AT A GLANCE
In the 90s Daikanyama was the place to live in Tokyo. After things got a bit stale in the mid noughties the mantle was passed to Nakameguro which became a very popular area for artists and hipsters. Thankfully, for Nakameguro and its residents, the coolest area trophy has been handed on to Shimokitazawa aka Shimo-cunt-azawa which is a truly awful little place with bearded hipsters, penny farthings, shite live houses and more tattoo parlors than you can hit with a shitty stick. Full of pretentious and often talentless little pricks most sane people would rather be locked up in a room in Saitama with a smelly-breathed salaryman than tread the streets of the unbearable Shimokita.
Nakameguro is actually a nice wee village. Not far from Meguro and easily accessible on the Hibiya metro line it is very popular during the cherry blossom season due it’s beautiful river which teams with blossoms and people in late March and early April. It has plentiful amount of small independent boutiques and antique shops which line the river. It still has a fairly big hipster vibe but it’s not too overbearing and there are a lot of good eateries like the excellent Hatos Bar which is famous for its barbecued ribs and pulled pork. It’s got some nice bars too like The Nakameguro Taproom run by the Baird group. Actually the in-house pizzas are great and heavily suggested is a pint of their Wheat King Wit ale which is super refreshing and gives drinkers a hearty glow.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Nakameguro is popular with the fashion and media crowd so you can guess what to expect. Saying that, however, means that you can always find nice clothing stores and cool and often underrated spots which pass most people by. There might be a kind of cool-club mentality in some places in the area but it’s not too intimidating. Have a stroll around the river and grab some artisanal food and craft beers (you get the drift now I hope) and you’ll have a gay old time of it.
WHAT NOT TO EXPECT
One of the most unexpected things about the area is the presence of a huge discount store Don Quijote on the main street. It doesn’t really fit in with the local vibe. it does seem very busy, however, so the local hipsters might not be as hip as you think if they shop in here.
At the weekends Nakameguro comes alive with domestic tourists. It’s become a popular place to hang out in and people from other parts of the city come here, and other similar locations such as Jiyugaoka and nearby Ikejiri, to see what all the fuss is about. It’s about eating, drinking and independent shopping around here so if that rings your bell then get along to Nakameguro—but don’t forget to bring your flannel shirt, hand made specs and dungarees.
YOU’LL FALL IN LOVE WITH
There are many little cafes and eateries dotted around the area. Places like Alaska, Baja Tacos, Golden Brown burger joint, hipster playground which is the Kinfolk Lounge, Da Isa pizza parlor and the list goes on. It’s a foodies paradise so go prepared to indulge in the local cuisine and get your drink on while you’re at it.