In the late 1970s, a club called Tsubaki House opened on the fifth floor of an office building on the southwest corner of Yasukuni and Meiji streets in Shinjuku. At a time when disco was still the rage, Tsubaki House was one of the few venues in Tokyo doing something different.

Though it was located five floors above street level, the bands and DJs who performed there were at that time firmly underground. I saw Pig Bag and Cabaret Voltaire play there in the early '80s. If you know those bands then you'll understand the level of obscurity I'm talking about; if you don't, then you've just confirmed it.

Tsubaki House also gave a lot of local talent their first break. DJ Kensho Onuki hosted his first London Nite event there 26 years ago. While other DJs were still spinning hits from "Saturday Night Fever," Onuki and his friends started playing straight-up rock and punk songs and, consequently, earned themselves a cult following among alternative-minded Tokyoites.