Home to celebs, ubercool hairdressers and bike shops, ambitious young professionals and a disconcerting number of tiny dogs, Nakameguro is one of Tokyo’s most popular residential neighborhoods. Mostly expensive, but not without a few cheapo gems, this place has a high density of pretentious (but good) cafes, hipster boutiques, fine dining establishments and an array of shops aimed exclusively at spoiled pets. Oh, and there are awesome cherry blossoms in season.
Where to eat and drink
With some of Tokyo’s coolest bars, Nakameguro is a popular nightlife spot, especially among the slightly more sophisticated 30-somethings who are too cool for school (or perhaps just too cool for Shibuya and Roppongi). But we recommend rolling on by during the daytime to sample some great coffee and feast at the top-quality restaurants using the golden cheapo rule, posh lunch, cheap dinner.
Chanoma is a popular place to get caffeinated, while Kirara is one of our favorite restaurants for healthy grub. The best way to hack Nakameguro’s food culture, though, is simply to wander around the narrow roads and see what takes your fancy.
What to do
Nakameguro is famous for its long lines of cherry blossoms on either side of the Meguro River (more of a canal than a river, but pretty nonetheless). The neighborhood really comes alive during hanami (cherry blossom) season, turning into a veritable festival of culture, selfie sticks and booze.
If you’re there at any other time of the year, there is still plenty to keep you entertained. Browse the tiny shops along the river, visit the Donki flagship store and pop into Shokaku-ji Temple or one of the local shrines. Have a picnic and chill in Sugekari Park. There is much more to explore on our half-day walking tour, which takes you to places like the Meguro Sky Garden and a well-preserved old Japanese house in nearby Daikanyama.
Where to stay
There are some decent Airbnb listings for Nakameguro, but if you’re looking for a hostel or hotel you might want to go for areas like Asakusa and Shibuya. The latter is just a couple of stops away on the Tokyu-Toyoko Line, one of the two train lines that serves Nakameguro (the other is the Hibiya Line).