A few seconds walk from JR Asagaya visitors will stumble across Star Road, a maze of small bars and cafes which has been serving the good folk of Asagaya for decades. A mini Golden Gai (Shinjuku's in/famous bar area) Star Road isn't exactly a road but a few blocks and streets choc-a-block with eateries, bars, izakaya and local spots serving up everything from afro pop to oden.
Very much a local and busy location, the store owners are friendly and welcoming and Star Road has, quite rightly, become a hub for the local community. Although Asagaya is known as a "village" within the confines of Tokyo, it welcomes foreign guests wholeheartedly and some places have English menus available and the odd English speaker thrown in for your convenience. Many of the stores, cafes, music venues and bars there are on the smaller side so arriving early is your best bet just to make sure you grab a table. Don't be surprised if you end up chatting the night away with businesspeople, local artists and musicians as Star Road reflects the eclectic mix of people that make up the human fabric of Asagaya. In fact, Star Road warmly welcomes solo drinkers so don't hesitate to visit if by yourself.
One such store you should put on your list when visiting Star Road is the compact but friendly Odenya Yonekyu which has an inviting array of oden (one pot dishes) and beverages with a full roster of local jorensan (regulars). And a visit to live music venue and (very colorful) bar Asagaya Ten is essential. This venue specializes in Afrobeat, pop, jazz, hip-hop and many other genres of music.
Affordable and lively, Star Road offers something different than your run-of-the-mill izakaya experience in places like Shinjuku or Shibuya. An authentic shitamachi experience that you will never forget, Star Road has been entertaining locals and for decades now and will continue to do so. There's so much going on in this area with a huge array of izakaya and cafes that you are sure to find your ideal spot that you will, no doubt, keep returning to over and over again.
The local store owners even run a drinking festival, Nomiyasan, twice a year where customers can hop in and out of bars and pay discounted prices. It's a great way of finding new places and exploring one of Asagaya's most charming and well-loved areas.