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Akasaka Azabu

Higashiyama
  • Date Published: May 16, 2024

Welcome to Meguro’s Higashiyama, a vibrant neighborhood in Tokyo that offers a blend of artistic landscapes and a vibrant local lifestyle. This diverse area is a must-visit for travelers looking to explore the creative side of Meguro. From the famous cherry blossoms along the Meguro River during hanami season to innovative museums, charming cafes, and unique shops, Higashiyama has something for everyone. Join us as we take you on a journey through the best things to do, hidden gems, and local secrets of Meguro’s Higashiyama neighborhood.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the artistic landscape and vibrant local lifestyle of Meguro’s Higashiyama.
  • Experience the breathtaking beauty of cherry blossoms along the Meguro River during hanami season.
  • Explore the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, showcasing a wide range of contemporary and classic photography.
  • Visit the Meguro Parasitological Museum for a unique perspective on the natural world.
  • Uncover hidden gems like Traveler’s Factory, a haven for stationery enthusiasts, and Geographica, a secondhand shop with a unique collection of vintage treasures.

History and Background

The neighborhood of Higashiyama is located within Meguro ward, which was formed in 1932 by the merger of Meguro Proper and Hibusama. Meguro Proper and Hibusama were two separate towns with distinct historical significance that played a crucial role in the development of the area. Meguro Proper, originally known as Meguro Village, was an agricultural community with a rich cultural heritage. On the other hand, Hibusama, a small town located in the eastern part of Meguro, was known for its natural beauty and traditional Japanese architecture.

The merger of Meguro Proper and Hibusama brought together the unique characteristics of both towns, giving birth to the vibrant and diverse Meguro ward. This historical background adds depth and context to the artistic landscape of Higashiyama. Today, Meguro ward is a thriving urban area that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Historical Background of Meguro Proper

Meguro Proper, also known as Meguro Village, was an agricultural community that thrived during the Edo period (1603-1868). The village was known for its fertile soil and agricultural practices, which contributed to its economic success. Meguro Proper was also home to several influential samurai families and had a rich cultural heritage, evident in the temples and shrines that still stand today.

Historical Significance of Meguro Proper Points of Interest
Meguro Gajoen A luxurious banquet and wedding hall with stunning traditional architecture and artwork.
Meguro Fudo Temple A Buddhist temple known for its unique architecture and festivals.
Former Toguri Family Residence A well-preserved samurai residence that offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the elite during the Edo period.

Historical Significance of Hibusama

Hibusama, located in the eastern part of Meguro, was known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage. The town was surrounded by lush greenery and mountains, making it a popular destination for nature lovers. Hibusama was also known for its traditional Japanese architecture, with many historic buildings still standing today.

Historical Significance of Hibusama Points of Interest
Hibusama Shrine A Shinto shrine dedicated to the deity of agriculture, known for its scenic surroundings.
Yanagihara Pond A tranquil pond surrounded by cherry trees, offering a picturesque spot for hanami (cherry blossom viewing).
Former Hibusama Elementary School A well-preserved elementary school building that showcases the architectural style of the Meiji era.

The merger of Meguro Proper and Hibusama brought together the distinct histories and characteristics of both towns, creating the unique and vibrant neighborhood of Higashiyama within Meguro ward. Today, this blend of tradition and modernity can be seen throughout Higashiyama, making it a captivating destination for those looking to explore Meguro’s creative side.

Meguro Proper and Hibusama were two separate towns with distinct historical significance that played a crucial role in the development of the area.

Cherry Blossom Stroll along Meguro River

One of the most enchanting experiences in Higashiyama is taking a leisurely stroll along the Meguro River during hanami season, when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The Meguro River is famous for its picturesque scenery and attracts visitors from all over Tokyo. The soft pink petals of the cherry blossoms create a breathtaking landscape that evokes a sense of serenity and wonder.

During hanami season, the riverbanks are adorned with cherry trees, creating a stunning canopy of delicate flowers. The sight of people gathering under the cherry trees, enjoying picnics, and celebrating the arrival of spring is truly magical. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply looking to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, a stroll along the Meguro River during hanami season is a must-do experience in Higashiyama.

