If you’re looking to get a taste of cozy bistros and trendy cafés, think about making a trip to Nakameguro. The residential area, a short trip from Shibuya, can be reached on the Toyoko and Hibiya lines. The area along the Meguro River offers a smaller and quieter experience than many of the larger hubs in Tokyo but is no less exciting. This Nakameguro tour takes you to some of the more fun and unique parts of the neighborhood, while providing more than a few opportunities to kick back and relax. You can find a map of the tour here.

This Nakameguro tour follows the Meguro River through the neighbourhood
Head behind Tsutaya Books to start your Nakameguro tour

A Walk Along Meguro River

One of the highlights of any trip to Nakameguro is a riverside walk along the Meguro river. Filled with cherry blossoms in spring and decorative lights in winter, the river offers a small oasis in the middle of Tokyo’s sprawl. From the station’s main exit, cross the street heading behind Tsutaya Books. You’ll reach the river almost immediately; start your Nakameguro tour by following the river left as it curves through the neighborhood.

Along the way, you can stop in any number of cafés and shops, but Nakameguro also has a number of small art galleries. Places like Gallery Nakameguro actually rent space to local artists which provides us with a glimpse of the latest in local art.

This Nakameguro tour follows the Meguro River through the neighbourhood

If you’re not in the mood for art, however, continue on. Follow the path for ten minutes until you reach the newly opened Starbucks Roastery.

Coffee and Food

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Nakameguro is the largest of its kind in the world. And it offers far more than just coffee, so if you’re a fan of the popular chain, you’ll want to step in to enjoy some coffee, tea, or even cocktails in store. The roastery’s large outdoor terrace offers a particularly stunning view of the city.

However, if you don’t need caffeine, bypass the roastery and let your Nakameguro walk curve around the outside of the building. From the roastery, continue your Nakameguro tour by turning left and following the main Yamate-dori avenue back towards the station.

Nakameguro Tour: Yamate-dori near the station
Walk back along Yamate-dori towards the station

Along the walk you’ll be spoiled with food options. If you’ve always wanted to try Ethiopian food, Queen Sheba is a short walk from the roastery. However, if you prefer Italian, the Pizzeria and Trattoria da Isa offers delicious, affordable options.

Of course, Nakameguro also has several Japanese options, including everything from sushi to ramen.

The Other Side of your Nakameguro Tour

Once you reach the station again, take a left and head across the Meguro river. From here you can continue your Nakameguro tour by exploring the other side of Nakameguro station. This part of Nakameguro is full of smaller, twisty alleys and streets lined with longstanding izakaya and upscale restaurants alike.

Nakameguro Tour: Backstreets
Nakameguro Tour
Taco Fanatico and Riverside Gallery

If you’re looking to try some artisanal tacos, you can try Taco Fanatico by turning right after the bridge. On the other hand, if you feel like bistro fare, continue past the taco stand and follow the curve around to find Tavern. This restaurant and café serves international fare, cocktails and craft beer.

Tavern Diner in Nakameguro
Tavern Corner

There are dozens of options for dining in this part of the neighborhood, so take a break from your Nakameguro tour to find the perfect meal. Once you’re finished with this Nakameguro walk, you can head back to the station and make your way home. However, if you’ve got some extra energy, there’s plenty to explore on the other side of the station.

If you find yourself needing a break from the relentless crowds in major tourist areas such as Shibuya and Shinjuku, Nakameguro affords a similarly wide range of food and shopping options in a more remote-feeling environment. Best of all, you don’t have to journey outside of the city centre to enjoy it.     

Post by Japan Journeys.