Later last month in June, I was invited to one of the BBQ parties in Oakhouse Kichijoji 2. Kichijoji 2 has such a good space for BBQ. The backyard is actually big to fit a few dozens of people.
This photo was taken last year at BBQ. I just wanted to show the size of the backyard. This photo is only showing half of the space Oakhouse Kichijoji 2. The ground is covered with some artificial lawn so you can step on it with slippers.
BBQ in Tokyo is not about finding a spot it’s about finding a service provider
Just like other mega-cities in the world, Tokyo is a BBQ-unfriendly city. Where do you think is the best spot for BBQ? maybe in the park? somewhere along a river? at a beach? I used to do some research on this. There’s basically no spot (excluding your own land) where you can BBQ without any kind of permission from the local government. I was shocked to find this out. BBQ is not something you can do as long as you find a place you like. It is a “service” provided by certain people or companies. I thought I can BBQ at any beach as long as I don’t burn things around but I was wrong. So, to do BBQ officially and legally, you need to find a service provider. It’s not about finding a spot.
Where to find BBQ spots
So, where should we look? Parks are one of the many places you can find BBQ areas. There are many parks in Tokyo from big ones to small ones but not many parks provide this kind of service. For example, Inokashira park is a good park in Kichijoji but they don’t offer BBQ spot. Showa Kinen park in Tachikawa provides BBQ spot. Most parks do not allow people to BBQ. The thing is that these places get very crowded in summer because there are not so many parks like this.
Private BBQ services
National parks are not the only spot you can BBQ in Tokyo. There are many private BBQ places where you pay for the entrance and maybe for the food they serve too.
Wild Magic (Toyosu)
These services are great. Most of the times you do not need to bring anything. They have all the equipment you need and they clean up after you leave the place. Sometimes they even have nomihodai option too. I guess this is especially great when your time is limited and you want to make the most of your time but… I personally like Kichijoji 2 style BBQ better.
How BBQ in Oakhouse Kichijoji 2 looks like
Unlike the commercialized BBQ programs, our BBQ in Kichioji 2 is much more chaotic. We have to do everything from scratch. Often times, BBQ grills are equipped with the house or the manager buys one for the house if you ask nicely. charcoal is another story. Someone has to go to Donki to get one for everyone. maybe a new grill is needed. Who’s gonna pay for it? Are we splitting it up? What about food? There are many questions to ask and to be answered. You have to figure things out with your housemates.
I totally understand if think this sounds troublesome. Through this troublesome process, though, you get to know your housemates very well. Also the process is actually fun. Let me tell you an example.
At the Oakhouse BBQ on the other day, we had trouble starting a fire. We were trying many things and were doing it for almost an hour. One of the things we did was to use the stove to fire the charcoal.
This was our last resort. It was so funny we did this though.
The best BBQ is the one you do in the backyard
At last, we managed to start a fire and grill some food. Ahmed actually marinated chickens with his secret Egyptian spices. He was waiting for this moment…. to start grilling.
This was the best chicken I had in my life. I have to steal his spices.
The BBQ we do here is about sharing food. That’s why no one charges you for anything. Knowing that, people bring some good stuff.
This wine on the left is the one that Maud. She is French. It wasn’t surprising that everyone at the BBQ thought it was a good one. Yui even brought a hand-made green tea cake. It was really really good.
What I like about this backyard BBQ is that this entire occasion is filled with good intentions. If you ever want to join us, let me know (send a message to my email below). Anyone is welcome to join us.