We love exploring cities and making them our own. Finding the hidden cafes, boutiques, and bookstores in every ward (as they call neighborhoods here) is endlessly rewarding. We officially found our favorite spot in Nagoya. Smash Head is a motorcycle maintenance shop, café and pub. Complete with tiki glasses, Vespa and motorcycle books, burgers and beer. We were tipped off to try this spot for the best burgers in town. Armed with hefty burger cravings, we headed to Osu Kannon to put it to the test. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance painted on the brick façade and a sidewalk teeming with vintage Vespas immediately caught our attention. Before even going inside, Blaine was ready to purchase a Vespa and ride through the streets of Nagoya wind in our hair and bugs in our teeth. We’ve been missing Arabella, our midnight blue LX150 Vespa, and the ease of touring around town on vehicle instead of on foot.
The shop front was an excellent indication of the fun waiting inside. We were met with an exposed brick polished repair shop playing jazz electronica. The first things we spotted were The Smorkin’ Labbit and a Shag print. Shag is one of our favorite artists, a Cali based painter and illustrator who does colorful, playful mid-century modern pieces. Our most favorite art purchase to date was a Shag print from the LA by Day series entitled “The Secret Cul-da-Sac” and we’ll one day purchase “The Relentless Party” from the LA by Night series. Basically, between the Vespas, Shag print and burgers we could not have been more at home.
The burgers were large even by US standards. To find portions remotely close to US sizes in Japan is something worth celebrating. I think Smash Head has the potential to help us put on the weight that we lost in our initial two months in Japan. We plan to become regulars.
What we ate
What we want to eat next time