Daikanyama Tokyo – A Complete Travel Guide

Daikanyama is a big deal to Tokyo insiders and undeniably one of the hippest zip codes in Japan's capital. Wondering what all the fuss is about? Take a look at our complete guide to Daikanyama!

Daikanyama

Provided by Foursquare

Daikanyama enjoys a lot of popularity for various reasons. It is a great place to shop for the latest fashions, as well as to enjoy the city’s coffee culture or find the perfect high-class apartment to settle down in. The area also includes numerous embassies and a vibrant foreigner community, leading Daikanyama to be one of the most culturally diffuse areas in the city. This means that you’ll possibly find Daikanyama to be more European than expected.

It also features a wide variety of art and culture, with the low-rise buildings lending the area a welcome low-key feel, the je ne sais quoi that makes it the place to be for a slice of the artsy, modern life. The relaxed feel, high standard of living and the number of quality ways to spend your time (as well as its pricey-ness) set it apart from the slightly grittier Harajuku, the more hectic Shibuya and the shopping-focussed Omotesando. Certainly, Daikanyama has made a name for itself in recent years for providing the perfect place to live – if you have the money. It isn’t a very big area by any standard, but there is plenty there to enjoy and gathering places, restaurants, shopping malls, cafes and more are all a stone’s throw away.

Daikanyama Station is located at the intersection of three major roads: Hachiman-Street toward Shibuya, Kyu-Yamate-Street toward Komaba and Komazawa-Street toward Ebisu. Daikanyama is known to be a great place for strolling, featuring tree-lined avenues with wide sidewalks perfect for enjoying a leisurely afternoon in the city. Here’s how to enjoy Daikanyama to the fullest and navigate this fantastic little village within Tokyo like a local.

Things to Do in Daikanyama

Daikanyama Shopping

Daikanyama Cafes & Coffee Shops

Daikanyama Restaurants & Bars

Daikanyama Station

Things to Do in Daikanyama

Maison Kitsune

Aesthetically pleasing Maison Kitsune – French/Japanese fashion brand (Provided by Foursquare)

As mentioned previously, there is plenty to see and do in Daikanyama, so we’ve split our hotspots into categories that are easier to oversee. The polished and classy little coffee shops, the fancy restaurants, the hipster fashion boutiques and the retro architecture all fuse in this part of Shibuya Ward and though this is by no means a complete list, we’d like you to take it as a starting point. Have a look at our suggestions and go from there – but who knows – you may find a hidden gem of your own.

Here are some suggestions on what to do when in Daikanyama.

Kyu Asakura House

Kyu Asakura House

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This is the former residence of the Asakura Family, built by its patriarch, Torajiro Asakura in 1919. It is a fantastic relic of Taisho era Japan that lasted from 1912 to 1926 and was followed by the Showa Period from 1926 to 1989. Famous for retaining the romantic charm of the Taisho Period, the mansion has survived both the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 that destroyed large parts of Tokyo and the Second World War.

It was previously used by the Shibuya City Assembly for gatherings and events but was opened to the public after being designated an important cultural property by the Japanese government in 2004. It is still managed officially by Shibuya City and the preservation of this piece of recent history is their foremost goal. The city lists a set of rules to be followed when visiting, so please take note of them before entering the building.

 

­ 10.00 am – 06.00 pm (10.00 am – 4.30 pm from Nov – Feb)

­ closed Mondays and over New Year’s (12/29 – 01/03)

­ 03-3476-1021

¥ adults: 100 yen, children: 50 yen

­ Google Maps Link

­ Shibuya Ward on the Kyu Asakura House

 

Journey

Kyu Asakura House

Provided by Foursquare

This quaint little piece of history was also built in the Taisho Period around 1917/18. It was destroyed by fire after the last owners left in the mid-1940s and rebuilt in 1948. The rebuild included the reinforcing of the walls against earthquakes.

Today, it is a shop selling basics and accessories, mainly from the United States. The main attraction here is the gallery with pictures and explanations detailing the history of the building as well as the Daikanyama area more generally. Definitely worth a visit, even if you’re not planning on buying anything.

­ 11.30 am – 8.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3461-8506

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Journey Official Website (Japanese)

 

Lift Etage

Lift Etage

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Lift Etage is an art gallery that was reopened in August 2010. Since, it has been collaborating mainly with fashion designers and artists concerning themselves with fashion. The results are fascinating. Mostly European haute couture fashion is displayed in wonderfully designed spaces and just the visit itself is an experience. Lift Etage is part of a trio: Lift Ecru and a Showroom are all connected by ‘Lift’, the actual gallery name.

