Feature: Kōenji Counter Culture
Kōenji is a neighbourhood that wears its anti-establishment sentiments proudly on its sleeve – or streets, rather. Tokyo has no real street art culture (though it has lots of art museums, often with hefty admissions); the team behind BnA Hotel is working to change that. So far they've negotiated six, street-facing spaces (shop fronts, apartment building walls, etc) in the Kōenji for artists to do their thing. It's part of their new Mural City Project (http://mural-city.com); the locations are pinned on the website.
Meanwhile local activist collective Shirōto no Ran (Amateurs' Riot) – irreverent, anti-consumerist and a longtime presence in the community – runs Nantoka Bar (a good place to meet up with politically and socially minded locals), the hostel Manuke, and a whole bunch of second-hand stores. Look for flyers for events at either of these spaces.