up to.


Hi John,

My wife tells me that Yuya Komoguchi is playing on 7th July at the Silver Elephant venue in Tokyo. He will be playing with Toshimi Nagai a famous bassist. And on 10th July Yuya will play at the Hon Atsugi Cabin in Atsugi City near Yokohama.

By the way, Blue Mood is another very excellent venue for jazz in Tokyo. You can check that out at the Blue-Mood website.

If you check the website for Stormy Monday in Yokohama you can see the schedule for all the bands that will be playing there too.


John, if you want to experience some really delicious Japanese food as eaten by locals then you should try a place called Masuya in Minato part of Tokyo.  People stop off there after work and it is a really cute and traditional looking place, small and cozy and you can watch them cooking your food. You won't regret it. There are some great reviews on TripAdvisor too. One of our favourite places to eat in Tokyo...!

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