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Tokyo Vibes (Part II)

A few addresses more to immerse yourself in some of the best BGM that animates the daily life of Tokyo. Let's hear what is spinning on their turntables.

by Nanban

What makes the atmosphere of a city special if not the music that flows through it? Tokyo makes no exception and has always been bubbling with music, wherever you go. The passions of the Tokyoites are the most varied and long before it became a global rediscovery they admit the cult of vinyls, cassette tapes and exotic, elusive sounds, which materialize in the most unexpected corners, in large but above all in small retail businesses, which appear and sometimes disappear in the blink of an eye.

That's why it is so difficult to fix places to explore on your wanderings in the city, where you can feast your ears with good (or at least highly selected) music. Here are the last four flags to pin on the map and listen.

Thai Molam Restaurant Bar
16−8 Maruyamacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0044

As you can guess from the name, the groove you breathe at the Thai Molam Restaurant Bar is that of molam, traditional music from the north-eastern regions of Isan, Thailand. A sometimes frenetic rhythm, sometimes more enthralling and hypnotic, perfect to accompany the super-spicy dishes that fly between the tables.

Cup and Cone
1 Chome−40−11 Takada, Toshima City, Tokyo 171-0033

At the Cup and Cone the background music tends to be dance or house, selected with obsessive care by the owner, Ryo Yoda, as well as the niche fashion brands, which make the tiny shop a constant source of inspiration. That it all spreads from the cult Bose AW-1D cassette player is simply the ultimate touch.

Toranoko Shokudo
10-1 Park Building 2F Udagawacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0042

Roast chicken and reggae music: this is the unusual cocktail which sits a few steps from Shibuya station. The quality of the strictly organic food is equal to that of the stereo system, which wonderfully spreads the selection of songs made by the owner, Tomoko Yasumoto, a reggae enthusiast, who goes back and forth from the kitchen to the console.

Mia Mia
4 Chome-10-1 Nagasaki, Toshima City, Tokyo 171-0051

At Mia Mia, in the north-west quadrant of the city, the owner, Allison Vaughn, never lets the music stop and spins one record after another, flooding the place with pop sounds, mainly from his homeland, Australia: coffee is a bomb and so is music.