What’s the first thing you do when you visit a new place? Perhaps you’re the type to create spreadsheets with links and locations to visit, or maybe you’re a person who likes to visit a bunch of bookmarked websites for inspiration and guidance. Our series of neighborhood guides introduces neighborhoods from all over the world that you might want to visit on your next trip. This month’s post features recommendations from our own team of creatives, on the best places to travel in Nakameguro, Tokyo.
Nakameguro is known for its many delicious classy restaurants and bars along Meguro River, “Koukashita” (under the train tracks) and through its “Shotengai” commercial district. Read on for our favorite places to eat, lounge with a cup of something warm (or cold), take care of yourself, and more, below!
Address: Kamimeguro 1-22-10, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 7:00-24:00 Everyday!
This branch of the popular Tsutaya Books opened in November 2016. It’s located right across the street from the station ー You can’t miss it as you walk out the main exit. The trendy bookstore has a wide selection of Japanese and international texts which you can enjoy at one of its stylish cafes or reading spaces. A Starbucks is connected to the bookstore as well so take a book and relax in your own personal reading space. Their art galleries, pop-up exhibitions and gift/stationery shops are also worth checking out.
Chanoma (Cafe & Restaurant)
Address: 1-22-4 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 6F
Hours: Weekdays 11:30-26:00; Fri, Sat, Sun & Hoidays 11:30-28:00; Lunch 11:30-16:00
“Chanoma” is an old school way to say “living room” in Japanese. This restaurant is just that ー a living room like restaurant. Its raised platform seating allows you to experience having a modern Japanese home style meal. Take off your shoes and get comfortable against the cushions. As their lunch menu is healthy and delicious, it’s popular among young women and moms. At night, the lights dim and it becomes a casual date night spot.
Nakameguro is only 5 mins away by train from Shibuya, but luckily, it’s not as busy. The location’s natural scenery can be tranquil and quite relaxing. Take a stroll along Meguro River flowing along Nakameguro to Meguro, and visit the trendy boutiques, shops and restaurants. 15 minutes into the walk, you’ll find Nakameguro Park popular for families. During spring season, the riverscape and park is painted with gorgeous soft hues of pink. This spot becomes one of the most popular places to “Hanami” or to enjoy cherry blossoms in Tokyo. Maybe have a picnic and pop a bottle of sparkling wine under the cherry blossoms.
Address: 3-1-4, Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-0061
Hours: 8:00-16:00 (Breakfast 8:00-11:00, Lunch 11:30-15:30)
Savor handmade onigily, or Japanese rice balls, at Onigily Cafe. At first glance, the cafe’s interior is so chic that you’ll think it’s a trendy coffee shop. But as you head to order, you’ll see some colorful rice balls and side dishes on display. Not only do the Onigily look great, but its delicious because the rice balls are made with Koshihikari, special grade A rice, from Nagano Prefecture. Choose from a variety of fillings from salmon to okaka (bonito flakes). We recommend their morning set menu with two onigily, a side, a bowl of miso soup and a drink ー only for 500 yen. Take it to go, or enjoy it at the cafe. If you’re lucky, they’ll make it on the spot so it’ll still be warm when you take your first delightful bite!
Wagyu Mafia (The Cutlet Sandwich)
Address: 1-26-1, Kami-meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo (Atlas Tower 1 F)
Hours: 11:00 – 21:00 Holiday: Wednesday
If you’ve had Wagyu beef, you’ve probably had it grilled on a teppanyaki at a fancy restaurant. Well, Wagyu Mafia brings to the world a new way to enjoy Wagyu beef ー in a cutlet sandwich. You can savor breaded deep fried steak at this casual spot or take it on-the-go in a bento box. The menu ranges from ¥1,500 to ¥20,000 with cutlet sandwiches made from juicy ground beef to beautifully marbled Kobe beef steak. Go a little extra and add some truffle salt fries and an organic mix salad on the side. This simple yet delicious beef cutlet sandwich will surely satisfy your taste buds!
Artless Craft Tea and Coffee
Address: 2-45-12, Kami-meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Nakame Gallery Street J2
Hours: 11:00 – 20:00 weekdays, weekends (Bar- Fridays 20:00-24:00)
This tea and coffee stand will “craft” your perfect cup of drink. Your cup of coffee will go through a carefully calibrated hand dripping process fit for each type of single origin coffee. Your roasted Japanese teas will be brewed using organic pesticide-free leaves and prepared in a Tokoname ware tea pot. After having a rest, make sure to check out their gallery exhibition at the back of the store. On Friday nights, the spot becomes a bar serving exquisite cocktails. Try out their specialty drink using their original single malt scotch whisky made in Scotland.
Address: 1-6-10, Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 18:00-24:00（L.O. 23:30）
Fri.: 18:00-26:00（L.O. 25:30）
Sat. & Holidays: 17:00-26:00（L.O.25:30）
Dining at Pavilion makes you feel like you’re eating at a contemporary art exhibition, with its massive bicycle installation suspended from the ceiling and colorful lighting illuminating the room. Even the bathroom has an artsy touch. It’s really a restaurant, bar, beer garden and art exhibition all-in-one! Enjoy their kiln roasted meat dishes and their specialty drinks ー lemon sours and mojitos ー in this special atmosphere. You’d like their Beer Garden newly opened in June for refreshing outdoor drinks perfect for this warm summer.
Mahakala – Kushi Age
Address: 1-17-5 Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo
Hours: Mon.-Weds.: 18:00-24:00 Weekend & Holidays: 15:00-24:00
Mahakala is the place for “Kushi Age” or fried skewers and Japanese style pancakes with squid. This local spot is cozy with 8 counter seats and 2 tables but is packed with lots of yum and wow. Pair some Japanese sake with their tasty kushi age and have a friendly chat with the staff. You’ll definitely have a great meal!
Jiroumaru Yakiniku Restaurant
Address: 3-5-24 Kamimeguro, Meguro, Tokyo
Hours: Weekdays Lunch: 12:00-15:00 Dinner: 17:00-3:00, Weekends 12:00-3:00
Have you eaten yakiniku like sushi? You’ll know what we’re talking about if you go to Jiroumaru. Different parts of the beef are showcased in a glass case on top of the counter, so you can choose which one you want to try ー one piece at a time. (Yes, one at a time! So try them all!) And this restaurant only serves grade A4 and A5 meat. But prices are reasonable with one piece ranging from ¥30 – ¥500. Most Jiroumaru restaurants are standing restaurants, but the one in Nakameguro has seating so you’ll be able to sit down and enjoy your yakiniku. We recommend their original menus uni wrapped in beef and “Gokutoru liver” available only at the Nakameguro restaurant!
Stay tuned for our next neighborhood guide! Let us know if you have a chance to visit any of these places, or if you like what you see, in the comments below 🙂
Credit: Title Image by Danis Lou
Be sure to check out our shop to get yourself comfortable and cute ballerina flats or beautifully knitted loafers for your neighborhood walk!