by Kelly Wetherille
With its prime location near the Roppongi and Azabu areas and an abundance of office towers, Kamiyacho has become a popular place for international companies looking to set up a Tokyo branch office. Like many of Tokyo’s business districts, it has no abundance of interesting and unique shops and restaurants. But with a little digging, a few diamonds in the rough can be found even in Kamiyacho.
Bistro Choro’s D
This charming little French bistro is a popular lunch spot for expats working in the Kamiyacho area. The lunch menu, which starts at ¥1,000 for a choice of a starter and a main, is small but varied, and each dish is created with care not usually seen during the lunch rush. Choro’s D also serves dinner, and there’s a wonderful outdoor patio for when the weather’s nice. Even on cold and rainy days, the interior of the cafe is equally inviting, with its hand-painted walls and retro French posters. The bistro is the perfect location for both a business meeting and a romantic evening.
5-3-10 Toranomon, Minato-ku
Opened in 1955, Sowa has been selling handmade ice cream and soft serve for over half a century. Now run by three generations of women, Sowa first established itself by delivering unique flavors of ice cream to Tokyo’s top hotels and restaurants. These flavors change depending on seasonal ingredients, and include mango, pistachio, apple cinnamon, yuzu, cream cheese and litchi. Prices are extremely reasonable, starting at just ¥130 for a single scoop, and gift sets and ice cream cakes (by special order) are also available.3-19-9
Ever wonder where you can buy a used bicycle in Japan? The answer is Cycly, a chain of used bicycle stores and repair centers across Japan. The Kamiyacho location just opened this summer, and offers an alternative to Don Quijote and exorbitantly expensive bike shops. While Cycly’s prices may not seem that cheap at first glance, it’s an excellent place to pick up a top-class touring bike at a fraction of its retail price. All bicycles are serviced before being put up for sale, so the quality is nearly that of a new bike. Cycly also buys used bikes in good condition, a great way to get a little extra cash before leaving the country.
1-7-1 Azabudai, Minato-ku
Kamiyacho Travel Guide