This hidden gem of a French bistro is located along the Tokyu Toyoko Line shopping street in Tokyo. Although the space is compact, every inch exudes warmth and unique charm. It has been operated by a couple, Mariko-san and Kojima-san, for nearly 20 years. Mariko-san, doubling as the chef, prepares French bread and French country dishes with a Japanese twist every day. The husband, on the other hand, provides service and carefully selects natural wines and Japanese wines for the customers. His unique image and dress code also add character to the small shop. I happened upon this spot by chance while riding my bike, drawn in by the 3-4 tables and small bar. Despite the limited space, the decor and healing atmosphere of the shop was too compelling to ignore. The floral decorations change with the seasons, bringing new surprises every visit. With a glass of wine and the flickering candlelight, all that's left to exclaim is "C'est La Vie."

I imagine everyone has their favorite shops, and like me, they would be grateful for their continued existence. If a favorite shop were to disappear, it would be truly lonely. So, Mariko-san and Kojima-san, please keep going strong.