Thursday, July 12, 2012

Toyoko Line Love: Denenchofu

After goro goro-ing (is that a word? if not, can we make it one?) and enjoying the summer wind blowing through the house until 4pm,  Matcha-kun eventually succeeded in convincing me to go out for a walk and a drink... although it took a while, as post-business trip exhaustion seemed loath to leave me.

Denenchofu proved to be the perfect place. One side of the station leads to a nice old-fashioned shoutengai, with a series of tasteful little kimono stores and an unusually high number of dentists. As in, literally, one at every corner (like Starbucks in the US! or pharmacies in Italy!), including one with a sign in German, the main medical language until not so long ago. Perhaps the residents all have a sweet tooth?

It is obvious that the heyday of Denenchofu was during the Bubble era, as most of the buildings have that typical 80's decor, although interspersed with my favorite 'live-over-the-shop' dark wood constructions.

The opposite side of the station leads to a much fancier area, with houses the size of small castles, once again graced with odd, out-of-date features. Nonetheless, as this part is on top of a hill and covered with trees, it makes a lovely spot for a late afternoon walk, and is wonderfully cool and breezy. The celebratory drink and cake were at L'Epi D'Or, which fits in perfectly with the surrounding Bubble nostalgia: brass accents, piano in the corner and floral chandeliers ahoy!
Their seasonal cakes sell-out quickly (and we showed up at 5pm), but my fromage cake was delightful and well-priced. The iced cafe' au lait was very tasty (and served with coffee ice cubes, a nice touch) but 800 yen seems a tad steep.

A last twirl around the neighbourhood brought a couple interesting restaurants to my attention. Pasta Ri (housed in the vaguely British-looking building in the first picture) seems to have a terrace and really good reviews. Something to keep in mind for a girl's lunch or perhaps a date? A short walk from the station Daigo Sushi does Kansai-style sushi, including several types of sushi that went out of style after the Edo period! Chakin sushi (sushi wrapped in a thin omelette parcel, which apparently used to be served after tea ceremonies, according to the ever well-informed Matcha-kun) seems to be their strong suit, but they also do beautiful Kyoto-style oshi sushi and kiku sushi (chrysanthemum sushi)!

Returning home I was greeted by one of Yokohama's trademark sunsets, bursting with soft pinks and blues, a cool breeze from off the sea... and another series of carefully chosen L'Occitane goodies... seriously, how did he find out that verbena (lemon grass) is one of my favorite summer scents?! Perhaps he is a member of PsyCorps? (if you get the reference, you are awesome).


  1. Well that sounded like a lovely day with Matcha-kun :3
    I love the setup of the building in the first photo. They just threw all their favorite bits of architecture on one little spot lol Very cool~~

    I've never heard of Kansai sushi before! :O I'm going to interrogate a few people about this so I can eat some. That chakin sushi sounds really good (I love eggs♪).

    I do have to admit that Japan has some fantastic sunsets. The colors are pretty dreamy (though today it was overcast and rainy alllll day ;w;).

    Ohh, we used to sell verbena soaps and candles at my old part-time job! Very nice! :3

    1. Chakin sushi looks amazing, I want to go back and try it!

  2. Babylon 5?

    Lemon grass? Perfect for summer. I think I may be jealous. :)

    I've just looked at Denenchofu on Google Maps. It looks terribly ORGANISED: all concentric circles or streets neatly aligned. Most definitely not shitamachi-ish! ;)

  3. I'm hoping to absorb some of your elegance and social skills by osmosis. He gave you L'Occtaine? A winner and a hopefully a keeper. I love their shea butter, but unfortunately I'm dreadfully allergic to SLS, so I can't use most of their products.

  4. My elegance... thank you for that, although you may be overestimating said characteristic (^_^)

  5. Used to be my fav area for Sunday afternoon walks..