Daikanyama features many quality diners for a delicious lunch or dinner, whatever your budget. Ivy Place, for example, serves up classic nouveau American dishes, from chia pudding to avocado toast, whilst Henry’s Burger keeps things simple with only three burger options on the menu: single, double, or triple. However, when the beef is done this well there’s no need for anything else. There are also more high-end options to check out, such as the Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Ristorante Aso.
Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo (a Kirin-owned craft beer brewery) lies at one end in the lofty lodgings of a renovated warehouse, creating a relaxed, airy atmosphere in which to sample all six of the on-tap lineup, along with a tasty selection of recommended grub to pair nicely with each brew. Outdoor seating is available for some alfresco dining when the sun is up or during the warmer summer evenings. There’s also a place to enjoy a takeout or a picnic on the elevated spacious rooftop terrace at the opposite end of the road that overlooks the surrounding neighborhood.
Daikanyama’s biggest draw is the warren of quiet, homely streets around the station area, packed with expensive fashion boutiques that rub shoulders with more affordable brands. Outlets such as Okura (a popular traditional indigo-dyed garments and accessories store) and long-standing local favorites like Hollywood Ranch Market, which played a big role in developing the Japanese casual fashion scene, are symbolic of the neighborhood’s style.
Aside from apparel shopping, a major landmark of the area is the award-winning Daikanyama T-Site. Consisting of three interlinked buildings adorned with lattices of interlocking Ts (for Tsutaya), there’s a great selection of English titles amongst the plethora of books and magazines (both old and new) as well as Tsutaya’s usual fare of music and movies. The in-house Starbucks and Anjin Library & Lounge (which has a wealth of antique magazines on offer and features a nine-meter-long piece of artwork by Masatake Kouzaki) let you browse through titles in more detail along with a coffee or even something a bit stronger if so inclined.
There are more outlets, cafes, restaurants, and small galleries to be found across the road from T-Site at Daikanyama Hillside Terrace, an older multipurpose complex that was built up gradually between 1967 and 1992.
A little further afield is Log Road Daikanyama. The more low-key, relaxing shopping street is a fairly recent addition to the neighborhood, featuring a cluster of low-rise red cedar buildings housing boutiques and eateries. Outdoor seating and lush greenery line the route that was once part of the Tokyu Line before it was moved underground.
A popular spot for picnicking with friends and family is Saigoyama Park. The rolling landscape is a popular cherry blossom viewing spot featuring a great hillside view across Nakameguro. Other parks within range are Daikanyama Park, Ebisu Park and Sugekari Park.
Amongst all the modernity, there is still some history to enjoy in the neighborhood, in particular the former residence of local politician Torajiro Asakura, Kyu Asakura House. Constructed in 1919 during the Taisho era, it survived the Great Kanto Earthquake and Second World War air raids and has been recognized as an Important Cultural Property.
For a mere ¥100 visitors can enter the garden and explore the complex layout of the house — the creaky wooden floors, immaculately preserved tatami rooms and swathes of natural light spilling into the residence, create a wonderful sense of history.
The mossy, tree-laden garden is built on a slope with a winding stone pathway following the cliff line and cutting through the abundant plant life, which, as you’d expect, come alive during the spring and autumn months. The large conference room on the first floor of the building has seating looking out onto the beautiful scenery, perfect for taking a bit of time out and enjoying a moment of peaceful reflection.
Trains: Located on the Toyoko line right in between Shibuya and Nakameguro stations.
Buses: The Hachiko bus, a cute little red bus, runs a loop through to Shibuya and Ebisu for a mere ¥100.
Taxis: While the streets of Daikanyama are fairly narrow and more pedestrian-friendly, taxis are not too difficult to be found.