Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Daikanyama - a hidden gem of Tokyo

Tokyo is an interesting city where there is much to do but not actually that much to see. The view of the Emperor's Palace is only the gate, the Imperial Hotel was a sight to see and then was knocked down to be replaced by a concrete monstrosity. But at least Tokyo Station has been renewed in fine fashion to its former glory. In fact it could be said the most interesting thing to see in Tokyo is Tokyo itself, especially at night.

However there are many small and fascinating districts. Roppongi, Ginza, Shibuya are well known outside the country but somewhere like Jiyugaoka remains fairly well hidden to the tourist train. My favourite though is Daikanyama nestled between the outskirts of Shibuya, Nakameguro and Ebisu. It has an air to it similar to SoHo or Wimbledon Village. You feel your somewhere different, somewhere not quite in Japan.

Recent years have seen significant redevelopment though as Japan renews itself every thirty years anyway, this is no surprise. The old KLM compound has been replaced by a luxury apartment complex and Eddie has left Tableaux but the boutiques and bars are as vibrant as ever. And then there's T-Site, a marvellous concept of book stores, sound equipment, Starbucks, restaurants and coffee lounges. And surprisingly, they really like dogs. I'm off for a walk.

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