Tokyo strolls: Daikanyama

by Nano Betts

Tokyo is filled with so many wonderful nooks and crannies. Some neighborhoods belong to a must-see and touristy category, but then there are others that are perfect for off-beat strolls or expat pastimes. Daikanyama is one of them. There is nothing historically significant to see here per say, but strolling through Daikanyama gives a wonderful insight into how the locals like to spend their weekends. It is often referred to as “the Brooklyn of the Japanese capital,” and is characterized by classic style and high-end comfort. It has relaxed vibe, tree-lined pedestrian-only streets, trendy boutiques and eateries which make it a suburban oasis located just a 15-minute walk from Shibuya, the world’s busiest intersection.

Those foodies who are always on a look-out for a nice café or two, there are quite a few gems in Daikanyama. Soso Tokyo is a cozy green tea salon where you can whip up your own matcha tea. Blue Jam Café serves excellent French toasts, while Ivy Place has been a Tokyo institution for weekend brunch for years now.

No visit to Daikanyama should go without visiting the famous Daikanyama T-Site, known among locals as the “T-Site.” The jewel of the Daikanyama neighborhood, T-Site is a neo-modernist building complex that lends its name from Tsutaya (mind the interlocking T-shapes on the façade of the complex), a well-known CD/DVD rental shop, and hosts city’s most popular bookstore, cafés, upscale stores, an art gallery and even a dog garden. Head to the second floor to enjoy an afternoon meal at their absolutely gorgeous library-lounge.

Another of my favorite spots here is Tenoha Daikanyama, a somewhat whimsical courtyard built around a handful of cafes plus a sundry shop.

Read my complete guide to Daikanyama on Savvy Tokyo where I share more things to see and do, plus a few noteworthy shopping spots to check out, including unique boutiques like Lift Etage, Journey and Okura.

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