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Nestled in an ordinary neighborhood located between the popular Tokyo tourist sites of Ueno Park and Asakusa’s Senso-ji temple, Knuttel House is a hidden treasure for underground music and art fans. The working-class surroundings are a point of distinction for this spot, where the associated qualities of honest, hard-working folk doing business and honing their craft align comfortably in this old downtown district. At Knuttel House, the craft includes a small gallery with art on the walls and live performances of jazz, free jazz, improvisation, and experimental artists. An example is described in a previous post about a live album recorded here:
Although similar to other nondescript buildings in the neighborhood, the Knuttel House shop stands out a bit with its festively painted facade and door that leads to a square room where performances take place. Upon entering, customers can immediately sense the bar’s friendly atmosphere and the welcoming feeling of a true neighborhood establishment.
The space is simply furnished with about a dozen chairs spread around some tables and a small bar along the back wall. The walls of the four-cornered room feature impressive modern paintings by “Knuttel”, or a rotating artist’s exhibition depending on the schedule. A very reasonably-priced menu lists lots of beer, wine, and spirits, with soft drinks and a few basic snacks also available.