As you take in the beauty of the cherry blossoms, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area. The Meguro River is lined with charming cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary attractions. You can indulge in delicious Japanese cuisine, browse unique boutiques, or simply relax and enjoy the scenic views.

Table: Best Viewing Spots for Cherry Blossoms along Meguro River

Spot Location
Nakameguro Park Adjacent to the Meguro River
Meguro Sky Garden On the rooftop of the Meguro Sky Garden building
Chidori-ga-fuchi A short walk from Meguro Station

Exploring Higashiyama’s cherry blossom-lined Meguro River is an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of spring in Japan. Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the bustling city, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the beauty of cherry blossoms in Higashiyama.

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is a haven for photography enthusiasts, showcasing a diverse collection of contemporary and classic Japanese and international works. Established in 1986, the museum offers an immersive experience that explores the breadth and depth of photography as an art form. With three galleries dedicated to exhibitions, visitors can wander through a world of visually stunning and thought-provoking images.

The museum’s collection spans various genres and styles, reflecting the evolution of photography over time. From traditional black and white photos to experimental and avant-garde works, there is something to captivate every visitor. The exhibits not only showcase the talent and creativity of Japanese photographers but also offer a global perspective through the inclusion of international works.

For photography enthusiasts seeking to deepen their knowledge, the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum boasts an impressive library with an extensive collection of books on the art of photography. From technical manuals to historical accounts and critical analyses, the library provides a valuable resource for those eager to explore the medium further.

Tokyo Photographic Art Museum

Highlights of the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum:

  • Exhibitions that showcase the diversity of contemporary and classic photography
  • A collection that spans different genres and styles, offering a comprehensive view of the art form
  • An extensive library with a wealth of knowledge on photography

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange

Immerse yourself in the world of photography at the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, where creativity and visual storytelling come to life. Experience the power of the captured image and gain a deeper appreciation for the art form as you explore the museum’s exhibitions and delve into its vast collection of books. Whether you are a photography enthusiast or simply curious about the power of visual storytelling, this museum is a must-visit destination in Higashiyama.

Meguro Parasitological Museum

The Meguro Parasitological Museum is a unique and fascinating museum dedicated to parasites. It houses a vast collection of preserved specimens, including a nine-meter tapeworm, which is a popular attraction. The museum also features a library that contains over 5,000 books on parasites and scientific journals documenting the museum’s research and findings. It’s a valuable resource for anyone interested in science or curious about the world of parasites. The Meguro Parasitological Museum offers a different perspective on the natural world and is a must-visit for those seeking offbeat attractions.

Museum Highlights:

  • Extensive collection of preserved parasite specimens
  • Popular attraction: the nine-meter tapeworm
  • Library with over 5,000 books on parasites
  • Scientific journals documenting research and findings

“The Meguro Parasitological Museum provides a unique experience for visitors to learn about parasites and their impact on the natural world. The collection of preserved specimens and extensive library make it a valuable resource for those interested in scientific research and exploration.”

By visiting the Meguro Parasitological Museum, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the intricate and often misunderstood world of parasites. It’s a one-of-a-kind museum that offers a blend of scientific research and educational exhibits, allowing visitors to explore this fascinating subject in a thought-provoking way. Whether you have a specific interest in parasites or simply enjoy discovering offbeat attractions, the Meguro Parasitological Museum is sure to provide a unique and memorable experience.

Traveler’s Factory

For stationery enthusiasts, Traveler’s Factory in Higashiyama is a hidden gem that shouldn’t be missed. This charming shop is a haven for those who appreciate the art of journaling and the beauty of vintage stationery. From journals and vintage stamps to fountain pens and other unique items, the shop offers a wide selection of aesthetically pleasing products that cater to the creative soul. Step into Traveler’s Factory and be transported to a world of nostalgia and creativity.

The walls of the shop are adorned with an array of carefully curated stationery items, each telling its own story. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler looking to document your adventures or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of handwritten notes, Traveler’s Factory will captivate you with its carefully crafted collection.

Located in the heart of Higashiyama, Traveler’s Factory is a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Lose yourself in the world of stationery and indulge in the joy of finding the perfect pen or journal. Whether you’re searching for inspiration or simply looking to add a touch of vintage charm to your stationery collection, Traveler’s Factory is the place to be.

