Summer is over. And Japan’s loveliest season has arrived wearing her many colored robe. But the summer season lingers on at any outside table of Tokio Plage Lunatique riverside in Futagotamagawa. From the funky patio, with its mismatched chairs and rattan sofa, you can enjoy a chilled glass of wine or a cold beer under the spreading branches of a towering linden tree, listening the rustle of the bamboo grove as the wide Tama river flows silently on in front of you.
Inside are ruby red walls, linen laid tables, and a casual eclectic decor that Amélie of Paris would appreciate. The dinner menu offers pastas, and other Italian-accented entrees.
My favorite lunch is the vegetable curry—spicy and filling with chunks of pumpkin, eggplant, tomato, green pepper, and a deep- fried egg to top it off. With its green salad and glass of iced tea, the ¥1,500 price is a bargain.
After lunch, spend some time browsing in the next door shop selling kitchenware, dining, and other living accessories from popular French designer, Genevieve Lethu, the only such shop in Japan. Dogs are welcome in both establishments.
Tokio Plage is open everyday from 11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The best way to arrive is to ride your bicycle down the lovely paved paths along either the Sengawa river, or the Nogawa river, until you reach the Tama river at Futagotamagawa. You could also walk, less than ten minutes, from Futagotamagawa station.
1-1-4 Tamagawa, Setagaya Ward. Tel: 03-3708-1118. http://tokioplage.jp.