Hi peeps. This is where I tell you about what Block 45 is.

This is what it looks like


Block 45 is an area in Nakano, Tokyo also called "Yonjugobangai" (a rough translation is "45th avenue"). As you can see there's construction to the left of the picture. Its not actually construction, its currently in the process of being destroyed to build probably a rather bland apartment complex.

The golden doors that beckon at the end of the street is where several of us used to live for several years.

Its quite the 5-star establishment as you can see from these pic.


Note that this part of the house is a kitchen/bar/shower/living area all in one. The floorboards are there to stop you stepping in the scum that comes from the shower. Of course bars don't usually come equipped with showers, it was a highly makeshift operation put together with stickytape and whatever available materials.


There was much cheap wine that was drunk here, of course in the name of "collaboration".

old photo

Block 45 was a haven for an interesting mix of people with disparate ambitions, and also those who just wanted to have a good time.

Moving upstairs, I was lucky enough to have a bed next to a window:


Opening the window, you get a rather nice view of the next building


Some would say the building is a little too close for comfort. Pigeons used to roost just outside the window, so you could even hear their gentle cooing 20cm away to ease you out of a hard nights drinking on the previous night.

The view from the other end of the room is slightly more grandeur:


Next door is a snack bar "anto" as you can see, at the other end of the street is "vow's bar", a pun on the words "Bozu bar", meaning monk bar. The place is actually run by a buddhist monk. Apparently there is no problem with a monk running a bar, as far as their practice goes. The subslogan is "Chaosmose version", which is another play on the words "chaos", "cosmos", and "osmosis". Very enlightening.

Before the demolition, there were probably about 20 such snack bars concentrated into this tiny area. My favorite one was "kuusou kagaku":


Translated, this is "imaginary science". Clearly the person that designed this was on acid. I want to dress like the man with the turban on the door one day.

Due to the very sad redevelopment of the area, Block 45 have adopted the name of the block as our collective identity. The idea is to let the spirit of Yonjugobangai live on in the form of a musical/creative collective centred those who lived in the area at some point in time.

For other Yonjugobangai related stuff, check out photographer Takashi Kajihara. Takashi was also living at Block 45 and is a tour de force of drinking, shit talking, and capturing the moment.