Words : KOM_I
     Edit : Shota Kato
Styling : Tatsuya Shimada
     Photography : Satoko Imazu
Hair : Kunio Kohzaki
     Special Thanks : BERG, Suehirotei



  • I actually used to live in Shinjuku. I loved the atmosphere around Akebonobashi, the area with many non-Japanese residents. Though it’s less compared to Shin-Okubo, there were many Korean people and good Korean restaurants. I already moved to a different town, but Shinjuku has been a place where I still visit often. I somehow feel miserable after finishing so many different errands while plowing through the crowds in the town, don’t you agree? BERG is a café that soothes my nerves in times like that. It’s always stayed close to me when I want something to eat or drink. The place does not just make me relaxed but also has changed my Shinjuku experience with their unique philosophies.
  • I think it was my friend who brought me there for the first time. We used to go to cafés together to read. BERG locates in a busy area, but it’s not easy finding it without a good intuition. I was so surprised to see it when I first visited there because I had passed through the underground shopping mall many times and never noticed it. There are plenty of stuff to see in the café such as walls full of posters, and their customers are diverse in age and gender. BERG has a strong personality, but is so open-minded at the same time. That is why this wonderful café makes me revisit again and again regardless of how old I get. I’m sure that it would have inspired me even if I was in my teens. And I was happy that I could visit the place with my son in my arms when I came back to Japan after giving a birth to him in Peru.
  • Another thing I love about BERG is that they never hesitate to express their antiwar sentiments. It’s not just “NO WAR” posters on the wall. Just a little after the Gaza invasion began, they started to play only Palestinian music as the BGM. I think it’s really nice that they can take action so quickly. Even paper napkins on the tables have messages such as “There is no pure blood”. I think they make this café more comfortable by building a sense of unity. I was also so touched when one of the staff said “Please pick one from these poems” when I bought coffee beans.
  • Recently, there are many cafés and restaurants that have no ‘smell’ and ‘taste’. And I think that is the reason why BERG stands out. Their food and drinks are amazingly affordable amid the inflation crisis. What they really care about and build is not profits but something else. They ask me to wear a face mask when ordering, and I actually thought, “A face mask? Now?” But I don’t think it’s unpleasant. They say what they want to say and do what they want to do as a café. They and their customers are all flat and equal. Some cafés make us feel uncomfortable, don’t you think? It never happens at BERG, though. Incompatible types of people can share the same space there. It’s a true magic.
  • Suehirotei is the place I frequented so often when I had some spare time in-between classes in my college days. When I was in Wednesday Campanella, I went there to listen to Rakugo as a reference to my on-stage banter. My favorite Rakugo performer is Koihachi Takigawa. He performs at Suehirotei, too. His Rakugo stories take place in the Edo period but somehow have sci-fi elements. Even if it sounds like a normal story at first, he suddenly puts some eerie episodes in it, just like Fujiko Fujio A’s “The Laughing Salesman”. Listening to his story feels like experiencing a space-time distortion, and I love it. I was happy when Koihachi agreed to join our own event held at WWW.
  • I’ve visited many different Rakugo halls, and Suehirotei is my best among them. Both the interior and exterior look cool with wooden accents. When listening to Rakugo stories there, I easily develop an illusion that there is an Edo town outside the door. My favorite show is their midnight Rakugo. Though the event had been suspended due to the COVID issues, they resumed it recently. It’s held on the last Saturday of each month from 9 to 10:30PM. It’s not really midnight, so you don’t have to stay up late. The fee is only 1,500yen and that is also why many people come to see the show. Because there are more audiences than their matinees, many Rakugo performers try to show them off and it makes the audience laugh a lot. Sometimes they really crack up, but even poor jokes can draw laughter at night. I also like their new year’s show. It’s more gorgeous than usual and boosts our new year’s mood. There they do more thief stories because it’s said it brings good fortune. I think that sounds very cool. I haven’t been there since my son was born, so I’m eager to enjoy their midnight show for the first time in a while.

東京都新宿区新宿3-38-1 ルミネエストB1F
LUMINE EST B1F, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

KOM_I loves and respects BERG as a “cool place that has never changed in Shinjuku”. Their best-selling meal, Hotdog brunch, comes with a BERG hotdog, salad, boiled egg and coffee, and costs only 605yen. A cup of coffee is 220yen. The affordably priced dishes tell what the café values most.
KOM_I : Born in 1992 in Kanagawa Prefecture. She made her debut in 2012 as a main performer/singer of Wednesday Campanella. After leaving the band in 2021, she worked as a model for key visuals of products made in collaboration between NEEDLES and NY-based brand HIDDEN. In July 2023, she gave a birth to her first child. Recently, she has gained high acclaim as an actor, appearing in movies, including Seishun Jack and September 1923.