Aesthetic Delights for the Creative Soul

At Traveler’s Factory, every visit is a sensory experience. The shop’s rustic interior and carefully designed displays create an atmosphere that is both cozy and inspiring. As you browse through the shelves, you’ll find yourself drawn to the beautifully crafted journals, the exquisite vintage stamps, and the smoothness of the fountain pens.

“Traveler’s Factory is a haven for stationery enthusiasts, offering a curated selection of vintage-inspired items that ignite the imagination.” – Stationery Lover Magazine

  • Discover a wide range of journals, each with its own unique cover design and paper quality.
  • Choose from a selection of vintage stamps that add character and nostalgia to your letters and art projects.
  • Feel the weight and elegance of the fountain pens, each waiting to capture your thoughts and ideas.

Immerse Yourself in the Art of Journaling

Traveler’s Factory is more than just a stationery shop; it’s a place where creativity flourishes. The shop often hosts workshops and events where enthusiasts can gather, share their love for journaling, and learn new techniques. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your journaling journey or an experienced artist seeking inspiration, Traveler’s Factory offers a community that celebrates the art of journaling.

So, grab your favorite pen, open a fresh notebook, and let your creativity flow at Traveler’s Factory in Higashiyama. Step into a world of vintage charm and artistic possibilities, and let the spirit of journaling guide you.

Meguro Dori

Meguro Dori, a vibrant street in Higashiyama, is a haven for interior design lovers. The street is lined with a variety of furniture shops and retro cafes, offering a unique shopping experience for those looking to add character to their Tokyo homes. Factory & Labo Kanno Coffee is a popular spot for delicious drip coffee and sandwiches, while Case Study Shop is a treasure trove for retro Japanese items. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, Meguro Dori has something for everyone.

With its array of interior design shops, Meguro Dori is the perfect place to find that statement piece for your home. From vintage furniture to handmade ceramics and unique home decor items, this street is a treasure trove of inspiration. The shops in Meguro Dori offer a curated selection of high-quality products, ensuring that you’ll find something truly special.

After a day of exploring the neighborhood, take a break at one of Meguro Dori’s retro cafes. These charming establishments offer a cozy atmosphere and a taste of nostalgia. Enjoy a cup of coffee and indulge in a slice of cake while taking in the retro decor and ambiance. Meguro Dori’s retro cafes provide a delightful retreat from the bustling city, making them a must-visit for anyone seeking a unique and relaxing experience.

Table: Retro Cafes in Meguro Dori

Cafe Specialty Atmosphere
Factory & Labo Kanno Coffee Drip coffee Cozy and relaxed
Case Study Shop Retro Japanese items Quirky and nostalgic
Another Retro Cafe Homemade pastries Charming and vintage

Whether you’re in search of the perfect piece for your home or simply looking to unwind at a retro cafe, Meguro Dori is a must-visit destination in the Meguro neighborhood. Its unique blend of interior design shops and cafes offers a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you inspired and fulfilled.

Geographica

Geographica is a hidden gem in the heart of Higashiyama, offering a treasure trove of secondhand items that are sure to delight vintage lovers and collectors. This unique shop specializes in a diverse range of goods, including secondhand books, toys, antique furniture, and old postcards and photos. Stepping into Geographica is like stepping into a world of nostalgia, where each item has its own story to tell.

The whimsical layout of the shop adds to its charm, with shelves filled to the brim with vintage books in both English and Japanese, carefully curated toys that bring back childhood memories, and beautifully restored antique furniture that adds character to any home. Whether you’re looking for a rare book, a unique toy from the past, or a one-of-a-kind piece of vintage furniture, Geographica is the place to go.

Upstairs, visitors can also enjoy a delightful Italian cafe called II Nuovo Levante. The cafe’s unique seating, modeled after train cars, provides a cozy and nostalgic atmosphere to enjoy a cup of coffee and take a break from exploring the shop. Geographica also offers furniture restoration classes taught by the owners, giving visitors the opportunity to learn new skills and breathe new life into their vintage treasures.

