Life in the chicest slow lane imaginable.
Daikanyama, located between Shibuya and Nakameguro, mixes the trendiness of the former with the hipsterness of the latter to create an oh-so-fashionable oasis among the hectic scramble of Tokyo. Though very popular among locals and expats alike, Daikanyama lives life in the slow lane, providing a plethora of inviting spaces where you can relax with a book, chat with friends, or buckle down to get some work done.
The foremost place to do this is the famous Daikanyama T-Site, an upscale outpost of the ubiquitous Tsutaya Books located west of the station, whose award-winning architecture classes it as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. T-Site is further set apart by its unique services– you can have classic movies formerly unavailable on DVD burned on the spot, or stationary monogrammed the same day – and their wide selection of Western and Japanese books and magazines, available for perusal at one of the store’s cozy cafes.
The complex also houses specialty pet, bicycle, and camera stores as well as Ivy Place, considered by many to be Tokyo’s best pancake cafe (though they have plenty of other delicious options on offer), and Caffe Michelangelo, a favorite among Japanese celebrities that is popular year-round, but especially during the warmer months when patrons can sit on its gorgeous outdoor patio. Both restaurants are very popular, so expect long lines.
North of the station, you can find Log Road, a line of shops and restaurants recently built on the former site of Toyoko Line railroad tracks. The lush greenery and timber-exterior of the buildings gives it a rustic feel similar to the High Line in Manhattan. Log Road’s main attractions are Fred Segal; the Spring Valley Brewery, a craft beer brewpub that serves food all day, offers brewery tours (in Japanese only), beer tastings, and seminars; and the popular Camden’s Blue Star Donuts, the U.S. donut shop that makes its brioche-dough donuts fresh daily in flavors like Blueberry Bourbon Basil, Cointreau Crème Brûlée, and Apple Bourbon Fritter. Are you drooling yet?
For foodies, Daikanyama’s array of top-ranking spots are a dream come true. Catch Tokyo’s best sandwiches (King George Sandwich Bar), strawberry pancakes (Clover’s Pancakes), and apple pie and New York cheesecake (Matsunosuke NY, which also offers baking classes in English so you can bring it home too), all within a few minutes of each other.
Meanwhile, shopaholics can find interesting shops like Journey, a vintage shop with goods imported from the U.S., and UES, who make denim products designed to be used in some way for their full product life. Specialty shops like Okura, which makes goods treated with a traditional indigo dyeing technique from the 10th century, and Kamawanu Tenugui, making one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed tenugui (traditional oversized multipurpose handkerchiefs), are good for unique souvenirs.