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Cherry blossoms along the Meguro River | © Aw1805/WikiCommons
Cherry blossoms along the Meguro River | © Aw1805/WikiCommons
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A Hipster's Guide to Tokyo's Naka-Meguro District

Picture of Alicia Joy
Tokyo Writer
Updated: 12 April 2017
Naka-meguro is situated along the Meguro River, a well-known cherry blossom viewing spot. But once the spring fever subsides, this little Tokyo neighborhood grows quiet once again and attracts a laid-back, artsy crowd. Get in touch with your inner hipster in Naka-meguro.

Stay

The artsy boutique hotel Claska is an ideal choice. It’s located in Meguro Ward just south of Naka-meguro, about 15 minutes away on public transit. Claska’s rooms have all been done up individually by local designers, ensuring each stay is unique. With a restaurant, gallery, and shop onsite, guests of this hotel will never run out of things to do. Otherwise, booking sites like AirBnb are sure to have some local rooms up for rent.

Naka-meguro in springtime | © Johan Rosen/Pexels
Naka-meguro in springtime | © Johan Rosen/Pexels

Drink

Stop for a drink at Onibus Coffee. These specialty roasters expertly brew single-origin beans. But it’s the café itself that draws most people in, with its interesting architecture and décor that’s considered unique even in Naka-meguro. If you’d rather enjoy your cup with some canine company, Jaho Coffee by Plain People – with its separate menu just for dogs – always attracts a steady stream of local pet owners.

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Eat

You don’t have to get away from the main shopping area if you want to find some unique eats – like Huit, a French-inspired café where the motto is the classic East Meets West. Or for something a little livelier, head north a bit to Punk Rock Izakaya. Tucked away in a basement with hardly a sign to guide you, this is not your typical Japanese pub. Here, rock music blares from the speakers, and band posters deck the walls alongside traditional Japanese art. Just make sure to make reservations on Fridays and weekends.

French and Japanese influence at Huit in Naka-meguro | © Aki Sato/Flickr
French and Japanese influence at Huit in Naka-meguro | © Aki Sato/Flickr

Shop

Strolling along in Naka-meguro, it’s not hard to find a store selling alternative fashions sourced from eco-friendly materials or one of a kind handicrafts. SML, for example, which stands for Standard Manufacturer Laboratory, sells handmade ceramics, pottery, and the like from artists based all over Japan.

Nightlife

Naka-meguro is home to a surprisingly diverse nightlife scene. Enjoy one of the best selections of craft beer at Baird Beer Taproom, or stroll along the river until a Japanese wine bar with patio seating or a late night café playing a band you’ve never heard of catches your eye. Naka-meguro even has its own DJ bar, Solfa, which is a great place to check out local DJs and sample the underground music scene before they head over to the bigger clubs in Shibuya.

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