Akira TAKAYAMA : cafe GINGER.TOKYO
“My cafe is a media and the customers are contributing editors, filling the media with their lives”
As you go up the narrow staircase of the white building facing Kiyosumi Dori, you will hear lively chatter and music quietly played through the glass door. This is cafe GINGER.TOKYO. Their clientele is varied, from business people coming for lunch to a group of mothers with children enjoying a short break from their busy day. Everyone here seems to be enjoying themselves for whatever reason they are visiting for. Pork Ginger, the café’s special is indeed delicious, with mouth-watering sweet spicy sauce.
The owner, Mr Akira Takayama used to work for Koto Ward Office for nearly 30 years. Due to excessive work he fell ill which forced him to an early retirement, he then started the café. While at the ward office he was involved with a large-scale development in the new city centre. The experience inspired him to create a café for locals where people can meet and share cultural experiences. Groups of different interests gather every weekend; 70s -80s music lovers, Shitamachi-Bunko, a book club where people read books by authors from the area and so on. Locals come here for something exciting and enjoy meeting others and discover something unexpected.
Mr Takayama has also recently started a digital photography archive. ‘Knowing the past means thinking of the future’. As the Fukagawa area has suffered from two major destructions through earthquake and the aerial blitz, it is believed that the town’s documentations are mostly lost. He still believes that there are photographs of ordinary lives of people uncovered in some houses, which he hopes to find, collect and share.
‘Cafe is a town’s media.’ he said. As people come and meet at this cafe, their footsteps accumulate and become archive. Even just popping in for lunch, for example, will in itself become a little archive of ‘people and the town.’
ADDRESS：2F 1-8-1 Hirano, Koto, Tokyo, Japan
OPEN: Tuesday to Friday 11:00am-9:00pm *Saturday to Monday, Holiday until 5:00pm
☎︎ +81 70-2199-9119