Unique Finds at Geographica

Geographica’s diverse collection of secondhand items ensures that there is always something new and exciting to discover. Here are a few examples of the unique finds you can expect to come across:

  • A wide selection of secondhand books, covering a range of genres, including classics, biographies, and travel literature.
  • A curated collection of vintage toys, including tin robots, wooden puzzles, and nostalgic board games.
  • An assortment of antique furniture, from elegant dining tables to charming dressers and unique statement pieces.
  • A variety of old postcards and photos, offering a glimpse into the past and allowing you to connect with history in a tangible way.

“Geographica is a haven for vintage lovers, offering a unique and nostalgic shopping experience. Each item has its own story to tell and is waiting to find a new home. It’s a place where you can step back in time, immerse yourself in the past, and discover hidden treasures that bring joy and nostalgia to your life.”

Geographica is a must-visit destination for those seeking a touch of nostalgia and the thrill of finding unique, one-of-a-kind items. Whether you’re a collector, a vintage enthusiast, or simply someone looking to add a touch of history to your home, Geographica is sure to delight and inspire.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Higashiyama is a must-visit for coffee lovers and architecture enthusiasts alike. This four-story establishment is dedicated to offering an excellent coffee experience, with an emphasis on specialty coffee and artisanal brewing methods. Designed in collaboration with renowned architect Kengo Kuma, the Roastery features an artistic architecture that seamlessly blends with the surrounding neighborhood.

Upon entering the Roastery, visitors are greeted by a stunning sakura-inspired design, with handcrafted copper sakura leaves adorning the interior. The attention to detail and aesthetic beauty of the space create a unique and immersive coffee experience.

“The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Higashiyama is a beautiful blend of artistic architecture and exceptional coffee. The sakura-inspired design creates a peaceful and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to savor a cup of specialty coffee.”

One of the highlights of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery is the Arriviamo Bar on the fourth floor. This bar offers an elevated coffee experience, where expert mixologists craft exquisite espresso martinis and other coffee-based cocktails. It’s a sophisticated and stylish space that truly showcases the artistry of coffee-making.

If you’re a fan of specialty coffee and appreciate artistic architecture, a visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Higashiyama is a must. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the sakura-inspired design and indulge in the exceptional coffee offerings for a truly memorable experience.

Higashi-Yama Tokyo

Higashi-Yama Tokyo is a bento spot in Higashiyama that offers a unique dining experience focused on washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine. The menu is carefully crafted to highlight seasonal ingredients and flavors, with dishes that are cooked to perfection. Guests can enjoy a range of options, from matcha blancmange to seasonal vegetable stew. One of the standout dishes is the wagyu beef cutlet, cooked to perfection by an expert chef. For those with a sweet tooth, the green tea panna cotta is a must-try dessert. Higashi-Yama Tokyo offers a delightful combination of culinary artistry and traditional Japanese flavors.

Higashi-Yama Tokyo prides itself on its dedication to authentic washoku cuisine, using only the freshest ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Each dish is meticulously prepared to showcase the natural flavors and textures of the ingredients, allowing guests to savor the essence of Japanese culinary heritage. The wagyu beef cutlet, in particular, is a prime example of the restaurant’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship. Made with the finest wagyu beef and expertly fried to achieve a crispy golden crust while retaining the meat’s tenderness, it is a true indulgence for meat lovers.

In addition to its exceptional food, Higashi-Yama Tokyo also offers a warm and inviting atmosphere. The minimalist decor and elegant furnishings create a serene ambiance, allowing diners to relax and enjoy their meals in comfort. The attentive and knowledgeable staff further enhance the dining experience, providing friendly and informative service that adds to the overall pleasure of the visit.

For those seeking a culinary adventure that celebrates the rich flavors of Japan, Higashi-Yama Tokyo is a must-visit bento spot. With its emphasis on seasonal dishes, exquisite presentation, and dedication to traditional washoku, it offers a truly memorable dining experience that captures the essence of Japanese cuisine.

Izakaya Experience at Yakitori Akira

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the authentic flavors of Japanese cuisine, a visit to Yakitori Akira is a must. Located in the charming neighborhood of Higashiyama, this rustic izakaya offers a unique dining experience that showcases the art of yakitori.

Yakitori, which translates to “grilled chicken skewers,” is the specialty of this izakaya. The menu features a range of mouthwatering options, from tender chicken thighs to succulent chicken wings. Each skewer is carefully grilled to perfection, resulting in juicy, flavorful bites that will leave you craving for more.

