The Olympics have already come and gone as the peak of summer starts to give way to the beginnings of autumn. It has been a somewhat muted August as we move into September but, as always, Ikebukuro remains hopeful for the future. This has been shown yet again by the fantastic lineup of new places to try and events taking place there. Without further ado, here’s what’s new around Ikebukuro this September.
Food & Drink
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has extended the state of emergency into September with a view to further assessing the pandemic situation soon. It has been a difficult time for restaurants and bars who were hoping for some good news in the form of a relaxing of regulations after the Olympics. However, this has not dampened the spirit of northern Tokyo and there have been many new restaurants and bars offering Tokyoites some fantastic and interesting choices, despite the challenging circumstances.
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Today’s roundup begins slightly further afield into Nerima-Ku, where those of us who are hungry for some delicious bread can satisfy our cravings. Parlour Ekoda in Nerima-Ku makes a great shokupan (fluffy Japanese white bread), but what is more exciting for someone who craves the taste of home, is their crusty loafs. Sourdough and wheat are superb choices, to name but a few. The location is somewhat out of the way for most but well worth the detour.
Where: 41-7 Sakaecho, Nerima-ku
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Mejiro Station is a pleasant and surprisingly peaceful stop on the Yamanote Line. Sandwiched between the frantic energy of Ikebukuro and Takadanobaba, the neighborhood has a leafy, relaxing layout with a laid-back vibe that makes for a welcome change.
It’s, therefore, the perfect place to stop for a coffee and there is no better option than Del’Immo Café. Situated on the ground floor of the Trad Mejiro shopping complex, this Italian-style café offers a number of excellent drink options, but its real draw is the variety of chocolate dishes. It has a superb lineup of handcrafted chocolates and desserts that are elegant and perfectly complement a cup of espresso. The small seating area can be a bit of a drawback as the place is always busy, but they have several desserts, drinks and chocolate boxes to take away too.
Where: 2-39-1 Mejiro, Toshima-Ku
A mere 3-minute walk from Del’Immo is another Mejiro establishment that is well worth a visit. Inkhorn Brewing is a new beer brewery and tasting room set up by a husband-and-wife team. The tasting room’s fantastic decor and laid-back vibe allow patrons to enjoy a beer in comfortable surroundings. As for the beer itself, Inkhorn has several types that are brewed onsite. Their Italian Pilsner is a perfect thirst-quencher for a hot summer afternoon while the fruity West Coast IPA is nice to have while taking a neighborhood walk. The owner is a friendly and welcoming host who is happy to give recommendations and talk you through each of the beers they have on tap.
Where: 2-2-2 Mejiro, Toshima-Ku
*Featured image from Shutterstock, by yoshi0511
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