Ren Stern

Co-founder and CEO of newly launched record label, Frank Renaissance, bringing Japanese artists to a global stage.

“Don’t be fooled by the suited salaryman’s march during the busy morning commute–there is a treasure trove of rampant creativity and energy that lies underneath. I’ve grown to love Tokyo more and more each year that I’ve lived here, through new experiences that I’ve been introduced to by people that I’ve met to new experiences I’ve introduced them to: the city is just that vast. Tokyo is also the real city that never sleeps (and I say this being born and raised in New York). Because the trains stop at 1AM, the cities hubs stay open from 1-5AM until the first trains start running, along giving the city a second wind in the waning hours of the night. Tokyo bucks the phrase “nothing good happens” after 2AM. I don’t think I’ll ever know everything about the city, nor do I plan to, but am learning new things all the time along the journey.”



city guide:
Tokyo, JP
"Oniyanma is a small chain of udon restaurants throughout Tokyo, recognizable by their white awnings. The original store is in the Gotanda neighborhood in Tokyo, but I used to go to the Nakameguro location often when I lived there. Oniyanma serves massive bowls of udon for under ¥1000 yen (approx. $10) even with all of the fixings. Pretty hard to beat the bang for your buck you get from this place. I highly recommend getting the chicken tempura with your udon for a hearty meal." - Ren Stern
3 Chome-3-1 Kami-Meguro, Meguro City, Tokyo, Japan
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Share Green
"Sharegreen in Aoyama is one of my favorite spots to hang out with a latte and work for a few hours. For those weirdos like me who like some background music while they work, some afternoons you'll have DJs playing downtempo beats in the background. You can also step out to the turf field in front of the café and lie out on one of the lounge chairs or check out the plant shop next door." - Ren Stern
1 Chome-12-32 Minami-Aoyama, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
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Drunkard Ebisu
"The aptly named Drunkard Ebisu is one of my favorite places to grab a drink in Tokyo. Drunkard is a wine bar by definition, but despite a long yet reasonably priced wine list, it carries the familial elements of a dive bar, as close to half of the customers tend to be regulars and the bartenders and waiters seem to know everyone in the bar. They also serve great Italian food as well to go with your drinks. This is one of those places that you can hang out and by the time you realize it is 2AM, and you've made new several friends who you may run into somewhere else, you may not, but you can always reconvene some time soon at Drunkard." - Ren Stern
2 Chome-11-6 Ebisu, Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan
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"Coast2Coast in Harajuku is my go to hang out for "happy hour" though Japan doesn't have so defined of a time frame for happy hour. Coast2Coast is the "basketball-themed version of Supreme" in Tokyo, which though unassuming on its surface is a local hangout for Tokyo's young cool kids. The bar itself is underground and hard to catch for the casual passerby, but a great place to grab a beer chat with mom and son store owners, Meg and Ryo, and grab some dope gear while you're at it." - Ren Stern
Japan, Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 5 Chome−12−12 J-WingRightB1F coast2coast コーストツーコースト
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Kiyosumi Garden
"My favorite place outdoors is Kiyosumi Garden in the Kiyosumi Shirakawa neighborhood of Tokyo. The garden is idyllic and serene and for a moment, you forget that you're in one of the most densely populated cities in the world." - Ren Stern
Kiyosumi Garden, 3 Chome-3-9 Kiyosumi, Koto City, Tokyo, Japan
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Tokyo Opera City Gallery
"The Tokyo Opera City Gallery tends to host a lot of modern art exhibitions that I really like, though technically not a museum. Their recent Masaya Chiba exhibit was pretty spectacular and their Tom Sachs exhibit from 2019 was critically acclaimed as well." - Ren Stern
Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, 3 Chome-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo, Japan
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"Nubian is pretty dope for designer goods, specifically the one in Harajuku. When we did our first track release event last November, I ended up copping a YTG sweater there for it that is still one of my favorite items in my closet. They have a ton of limited release goods from both domestic and foreign designers that drop there, so you better get your threads while you still can." - Ren Stern
NUBIAN HARAJUKU, 1 Chome-20-2 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan
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"Going vegan itself is not huge in Japan, but interestingly enough, traditional Japanese monk cooking called Shojin ryori is entirely vegan. Though a bit on the upscale side I would recommend Sougo in the Roppongi district for their prix fixe menu." - Ren Stern
Sougo 宗胡, 6 Chome-1-8 Roppongi, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
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Karaoke Snack
"As a big karaoke fan, I would say that hitting up at least one karaoke snack is a must in Tokyo. A karaoke snack is a small karaoke bar that tends to fit anywhere from 5-20 people, where everyone in the bar takes turns singing songs that they've entered into handheld song entry machines. There are regulars in each "snack" as well as newbies, but after a few lemon sours, they all start to blend into one drunken melody. There is a building in the Ebisu neighborhood that my friends and I endearingly call the "snack building," which has about 3 karaoke snacks on each floor going up 8 floors. If you find yourself in Ebisu late at night, feel free to pop in, grab a mic, and belt your tune. The snack building is at Ebisu 1-12-7 Shibuya-Ku Tokyo 150-0013." - Ren Stern
1-chōme-12-7 Ebisu
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Jazzy Sport
"Jazzy Sport is originally from Kyoto, but is one of the best record shops in Japan. I would highly recommend their Shimokitazawa location if you're in the neighborhood. Admittedly, I haven't bought any records at the shop, but I can't resist flipping through their collection when I'm in the neighborhood." - Ren Stern
3 Chome-17-7 Gohongi, Meguro City, Tokyo, Japan
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