Looking for a new place to discover in Tokyo? Why not head to Nakameguro? This famous residential neighborhood is just a 20-minute bus ride or 3-4 minutes train ride from Shibuya Station.
Nakameguro becomes popular during the spring for the cherry blossoms, but it’s more than just a cherry blossom hotspot. Here are 13 places you can go to when you visit Nakameguro.
Saigoyama Park is a place mostly frequented by people during the spring to have picnics under the cherry blossom trees. The park used to be the location of Saigo Tsugumichi’s house. Tsugumichi was a politician and admiral during the Meiji period and he was the brother of Saigo Takamori, a samurai and one of the three great nobles who pioneered the Meiji Restoration.
Meguro River is another popular place that people visit during the spring. Travel websites have always included 8-kilometer long Meguro River as a must-visit place during spring in Japan. A cherry blossom festival is also held near the river during the spring time.
What makes Meguro River attractive is that both sides of the river banks are heavily populated by cherry blossom trees. These petals fall and float on the river itself, and the view makes the walk along the river bank rewarding.
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For people who craves for onigiri or Japanese rice balls, Onigily Café should be your next stop. This café serves delicious onigiri with different fillings for a reasonable price. They even have a wide selection for vegetarians. Aside from onigiri, they also serve other dishes such as miso soup and chicken karaage.
Dessin is a used bookstore with a unique vintage personality. This bookstore sells secondhand books about photography and art. On the second floor is a gallery space.
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If you want to know more about Meguro, then the Meguro History Museum can help you out. The exhibition rooms in the museum are quite compact, but the museum does a great job in exhibiting and preserving the history of Meguro. Information in the museum is now available in English thanks to a Boy Scouts of America project.
85/Hachigo is a shop that sells fermented goods such as miso, soy sauce, and amakaze. If you love cooking or simply want to have a taste of the traditional Japanese food, this place is the perfect match for you!
For a cup of good coffee, why not drop by Blue Bottle’s branch in Nakameguro? Blue Bottle is a popular coffee roaster with branches in North American and Japan. The building where Blue Bottle currently stands used to be an electrical parts factory.
Their café in Nakameguro boasts of a tasting room for guests who would like to smell sample coffees and a workshop where they host gatherings and seminars.
The Museum of Contemporary Sculpture is another worthwhile place to visit. Admission is free, which makes the trip better. The museum houses the sculptures of numerous Japanese artists. There is also a small tea room inside, but it’s not always open.
Nakameguro Park is another beautiful park that many people visit to enjoy picnics and to spend quality time with their families. The park has a “Flower and Greenery Learning Center” where visitors can learn more about the various plants and flowers in the park.
The park offers a wide array of activities, such as a sports area, a playground for children, a basketball court, and a reading library. There is also a “foot health walk” or “reflexology path” found at the back of the park. People would remove their shoes walk on the stones that are believed to reduce blood pressure and improves balance and physical performance of the people who walk on the path.
Another interesting museum in the Meguro area is the Meguro Parasitological Museum. As the name suggests, it is a museum dedicated to parasites and the study of parasites called parasitology.
The museum was founded by Dr. Satoru Kamegai in 1953. The museum contains about 60,000 parasite specimens and a library of about 50,000 papers on 6,000 books about parasites and parasitic diseases. The researchers at the museum work hard on collecting and studying parasitic specimens.
They also hold presentations and lectures about parasites and also aids medical school with the procurement of specimens for medical education.
Cow Books is a quaint little bookstore that sells out of print books that focuses on the social movements during the 1960s-1970s. In their website, they list authors and genres that can be found in their bookstore.
Genres such as beat generation, Black power, campus protests, hippies, essays, and memoirs. Their list of authors includes Richard Brautigan, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kasey. Aside from books on social movements, they also have photography and artists books.
In the middle of the busy neighborhood of Meguro, lies an oasis beside the city skylines. Opened in 2013, the Meguro Sky Garden is rooftop park that’s perfect for an escape from the urban noise. Meguro Sky Garden has an area of 7,000 square meters and circumference measuring 400 meters. This public space was awarded by the Japan Institute of Design Promotion the Good Design Award in 2013.
On a clear day, Mt. Fuji can be seen clearly and even though it is in the middle of the city, the noise of the city doesn’t reach the park. The garden itself is divided into sections, such as a play area for children, a Japanese garden, and a four seasons garden. Admission to the Sky Garden is free, so make sure to take advantage of the strategic location of this unique park.
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Last but definitely not the least, is Nakameguro Koukashita. The charm of this place is that it is a mall under the railway tracks of Naka-Meguro Station. The whole strip is 700m long with various shops, including a Tsutaya Books branch.
Even though the neighborhood is more popular during the spring, it would still be nice to visit it during any time of the year. It’s just a short commute away, so you can definitely spend a day here and it will be worth it. See you in Nakameguro!