Karabina (series: kissaten reviews)
A short walk from Machiya Station, where three lines meet. I ride the Toden Arakawa Line to get there. The area around the station is a typical commuter hub. There are chain coffee shops, a department store, video rental and karaoke places, girl bars, family restaurants, pachinko parlors, and alleys of izakaya. Walking beyond the station, one the larger commercial areas in Arakawa, the neighborhood is interesting and lively, with many kissaten and cafes in the alleys off the main street. I walk a circuit down from the station on Otakebashi-dori and back, looking through the second hand shops. There's a self-serve vintage shop near the station, where you put money in a box. The kissaten is down an alley. My son was born at a clinic further up the alley. On one side is a shrine and on the other side is a small izakaya. There's a coffee roaster running outside the front door. A warm room with lots of wood. There is the smell of roasting coffee and cigarette smoke. Toast comes with homemade apple jam. If the afternoon is warm, I often take the walk back to Minowa.