June 10, 2012
Kichijoji’s crumbling yakitori mansion
Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on June 2012
Locals and Kichijoji day-trippers are grieving that landmark yakitori joint Iseya (1-15-8 Kichijoji Minami-cho, Musashino-shi; www.iseya-kichijoji.jp) will be closed for a year from the end of June. The antiquated and crumbling building, packed with cubby holes and dense smoke, will undergo a complete makeover to shore up its earthquake stability. Plumped square at the entrance to Inokashira Park, Iseya opened as a butcher’s in 1928, before focusing on skewers from 1958. It is one of the few places in Kichijoji still reminiscent of the Showa period, where punters have long munched on tasty sticks of chicken for ¥80 each. Will its old-world charm survive the reconstruction?