Gridskipper.com looks like a very interesting travel site, one which stresses style, design, and good food , but in an accessible, non-snobby way. Its postings includes handy embedded Google Maps, allowing you to see exactly where the places it talks about are.
Well, not exactly.
For its Tokyo entries -- a city where most of the streets don't have names and business cards include maps -- Gridskipper falls down completely. Here, maps are practically mandatory, since the street address system is more of a co-ordinate system, and giving the English names isn't much help when the local street maps are written in kanji. A determined person can eventually ferret out where places are -- phone numbers, being the same in English or Japanese, are a great help -- put someone there needs to get on the ball there.
So hence this experiment. I'm going to try to make some maps myself. The one on the right is for a recent item:
This morning I went to quite possibly the smallest cafe I've ever seen. Coffee Saloon Kimoto (1-5-1 Yakumo, 03-3717-5687 -- it's just a few minutes walk from Toritsu Daigaku station on the Toyoko line) takes its tiny triangle shape from the its allotted land plot, which was quite literally crammed between two neighboring buildings.
Featured in Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow's book it's a perfect example of urban development contributing to the creation of unusual spaces. Coffee Saloon Kimoto is even more than just an instance of innovative architecture, it's a cozy little cafe. And I mean really small -- barely larger than the typical American bathroom -- but it will put a smile on your face as you walk in and are greeted by the owner, Mr. Kimoto, and his wife, and take one of the seven available seats.
都立大学 = Toritsudaigaku station
八雲１丁目５−１= 1-5-1 Yakumo, the address
東急東横線 = Toyoko Line, from Shibuya (渋谷), six stops out and between Gakugeidaigaku and Jiyūgaoka stations.