­ 11.00 am – 08.00 pm (including the gallery space)

­ open all year

­ 03-3780-0163

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Lift Etage Official Website

Daikanyama Shopping

Daikanyama Shopping

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As Daikanyama is located at the intersection three main roads, the shops mainly line up along them. However, beyond the main streets, there is a maze of little pathways and alleys, dotted with interesting thrift shops and alternative styles, fair trade products, big brand names and more. Beside your Tsutaya Book Store and a classy Lush Spa store, the selection of international brandsis diverse: Jean Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith, Vivienne Tam, Tausche, Elodie Nelson Mason and A.P.C Surplus fight it out beside several local designer shops for the attention of high-paying clientele.

Kamawanu Tenugui Shop

Kamawanu Tenugui

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This traditional Japanese craft shop has several locations, one of which is conveniently located in Daikanyama. It sells artfully printed traditional Japanese handkerchiefs, formerly used especially by people in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868) and called tenugui 手拭い, literally ‘grasped in hand’. Hence the shop’s name. Kamawanu has several other small trinkets that make perfect omiyage お土産 (gifts one brings from a trip back home to family and friends) from your Daikanyama jaunt.

­ 11.00 am – 07.00 pm

­ closed over New Year’s

­ 03-3780-0182

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Kamawanu Tenugui Official Website (Japanese)

 

Hillside Terrace

Hillside Terrace

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Urban designer Fumihiko Maku was commissioned to create an urban gathering, shopping and living space in Daikanyama in the 1960s. Hillside Terrace was built over a period of several decades and finally completed in the early 1990s. His design created a space for people to come together and for commerce to grow at the same time. Restaurants, cafes, boutiques, galleries, a library and open space outside are all part of this large complex that spans both sides of Kyu-Yamate-Street.

The laid-back atmosphere invites many families and visitors to linger and enjoy the nice weather on clear days. The Hillside Cafe is a particularly popular spot to hang out and chat.

­ 10.00 am – 06.00 pm (Hillside Cafe may differ)

­ closed Mondays

­ 03-5489-3705

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Hillside Terrace Official Website (Japanese)

 

T-Site / Tsutaya Book Store

Tsutaya Book Store

Provided by Foursquare

One extra-popular place to visit in Daikanyama is T-Site; a neo-modernist building complex with several buildings connected by pathways and set in a small park. The buildings themselves feature stone walls on the outside made from interlocking small “T” shapes, a reference to Tsutaya – one of the largest book store chains in Japan and exceedingly popular. Tsutaya also caters to an international clientele, stocking books in English and other foreign languages.

T-Site includes a Starbucks in the actual library for visitors to enjoy a coffee and read, a rather posh convenience store, restaurants and outside seating in the park – a rarity in Japan. It is also a perfect place to look for a present or trinket to take home with you should Kamawanu Tenugui not have served that purpose.

­ 07.00 am – 02.00 am

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3770-2525

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Daikanyama T-Site Official Website

 

Log Road

Log Road

Provided by Foursquare

Daikanyama Log Road is literally a little road – a walkway – alongside which several nice restaurants and stores have set up shop. It is called Log Road because the buildings are mainly constructed from wood in a log house or cottage style and give the area a nice, natural feel to it. The greenery and no cars rule certainly help to create a calm and peaceful but energetic atmosphere. The concept of the area is to interconnect different spheres to create a shopping, relaxing, eating and communicating space, which, it seems, they have succeeded in.

­ varies according to shop (see details here)

­ open all year ’round

­ Google Maps Link

­ Log Road Daikanyama Official Site

 

Okura

Okura

Provided by Foursquare

Okura is a store selling mainly natural indigo-dyed clothes and accessories. They use a traditional method used in Japan for centuries and create wonderfully deep blue clothes. The house itself is an old Japanese warehouse, still lovingly maintained. Bombay Bazar is in the same building and makes a great stop after a bit of shopping. They carry casual clothing as well as pillow covers, socks, kimono motifs and much more in very comfortable materials. This charming little warehouse is worth a visit just to see the actual building and enjoy the wonderful blue materials.

­ 11.30 am – 08.00 pm, 11.00 am – 08.30 pm (weekends)

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3461-8511

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Okura Official Website (Japanese)

 

Hollywood Ranch Market

Hollywood Ranch Market

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Hollywood Ranch Market (Seilin & Co.) is not just a store but has become a larger umbrella company under which several stores are gathered. Journey, Okura, High! Standard and – of course – Hollywood Ranch Market itself included among others. The store has quite the record as a trendsetter fashion brand in Daikanyama and played a key role in defining the alternative fashion that emerged in the region a few decades ago.

