We can’t have a list of BnA approved bars without paying respect to our very own - BnA FRONTDESK BAR! located in our first hotel, BnA HOTEL Koenji. The bar is a hub for local creatives and visitors to hang out, meet and network. On any given night you can find something happening at the bar from DJs sets by Tokyo’s coolest underground artists to spontaneous cook outs. Though we may be slightly biased as to why BnA FRONTDESK BAR is one of Tokyo's best bars, it is with good reason.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you should visit BnA FRONTDESK BAR!
1. Plug into Tokyo’s Underground Art Scene: With local artists and creatives hanging out at the bar, pretty much every night of the week, you have the chance to find out where it’s at in the Tokyo art scene. So if you wanna know where to go and what to see when it comes to Japanese art this is the best ”Information Desk”. No one knows art like artists right!
2. Community: Not only do local creatives hang out at the BnA FRONTDESK BAR, but so do local community members who run equally exciting and interesting projects. Most of these community members have become part of the BnA family and we regularly collaborate with them on events and projects hosted in the bar and our basement gallery, aka BACKROOM. These guys love meeting new people, sharing a drink and can usually be found celebrating life till the early hours of the morning. So if you're looking for that authentic “drinking with Japanese people” vibe, we got you.
3. Akira Ishigami and BnA Bar Team: None of the wonder full things that go on at BnA FRONTDESK BAR would be possible without the dedicated team that works there. BnAs community and bar manager Akira Ishigami aka GOD is the driving force behind the bar. Akira has created a space that feels like your “regular friday night hang out” even if you haven't been to BnA, Koenji or Japan before. Heavily involved in the Koenji community, Akira runs a monthly event dubbed T H E N I G H T that introduces bar regulars and first timers, to other Koenji gems like restaurants, bars, shops and art projects. “I am proud of Koenji and the community we have created here. I just want to show of the best Koenji has to offer !”
The rest of the FRONTDESK team is equally as amazing and divers with staff hailing from Japan, France, Denmark, America and Australia. We are extremely proud of the FRONTDESK team and know you will have a good time with these guys.
4. Art and Events: Wouldn’t be BnA if there wasn't some art involved! There are monthly art exhibitions by local Koenji artists curated by Akira, which usually means wild opening and closing parties. Outside of art events we regularly host music events, spontaneous parties thrown by community members, rooftop picnics and basement raves… now whether all these events are planned is a different story, in the wise words of Wei Wu Wei “Spontaneity is being present in the present.”
For all our “I just wanna chill and drink my beer” friends don’t worry we do plenty of too, this is when wonderfull conversations and friendships are formed.
5. Location : Koenji is raucous! If you think the bar sound like fun wait till you check out the rest of the neighborhood. From small eateries to bars run by eclectic 70year old punk rockers and not to mention the street buskers, Koenji has it all. Just ask a BnA FRONTDESK BAR team member what their favorite Koenji spots are and you’ll get a long list of suggestions! It is also common practice for Akira to close the bar and take all the visitors on a Koenji bar hop! We are telling you that guy is the best.
BnA FRONTDESK BAR provides guests with a direct connection to the Tokyo's underground art scene, while simultaneously offering artists the opportunity to reach an international audience. We have a disclaimer on our website saying that BnA HOTEL Koenji isn't for the faint hearted, thank the bar shenanigans for that. Join us for a good time, it will be a night to remember!
BnA FRONTDESK BAR opens from 7pm and is open till everyone goes home, every night of the week!
Meet Akira, BnA and Koenji before you get here
Photo 2 - Clara Matheisen
Photo 3 - J.K. Chekpo
Photo 4 - Mei Ichikawa
Video - BnA x poweredby.toyko “KOENJI” collaboration. Watch the 3 part series here