The first thing that you need to do when you fly in to Tokyo is to head over to Bonsai Cycle Works and check out what they have going on. This tiny back alley shop is a magnificent collection of all that is good in the bike shop world — self-made goods, customized current product, a healthy fascination with pro cycling, and an enviable memorabilia collection — all wrapped up in a warm, cozy, neat looking package. Plus, as the self proclaimed "Burger Master" of Tokyo, proprietor Hideo-San can point you in the direction of any delicious foods you require. In our case it was Ramen.
Bonsai has been a retailer of our socks for a while now. He was one of the first people to contact us through our friend Daisuke and request dealer status. His personal style — always buttoned up, always dashing — is directly reflected in his shop. The size of the shop makes it so that the mechanics portion is incorporated on the sales floor. But, that's the thing about this place, it all just works.
"It's faster if you run" (not a direct translation.)
Please don't touch those Tim!
MASHSF goods sit neatly alongside Team Dream Bicycling Team oversocks. An autographed Tim Johnson jersey was dusted off and placed up near one of Jeremy Powers (used looking) skinsuits. It was sitting underneath a bench behind some other goods, but when Tim Johnson himself pointed it out, we unearthed it and set it up, which got a laugh from everyone but Tim. And his Oakley collection, has been neatly modified to his own personal tastes, and is front and center in the shop. Some choice bits have been swapped to make interesting combinations that leave you thinking "damn, why didn't I think of that?" And everything works well with his own brightly colored Rhinoceros x Aeronautical Themed Jerseys, bottles and caps.
Seems like everyone that we meet who's into bikes and hanging around has been there for one time or another for Enve Wheels, or Chris King, or White Industries hubs. He's good the goods. Plus, they sometimes leave him great little cartoon iterations of himself cheering at cross races where he's also known to participate in what we call heckling. And if that weren't enough, his wife Natsuki is a fantastic baker and barista, providing both of those things to their small shop. She will be making drinks and providing baked goods at Nobeyama CX this weekend, so you can be sure we'll put them to the test.
In any case, go check this place out, it's a little hard to find, but that's kind of the point, and you'll be more than happy when you do. And don't forget to get a Ramen Recommendation.
Side Note: we suggested that Hideo open a Rhino Ramen shop next door to combine his love of the power animal with his love for fine food. He wasn't into that sort of thing. Sacred animal that it is. Then again, we are full of good ideas and we'll just keep putting them out there.