It’s quite the hippie store and quite charming in its shabby desert design kind of way. The clothes are reasonably priced, but by no means cheap. Have a look at this great little piece of Daikanyama’s multi-cultural character.

­ 11.00 am – 08.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3463-5668

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Hollywood Ranch Market Official Site

 

Le Labo

Le Labo

Provided by Foursquare

Not strictly speaking in Daikanyama anymore, this fabulous perfume shop is on the outskirts toward Ebisu. It is a fragrance house with all sorts of products ranging from room fragrance and candles to perfume and oils. The multitude of air diffusers visible from the outside hints to the variations of fragrances that wait inside the store. The New York-based luxury perfume maker Le Labo has set up shop in the trendy Daikanyama neighborhood and provides its clients with the newest, most exclusive scents regularly.

As is common in the area, you’ll need a bursting wallet if you want to go wild in here. Should that not be the case, don’t fret, the beautiful interior design with shining glass walls and the great perfumes are well worth a visit on their own.

­ 11.00 am – 08.00 pm

­ closed over New Year’s

­ 03-5459-2770

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Le Labo Official Website

 

Bonjour Records

Bonjour Records

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Bonjour Records has made a name for itself for having a very good and high-quality selection of music available for sale at its store. The brand also sells clothes and books and has events every once in a while, so be sure to check their page for news on the latest happenings.

­ 11.00 am – 08.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-5458-6020

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Bonjour Records Official Website

 

High! Standard

High Standard

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High! Standard is another great clothing store for Americana fashion with a Japanese twist. Simple clothing in calm colors line the shelves and the high-grade of the materials are clear to the touch. Cool jackets and caps, basic wear from high-quality brands like Canada Goose, Helathknit, NIFFI and more are all present. It’s a must for basics, especially for men’s wear, which seems to be the focus.

Pricing is accordingly quite high, but due to the variety of brands, more moderately priced items are available if you look hard enough.

­ 11.30 am – 08.00 pm (08.30 weekends)

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3464-2109

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ High! Standard Official Website

Daikanyama Cafes & Coffee Shops

Daikanyama Cafe

Provided by Foursquare

With a lively coffee culture, Daikanyama has plenty to offer caffeine lovers (and those who avoid it). In typical Japanese fashion, plenty of cafes around here offer a variety of sweet cakes, pancakes, sandwiches and salads to alleviate any hunger the drinks may not have quenched. Besides the great coffee, in most cases, the interior design and service at these shops is great, creating an atmosphere conducive to relaxing, reading or chatting the day away.

Dive into these hipster coffee spots in Daikanyama and relax.

Matsunosuke NY

Daikanyama Cafe

Provided by Foursquare

Part of the Hillside Terrace complex that forms a central part of everyday life in Daikanyama, Matsunosuke New York is an apple pie and sweets shop you shouldn’t miss. Opened in 2004 by famous sweets chef Akiko Hirano, it offers fantastic apple pies that will have you coming back for more. Author of several cook and baking books, Hirano has also been collaborating with Dean & Deluca for some time, in whose stores she has also been featured several times.

Feel like apple pie? You know where it’s at!

­ 10.00 am – 08.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-5728-3868

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Matsunosuke NY Official Website

 

Mocha Coffee

Mocha Coffee

Provided by Foursquare

Using coffee beans from Yemen, a country with particularly rich soil perfect for coffee plants, this little haven of Arab coffee will bring you a slice of far off lands.

The coffee sold here is 100% handpicked and sun-dried, with no additives or chemical intervention, making it full of flavor with a great aroma. The owner Hussein Ahmed and his wife are glad to help you select your preferred variation, should you be overwhelmed.

­ 12.00pm – 07.00 pm

­ closed on Mondays

­ 03-6427-8285

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Mocha Coffee Official Website

 

Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe

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Strictly speaking more of a restaurant than just a cafe, this place offers a wide variety of foods to go with your coffee. It opens over lunch time and later again for dinner. The ingredients are all fresh and organic, with the shop’s main idea being that delicious food can also be healthy food. If you’re feeling a bit on the heavy side from all the cake, give your body some well-earned vitamins and nutrients at Thanks Nature.

­ 11.30 am – 3.30 pm, 06.00 pm – 11.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-6416-5939

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Thanks Nature Official Website (Japanese)

 

Urth Caffe

Urth Caffe

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Only established in Japan recently in 2013, Urth Caffe was first established as a coffee bar on Manhattan Beach in 1991. It has come to be known as an advocate of organic coffee that doesn’t harm nature in its production. Deforestation and exploitation of farmers including the use of chemicals are some things the founders are keen to eradicate. The traditionally and organically grown wild coffee is harvested by hand and roasted to perfection. Great aroma and a full-bodied taste are the results.