While yakitori takes center stage, Yakitori Akira also offers other delectable dishes to complement your meal. Don’t miss out on their karaage, a Japanese-style fried chicken known for its crispy exterior and tender interior. Pair your meal with a glass of umeshu, a Japanese plum wine that adds a delightful sweetness to the dining experience.

Yakitori Akira

Step into the rustic interior of Yakitori Akira and you’ll immediately be transported to a traditional izakaya setting. The warm, cozy ambiance sets the perfect backdrop for a relaxed evening of enjoying delicious food and drinks with friends or loved ones.

Yakitori Akira Menu Highlights:

  • Assorted Yakitori Skewers
  • Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
  • Chicken Wings with Tare Sauce
  • Chicken Meatballs
  • Grilled Vegetables

Customer Reviews:

“Yakitori Akira offers an unforgettable izakaya experience. The yakitori skewers are grilled to perfection and bursting with flavor. The karaage is simply addictive, and the rustic ambiance adds to the overall charm of the place. Highly recommended!” – Hiroshi S.

“I had the pleasure of dining at Yakitori Akira during my visit to Higashiyama, and it was a highlight of my trip. The yakitori was incredibly delicious, and the staff was warm and welcoming. A must-visit for anyone looking to savor traditional Japanese flavors.” – Emily L.

Indulge in the flavors of Japan and experience the warm hospitality of Yakitori Akira as you explore the artistic landscape of Higashiyama. Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking for an authentic izakaya experience, this hidden gem is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Conclusion

Exploring Meguro’s Higashiyama neighborhood is an enchanting journey into the artistic landscape of Tokyo. From the stunning cherry blossoms along the Meguro River to the innovative museums, charming cafes, and unique shops, Higashiyama offers a wide range of attractions that cater to all interests. Whether you’re a lover of art and design, a food enthusiast, or someone seeking offbeat experiences, Higashiyama has something for everyone.

Discover Meguro’s hidden gems and immerse yourself in the vibrant local lifestyle of Higashiyama.

FAQ

What are some must-visit attractions in Higashiyama?

Some must-visit attractions in Higashiyama include the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, Meguro Parasitological Museum, Traveler’s Factory, Meguro Dori, Geographica, Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Higashi-Yama Tokyo, and Yakitori Akira.

When is the best time to visit Higashiyama?

The best time to visit Higashiyama is during hanami season when the Meguro River is lined with stunning cherry blossoms. This typically occurs in late March to early April.

What is unique about the Tokyo Photographic Art Museum?

The Tokyo Photographic Art Museum is known for its extensive collection of contemporary and classic photography from Japan and around the world. It also has an impressive library dedicated to the art of photography.

What can I expect to see at the Meguro Parasitological Museum?

The Meguro Parasitological Museum houses a vast collection of preserved parasite specimens, including a nine-meter tapeworm. It also has a library with books and scientific journals on parasites.

What can I find at Traveler’s Factory?

Traveler’s Factory is a shop dedicated to journaling and offers a wide range of journals, vintage stamps, satchels, and other stationery items. It’s a unique spot for travelers and journaling enthusiasts.

What makes Meguro Dori special?

Meguro Dori is a vibrant street in Higashiyama lined with furniture shops and retro cafes. It’s a haven for interior design lovers and offers a unique shopping experience.

What can I expect to find at Geographica?

Geographica is a secondhand shop that specializes in all things pleasant, including secondhand books, toys, antique furniture, and old postcards. It also has a charming Italian cafe called II Nuovo Levante upstairs.

What is unique about the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Higashiyama?

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Higashiyama is known for its artisanal brewing methods and sakura-inspired design. It features handmade artisan copper sakura leaves and an impressive espresso martini bar.

What kind of cuisine does Higashi-Yama Tokyo offer?

Higashi-Yama Tokyo offers washoku, traditional Japanese cuisine, highlighting seasonal ingredients and flavors. Guests can enjoy a range of options, including wagyu beef cutlet and green tea panna cotta.

What is Yakitori Akira known for?

Yakitori Akira is a popular izakaya in Higashiyama known for its delicious yakitori and rustic interior. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a drink and snack after exploring the neighborhood.

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