The Bathroom Door at Bop: Hakodate
At Bop, a jazz spot in Hakodate, the bathroom door features a poster signed in bold black marker by a young Akiyoshi Toshiko on one of the jazz pianist’s visits home to Japan from New York. The signed photograph of John Coltrane hanging above this is a souvenir of Coltrane’s 1966 concert series in Tokyo, when proprietor Matsuura Zenji managed to evade security to catch the jazz giant alone in his green room. Coltrane died the following year.
Bop’s original venue, beloved of jazz aficionados and musicians across Japan, was destroyed by fire. With support from fans, however, Bop reopened in a new location, and has been going strong for half a century since. Akiyoshi’s and Coltrane’s signatures were among the items saved from the flames to attract the admiration of visitors to this day.
Access: Three minutes on foot from the Shinkawa-chō stop on the Hakodate City Tram.
(Originally published in Japanese.)