Urth Caffe also offers a variety of foods including a waffle menu with mountains of whip cream (as is the custom in a lot of places in Tokyo).

­ 10.00 am – 09.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-5784-3301

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Urth Caffe Official Website

 

Starbucks T-Site

Starbucks T-Site

Provided by Foursquare

Though Starbucks may not be what you call a special coffee shop per se, this Starbucks at Daikanyama T-Site definitely has an above average atmosphere and feeling of class. I’m guessing it has something to do with the way they included it in the beautiful Tsutaya Book Store and the fantastic design of the building itself, which is located in a small park area with decking and greenery. Browse through the books and accessories first and once you’re done, relax with a coffee (or whatever else you fancy) at the stylish integrated Starbucks.

­ 07.00 am – 2.00 am

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3770-6363

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Starbucks Official Website

 

Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu

Provided by Foursquare

Le Cordon Bleu is a French culinary academy, originally founded in Paris and now with branches across the world. This outpost in Daikanyama is called “La Boutique Cafe” and serves cakes, deli items, wine, beers, French bread and – of course – coffee. It is also an event location, so should you be planning a bigger party, it can be rented with staff and catering.

This quaint little cafe really does have a French air and is definitely a very relaxing and satisfying stop to make on your exploration tour of Daikanyama.

­ 10.00 am – 07.00 pm

­ closed Mondays, over New Year’s and Obon

­ 03-5457-2407

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Le Cordon Bleu Official Site

Daikanyama Restaurants & Bars

Daikanyama Restaurant

Provided by Foursquare

The variety of oshare おしゃれ (classy, cool, trendy) restaurants in Daikanyama is great and so the task of selecting several for you to try out wasn’t an easy one. Be aware that there are always new restaurants popping up, old ones closing and moving shop (famous example is Sarabeth’s breakfast restaurant now in Lumine Shinjuku) and that there are plenty of hidden gems for your to discover off the beaten track. Perhaps, though, you will find what you’re looking for right here in this guide. Read on and find out.

Spring Valley Brewery

Spring Valley Brewery

Provided by Foursquare

This fantastic looking brewery is as cool as it is tasty. Craft beers and great food (t-bone steaks, salads, fries, cakes and more) will make this your new favorite place to be. The interior is rustic with a classic black steel and wood look. They offer a special tasting set with six different beers that are matched to six different snacks for you. It’s a great little starter to get you and your friends going.

This place is very responsible and does not allow children in after 05.00 pm. They also explicitly do not serve alcohol to both car and bicycle drivers, so be sure to come on foot.

­ 08.00 am – 12.00 am (Sun until 10.00 pm)

­open all year ’round

­ 03-6416-4975

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Spring Valley Brewery Official Site

 

Ivy Place

Ivy Place

Provided by Foursquare

This great place is another style haven. Designed to feel close to nature, the greenery outside seems to seep inside through the huge windows and connects the different shades of wood found within. There is a cafe area, a restaurant, a terrace area and a bar. Ivy Place also includes private rooms for events and will ask parents with small children to be considerate and either dine in one of the rooms or the cafe area so as not to disturb the other guests. This might seem extreme, but Daikanyama is a popular area for families and so it can get quite loud if several families visit at the same time.

Ivy Place serves quality food with a Mediterranean touch. Lots of salads, veggies, fish, meat and great wine, cocktails, teas and coffee make this a place popular both with tourists and locals.

­ 07.00 am – 11.00 pm (bar closes last)

­open all year ’round, barrier free restaurant

­ 03-6415-3232

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Spring Valley Brewery Official Site

 

Chez Lui

Chez Lui

Provided by Foursquare

Chez Lui is a bakery chain, French in origin and selling mainly great bread, croissants and other pastry. Daikanyama is home to two of the bakeries and one restaurant. The Restaurant Chez Lui is located not far from Daikanyama Station and serves high-quality French cuisine. Though one might think that means astronomic prices, this place is actually quite fairly priced and definitely worth a visit should you be craving a good five or six-course meal.

The reason we picked this place is that although the food is clearly French, the staff and chef are Japanese and make the atmosphere more of a fusion experience than a trip to Paris. Daikanyama goes French.

