With only a few days in Tokyo, I hoped there was enough time to see a different side to the city, like a local neighbourhood. I ended up walking around Koenji and it was ace!
Feeling peckish when I popped my head into a local yakitori bar and saw many people inside, which I took as a seal of assurance and joined them as well. Food was simple yet flavourful! I think my new favourite skewer to order is now fried chicken skin. :D
The main street is full of little shops like this, each with its own specialty in an era or style, ranging from american retro to european vintage.
For myself, the highlight of the entire street was at this shoe shop. Walked in to find this old lady tending to it who was very warm and asked if we needed help.
It seems that typically the layout of a unit like this is similar to a Singapore shophouse, where the shop was at the front of the unit and the second floor and area behind the shop is where she lives with her family. Took home a pair of white canvas school shoes that were a comfortable respite for my feet after walking the streets the whole day.