How to enjoy Kabutocho and Kayabacho Vol.03
“K5” which opened in 2020, is housed in a renovated bank building that was completed 100 years ago in 1923. The basement and first floors host unique dining and drinking options, whilst the second through fourth floors house 20 hotel rooms. This small-scale complex has become the starting point for many in the Kabutocho and Kayabacho areas.
Walking to the rear of the Tokyo Stock Exchange along a road called “Shibusawa Road” (named after Eiichi Shibusawa), you will see a dark gray entrance that is well-balanced among the massive stone structures. Guests are greeted by the attentive hotel staff at the front desk as soon as they enter and are invited to check in whilst enjoying a cup of original blend tea.
Dinner at caveman, situated on the first floor of the hotel, is tempting, but the night is still young. It would be a fun night to go hopping around the various restaurants that are gathering one after another in the Kabutocho area. Ask the hotel staff for a map of the Kabutocho area, and you will be able to easily find your favorite spots.
K5 3-5 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
Walking the streets of Kabutocho at night while browsing the map. There are many restaurants worth visiting, but tonight we settled on “Pony Pasta“, located on the first floor of the recently opened “Keshiki“. Pony Pasta is a fresh pasta restaurant where British chef, Timothy Mawn, makes the pasta dough by hand. The restaurant has a unique atmosphere with a bar counter and lots of tables, surrounded by plants supplied by the plant store, MOTH. Coupled with the warm lighting, the restaurant has a casual and somewhat homely atmosphere.
The fridges next to the cash register are stocked with innovative craft beers and labels you may have not seen before, alongside a wide selection of natural wines. Enjoy appetizers, soups, and fresh pasta while learning a little about Kabutocho from the friendly staff. It’s a great place to start you on your Kabutocho journey.
Pony Pasta 6-5 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
Having enjoyed our meal, we felt like having a little more wine, so we strolled down the back streets. Turning the corner and passing the very popular bistro, Neki, you will find “Human Nature”. The wine store, headed by Shinichi Takahashi, has garnered popularity from the fashion and music crowd since it opened in August 2020. The small shop is a hot spot for the creative crowd.
The store always has a wide selection of unique and delicious natural wines, and we recommend that you enter the wine cellar to find a bottle that suits your mood. Get the bottle uncorked on the spot, enjoy two glasses in-store, and take the remainder of the bottle straight back to your room at “HOTEL K5”.
Human Nature 9-5 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
We return to the hotel with a bottle in one hand and the night breeze in the other. As late as around 11:00 p.m. one can hear the voices of people happily chatting and laughing from behind the hidden door-like entrance on the right side of the front desk.
“Ao” (meaning blue in Japanese) is a library bar with a bright red interior, something one would never guess from the name. It has a unique worldview, like a salon or library, where even those who are not hotel guests can casually drop in. In addition to original cocktails using oriental teas, herbs, and spices, lemon sours have recently been introduced and are gaining popularity. Perfect for a drink or two before bedtime.
Ao 1F K5, 3-5 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
HOTEL K5 is the perfect place to calm your nerves after a night out in Kabutocho. The hotel consists of a total of 20 rooms, which are surrounded by an air of tranquility. The fourth floor in particular is very open, with a ceiling height of 4.5 meters. The rooms above the junior suites have bathrooms with bathtubs featuring tiles in a moderate shade of turquoise blue. The bottle of wine you brought back with you is the perfect end to the night.
HOTEL K5 2-4F K5, 3-5 Nihonbashi Kabutocho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103-0026
Breakfast is served at “caveman“. The morning light streaming in from the large windows and onto the plants in the building creates an atmosphere that makes you forget that you are in Nihonbashi. Although “caveman” has attracted attention for its avant-garde dinner menus, their breakfast menu is simple and delicious and open to both hotel guests and walk-ins.
The full breakfast features in-season vegetables from organic farmers whilst the accompanying sausages and sourdough are made in-house. After-meal coffee is also served using Switch Coffee, which is located on the same floor and adjacent to the restaurant.
Kabutocho at night can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. And in the morning, a refreshing start to the day awaits you. One night in this town can change your perspective and we hope your stay lets you realize the possibilities.
Text : Kohei Okura
Photo : Hyo Yikin, Naoto Date, Nathalie Cantacuzino