­ 11.30 am – 02.30 pm, 06.00 pm – 09.00 pm

­ closed over new year

­ 03-3461-0070

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Chez Lui Official Website (translated)

 

Bombay Bazar

Bombay Bazar

Provided by Foursquare

Though this little place calls itself a cafe, it serves plenty of food and is definitely a great place to have a lunch or an early dinner. Bombay Bazar uses organic ingredients to create delicious dishes, including curries, possibly where the name originated. Besides this, Bombay Bazar also sells traditional Japanese sweet cakes filled with red bean paste with the Okura stamp (the name of the building).

The menu at Bombay Bazar is very inventive and centers around natural produce. One very popular item is blueberries. They even have blueberry wine!

­ 11.30 am – 07.30 pm (08.00 pm on weekends)

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3461-8512

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Bombay Bazar Official Website

 

Cedros Daikanyama

Cedros

Provided by Foursquare

Cedros, literally meaning cedars, is a well-loved North American-style seafood restaurant. With an interior of warm, earthy tones and an atmosphere that reminds one of the US West Coast, it serves beautifully prepared dishes of fresh, seasonal, local produce that really pushes this place ahead of the rest. Give this place a try if you like seafood, it’s great value for money and will give you some all too rare West Coast Summer vibes in Tokyo.

­ 06.00 pm – 10.00 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-3461-2279

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Cedros Daikanyama Official Site

 

la JEUNESSE Daikanyama

la JEUNESSE

Provided by Foursquare

This wonderful restaurant is very popular for banquets, gala dinners and weddings as the interior is quite classic in white. La JEUNESSE restaurant also plays host to a multitude of events and has several plays performed by the famous Takarazuka Revue (a group of woman performers performing romantic fantasy plays including male roles) throughout the year.

The food served here is of very high quality and stylishly presented and complemented with quite a selection of wines, champagnes and more. Definitely one of the more high-class wining and dining spots in Daikanyama.

­ 11.30 am – 03.00 pm, 06.00 pm – 11.00 pm

(bar open until 02.00 am)

­ closed over new year

­ 03-6416-4141

­ Google Maps Link

­ la JEUNESSE Official Website

 

Weekend Garage

Weekend Garage

Provided by Foursquare

Weekend Garage has it all in the name; park yourself in this lazy but stylishly designed restaurant for a few hours of rest and relaxation, accompanied by great food of all varieties. Their motto is “everyday is [the] weekend”, so embrace that slogan and chill at this cool little bistro. A place of cultural fusion, Daikanyama has enabled this restaurant and others like it to serve foods from all over Asia and the globe and thrive. They also serve great coffee, which helps!

Although this place is in Daikanyama, Shibuya Station is actually closer than Daikanyama Station, so I suggest either walking from Shibuya Station South Exit or if you’re already in Daikanyama, planning the visit here for last.

­ 11.30 am – 11.30 pm

­ open all year ’round

­ 03-5428-5751

­ Google Maps Link

 

­ Weekend Garage Official Website

Ebisu and Nakameguro

Don’t forget that nearby places like Ebisu and Nakameguro are also fantastic places to visit and have their very own charm to them. Also, there are quite a number of restaurants and shops I wasn’t able to elaborate on for fear of this guide becoming more of a book, so I’ll just name a few to look out for when strolling through Daikanyama instead: Ristorante ASO [Google Maps Link], Hacienda de Cielo [Google Maps Link], King George [Google Maps Link] and Grill Burger Club Salsa [Google Maps Link].

Daikanyama Station

How to get to Daikanyama

Daikanyama Station

Provided by Foursquare

Daikanyama is located within Shibuya Ward and is thus very convenient to get to from there, just one stop away. Should you want to walk from Shibuya Station to Daikanyama, it will take you around 15 – 20 minutes. Should the weather be bad or you’d rather take the train, Daikanyama Station (TY 02) on Tokyo Toyoko Line is where you want to go.

The line map above shows all Tokyu lines and you’ll see the Tokyo Toyoko Line (in red) beginning at Shibuya Station and continuing all the way to Yokohama Station. The second stop is 代官山 Daikanyama Station. As not all trains stop at all stations, please make sure to board a ‘local’ train (各停 kakutei or 各駅 kakueki) so as not to pass Daikanyama.

Need help getting to Shibuya? Here is our Shibuya Station Travel Guide.

Daikanyama Map

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Samantha Khairallah

Samantha Khairallah

Originally from Switzerland, currently studying in Tokyo. With a wide array of interests, including travel, I'm passionate about what I write here at Compathy Magazine.



Related travel categories

# Things to Do in Tokyo # Things to Do in Daikanyama # Things to Do in Japan

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