JAZZ IN JAPAN
Kichijoji Honcho 1-31-3, Musashino-shi, Tokyo.
Open: 13:00-23:00 (closed from 17:00-19:00 on the day of live)
Three sets from 7:00. Cover charge 1,000 yen to 2,500 yen. Kissaten during the day with the best speakers in Tokyo. Jam session every Monday night. Sunday night jazz CD intro and talk. (These days shift around a bit). Jazz every other night.
Kichijoji Station (Chuo Line, Inokashira Line). From the north main exit of Kichijoji, turn right and follow the tracks. You will cross over a large street into a set of small alleys perpendicular to the tracks. Keep going along the tracks and on the third street, turn left. Meg is three or four buildings up on the right. On the second floor, you will see the door set back and a classical music kissaten next door (also a great space).
MEG is listed as both a club and a kissaten because it is both. In the daytime, it is a coffee shape, and one where all customers silently listen to the great system. These days, it’s OK to talk, too, as the rules have eased up, but you will still find most customers come to indulge themselves in the music.
With a fantastic stereo set-up for vinyl records and CDs, the sound here is perhaps the best in the city—and that’s saying something. Gearheads can ask about the record player, cartridge, equalizer, amps, control amps, power amps, speakers and all the rest, but when it comes down to it, the space just washes the music over and into you with power, attention to detail, and of course, passion.
Evenings the club has live jazz, so you may be asked to leave around 5 pm so the musicians can set up, but it depends on the day. Reserve a seat, go out and get something to eat, and then come back at 7 when the music starts. Jam sessions are every Monday, with others squeezed in on various nights.
Evenings and weekend afternoons also sometimes host CD and LP talks by renowned jazz music buyers and specialists. Those talks are in Japanese, but even if your jazz Japanese level is not up to it, the music takes center stage. Meg is a place that is passionate about jazz and expresses that passion in all the right ways.