Tokyo is known for its trendy cultures as seen in Harajuku, Shibuya, Shimokitazawa and Nakameguro. These places are rated as a fashion hub, especially for the millennials. If you belong in this type of group, then all of the places we mentioned above are ultimately your paradise.
Image Source: Gaijinpot Blog.
Another stylish neighbourhood in Tokyo, Daikanyama is constantly being referred to as ‘The Brooklyn of Japan’. Daikanyama sits in between Shibuya and Nakameguro. This area is the local’s and expatriate’s favourite go-to-location, especially during the weekends. The ambience that you will get out of Daikanyama is completely different from Harajuku or other lively neighbourhoods.
On top of that, Daikanyama is home to high-end fashion brands, fashionable boutiques and hipster’s café. Although the area is quite small, there are plenty of places in Daikanyama that are worth visiting. We think a one day trip to the Brooklyn of Japan is sufficient to cover the ground.
The streets of Daikanyama. Image Source: Nicholas Sim.
As you stepped into the neighbourhood, you will notice that most of the structures here are a low-rise, open-air and it’s pretty much laid-back. We recommend you to come here by trains and explore Daikanyama by foot as the places are situated near to each other. Even though it is a part of Tokyo, you won’t taste the same noisy and hectic environment here. Daikanyama has a much more serene ambience which led to the reasons why people love to come here during the holidays.
Most popular location in Daikanyama is the Daikanyama Tsutaya or also known as T-Site. The three-level complex is called T-site because of the T-shaped motif as seen on the exterior wall of the building. The inside of the T-site consists of Tsutaya bookstore, Starbucks, reading lounge and CD/DVD rental shop. While getting your daily coffee fix, you can browse from Japanese to Western language books and magazines.
T-shaped motif. Image Source: Daikanyama T-Site Official Website.
If you are looking for rare and vintage magazines, Anjin Library & Lounge provides more than 30,000 copies of those reading materials. For travel guides, head to T-Travel. They specialize in making trip itineraries as requested by customers. Other than that, explore T-Site to find out what you can do here. For your information, T-Site was named as one of the beautiful bookstores in the world. So, more reasons to visit the bookstore, right?
The interior of T-Site. Image Source: Klein Dytham.
Next is the Kyu Asakura House, owned and built by a Japanese politician, Torajiro Asakura. The former residence of the Asakura family was constructed in 1919 where the painstaking details of the wooden architecture can be observed from afar. In 2004, the government named the residence as an Important Cultural Property after surviving the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Now, the residence has turned into a public place but it is fully managed by the Shibuya City.
Kyu Asakura House’s well-kept garden. Image Source: When in Tokyo.
An old ruin of former railroad tracks was converted into a shopping area called Log Road Daikanyama. The whole area is planted with greeneries and the buildings were made out of woods thus manipulating the visitors as if they are walking through a park.
Image Source: Log Road Daikanyama Official Website.
There are long lines of shops and restaurants here, while the most popular shop in Log Road is Garden House Crafts. The restaurant prepares everything organic from food to drinks. The best thing about the restaurant is its food selection. Ranging from heavy breakfast set to pastries, most people will spend their day here to have brunch or simply relax and enjoy their calming atmosphere.
Their breakfast set. Image Source: Log Road Daikanyama Official Website.
If you want to taste the best sandwiches in Tokyo, you need to go to King George. Their sandwiches are known to be very healthy and it comes in a big portion. The shop offers sandwiches, smoothies, salads and also beer, only at night. The must-try sandwiches are King George (turkey and cheese) and Honey Mustard Chicken (chicken, mustard, peppers). Apart from that, King George uses minimalist and rustic elements to furnish the shop’s interior which looks very welcoming.
King George. Image Source: Time Out Tokyo.
For those who want to do some shopping aside from the high-end brands, Journey is a shop that sells clothing mainly from the United States. This shop has been around the area since 1917 during the Taisho Period and to add more charms to Journey, they placed several past photos of Daikanyama during the olden days. Next to Journey is Okura. This is a famous indigo-dyed clothing store where they use traditional Japanese technique to create an intensifying deep blue colour for their clothes.
For souvenirs, Kamawanu makes the best quality of tenugui (Japanese handkerchief) and one of its stores is located here in Daikanyama. Kamawanu isn’t a foreign name especially to those who have stayed in Japan their whole lives. Their tenugui designs don’t revolve around just the traditional patterns, but they also use contemporary motifs to suit every buyer needs. Moreover, you can ask the staffs to show you how to use the tenugui. Did you know tenugui can be used as a gift wrapper and head accessory?
Kamawanu Tenugui shop in Daikanyama. Image Source: Time Out Tokyo.
Before you head back to the busy streets of Tokyo, enjoy a leisurely stroll in Saigoyama Park situated only 10 minutes away from Daikanyama Station. Since there aren’t any high-rise buildings in the neighbourhood, from the hilltop of the park, you can enjoy a picturesque view of the area. The park is also suitable for picnics as there a plenty of grass-covered area. The best time to visit Saigoyama Park is during the cherry blossoms season.
Cherry blossoms tree in Saigoyama Park. Image Source: i_ishr on Instagram.
How to Get to Daikanyama?
If you are already in Tokyo, then your journey to Daikanyama will be a smooth sail. From Shibuya Station, you can reach Daikanyama on foot. It will take roughly 15 to 20 minutes of walking depending on your pace. In case of a bad weather condition, you can board the train from Shibuya Station and stops at Daikan-Yama Station. It’s only one stop and will take two minutes to reach there.