Palette Places: Tokyo, I
In Tokyo, two of the neighborhoods I loved the most. Naka Meguro and Daikanyama…
I LOVED Tokyo. Japan was beyond anything I ever expected. And it was everything everyone said it would be – busy like my home New York only more efficient, clean and strangely calm.
Once we got through the core areas of Tokyo (more about those later) we reserved one day to go through the outer neighborhoods of Naka Meguro and Daikanyama. We loved it so much we ended up going back for a second day to explore more.
Even with two whole days, there is so much to go through in these neighborhoods and a bit beyond their borders. We definitely missed some hidden gems, which Tokyo is full of.
This is what we saw:
- Mahakala’s Happy Pudding - around the corner from Cow, the workers wear the cutest denim uniforms. We tried the egg white pudding and roasted tea flavor.
- J’Antiques – on Kamimeguro, a cute street behind the train station, this the main reason we came to Naka Meguro and it didn’t disappoint. This really is the best vintage store in the world. Because of the selection but it’s also very reasonably priced, unlike most vintage stores these days. Here it is vintage Levi’s heaven, they also sell deadstock vintage Camber t-shirts. A dream come true, I visited twice it was so good. P.S. the owner and his family.
- Pâtisserie Potager – down the street from J’Antiques, this little bakery makes desserts all from vegetables. We shared the burdock root chocolate dessert, their most popular is the tomato shortcake. Whatever you pick comes with a juice box or coffee.
- Higashi-yama- chic but cozy restaurant with a simple but beautiful seasonal menu a little off the canal. Stop by the nearby ping-pong bar (Nakataku Lounge) before a quiet dinner here. That is what we went for, sat next to a koi pond and ate off the prettiest plates.
- T-Site, Tsutaya Books, Café Anjin, Ivy Place - fell in love with T-site, a conglomerate complex with the most beautiful Tsutaya bookstore. If I lived in Tokyo, I’d want to spend whole afternoons here. A spot to meet friends or to look through the piles of magazines from around the world, devoted to everything from fashion to Shiba Inus. Speaking of shibes, I’d also take Rocky with me - for a bath and a run in the fanciest glass enclosed dog park, complete with an enormous abstract dog sculpture. The elegant Café Anjin is a stellar space above Tsutaya, where the shelves are lined with rare books, magazine archives and even original Picasso drawings. Enclosed within T-site are other great shops and the restaurant The Ivy, which welcomes you with a glass of cold peach tea. It opens at 7am so you can come here for breakfast (rare to find an early breakfast spot in Tokyo), which is what we did, then spend the rest of the afternoon reading books.
- A.P.C. and Saturdays Surf - even though we have both in New York I took a peek into these shops just for the store design. Which by the way, both beautiful in Tokyo, especially the outdoor coffee areas.
- Bonjour Records - edited selection of music that you can listen to on a discman, just like the old days. If you’d like to walk further, at the crossroad that leads to Margiela, Number and Kapital.