20 Must-Visit Spots in Meguro - One of Tokyo's Trendiest Neighborhoods
In the trendy town of Meguro you will find Meguro River, famous as a spot to see cherry blossoms, and tons of stylish cafes. This article will introduce you to the best tourist spots you absolutely must visit when you come to Meguro. There are even some hidden gems that not many people know about in here, so use this article as your guide during your trip to Meguro!
Jul 30 2019 (Sep 11 2019)
Top 10 Essential Places to Visit in Meguro
1. Meguro River
Meguro River is a famous river in Tokyo that flows from Setagaya to Shinagawa. In spring, the cherry blossoms growing beside the river are in full bloom. This is a prominent famous spot for cherry blossom viewing in Japan. During this season there are also many street food vendors offering local specialties, putting this at the top of the list for Meguro tourist attractions.
The area around Meguro River is lined with famous restaurants and clothing stores. In cherry blossom season most restaurants will be fully booked, but in other seasons you won't need a reservation. In autumn you will be able to see the beautiful foliage as it changes color.
2. Meguro History Museum
At the Meguro History Museum, you will find out all about the history of Meguro and the people who lived here, from the Paleolithic Period right up until the Modern Age. Follow the course of history from the entrance to the exit of the museum. There are also hands-on exhibits, making this a fun spot for both children and adults.
The displays include not only stone tools and earthenware, but also items used in the Modern Age such as furniture and Western clothing. This is a spot that can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in history, not just those living in Meguro.
3. Nakameguro Tsutaya Books
Nakameguro Tsutaya Books is a bookstore located right outside Nakameguro Station. It has a trendy atmosphere with its shelves lined with books and magazines. There is even a Starbucks inside, so you can comfortably read a book while sipping your favorite beverage.
The store is divided into four themed areas: Meet, Talk, Work, and Share, and the interior and books are designed to match each of these themes. This is a spot you can go to alone or with friends. It's open until late at night so why not stop by for a drink before heading home?
4. Former Residence of Lord Maeda
The Former Residence of Lord Maeda is a popular spot located inside Komaba Park. This was the main residence of the Maeda Family who ruled the Kaga domain, which is located in modern day Hokuriku region. The Japanese-style house here was designed and built by prominent Japanese architects of the time as a demonstration of Japanese culture for foreigners.
The ground floor of this spot, which has also been listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, is open to the public. From the interior design you can see how the noble class lived in those days. The beauty of the courtyard that can be seen from inside the tatami-floored banquet hall will leave you speechless. You should definitely try to come here when the weather is fine. This sightseeing spot is recommended for solo travelers or groups of friends
5. The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature
The Museum of Modern Japanese Literature is a prominent literature museum in Japan which stores countless valuable literary works. The mood of this place, which is only accessible to those over 15 years of age, is solemn and subdued. It is recommended for people who want to deepen their knowledge of Japanese literature. The museum is even a popular location to visit for tourists from overseas.
Adjoining the museum is a popular cafe called BUNDAN COFFEE&BEER. A great thing about this cafe is its menu, which is also designed around a literary motif. There are also a lot of books in here so why not come to read a good book as you enjoy a cup of tea?
6. Himonya Catholic Church
Himonya Catholic Church is a church with a lovely white exterior. The inside of the church almost makes it seem like you aren't in Japan. Here you can see stunning decor such as the ceiling's fresco painting and stained-glass windows. Many celebrities have held their wedding ceremonies here due to the church's beauty. This church is also called the Salesio Church and is delegated by the Catholic Tokyo archdiocese.
The Santa Maria of Edo replica painting hangs here but is now a part of the Tokyo National Museum's collection. Why not come here to see this painting in which you can feel Japan's history with Catholicism?
7. Ryusenji Temple (Meguro Fudo-son)
Ryusenji is a temple known also as Meguro Fudo-son. This temple is one of the five Edo Fudo where Tokugawa Iemitsu prayed for peace and tranquility. This is a historical temple that was built in the year 808 by Jikaku Daishi.
Ryusenji is a popular place thought to be flowing with mystical energy. It is said that praying at Ryusenji will result in anything you want. The temple grounds are vast, so you can also take a leisurely stroll here. This is a great sightseeing spot for a date.
8. Shimizuike Park
Shimizuike Park is a park popular with Meguro residents for its free fishing spot and athletics field. Full of nature, and also including a large-scale athletics field, this park is a place where you could bring your children and both the kids and adults will have fun to their heart's content.
At the fish pond inside the park you can fish such as the Japanese crucian carp. However, there isn't a place to hire fishing rods. There is free coin-operated parking, so you can also get here by car.
9. Meguro Sky Garden
Meguro Sky Garden is a circular shaped park located right above the Shuto Expressway. You can relax in comfort on this building rooftop where there are many plants growing.
The full length of the park is 400 meters. This is pretty big for a park in the Tokyo metropolitan area. While there are various rules prohibiting the use balls and so on, this is a popular spot where kids can have fun just like an ordinary park.
10. Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
The Reserve Roastery opened in February 2019 and is the 5th starbucks roastery store in the world to open. The store is fitted out with roasting machines, so you can drink coffee that has been freshly roasted here. They also sell limited-edition drinks and food items that you can't get at an ordinary Starbucks.
The Reserve Roastery is complete with an area selling TEAVANA teas, a bakery called PRINCI BAKERY, and a bar called ARRIVIAMO bar. The stunning exterior, which was designed by the prominent Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is eye-catchingly beautiful. You may need to wait around 2 - 3 hours on some days, so make sure you come here on a day when you have plenty of time to spare.
Top 5 Places to Visit Near Meguro Station
1. Miyano Kominka Natural Garden
Miyano Kominka Natural Garden is a facility that depicts life in Edo (1603-1868) Japan. Inside the garden's grounds, the lingering atmosphere of the Edo Period gives you a somehow nostalgic feeling. There is also a guide who will give you a tour of the facility and tell you about the history. This spot is a secret solace hidden amidst the big city.
There is also a folk museum in the precinct where farming tools and everyday items that were used from the Edo Period up until the present day are displayed. This is a hidden gem that most people tend to overlook.
2. Nakameguro Park
For residents of Meguro, Nakameguro Park is a place for relaxation and refreshment. On rest days you will see many families bringing their children here, and couples and groups of friends out on picnics. At this park there are many areas for children to play such as a wading pool and creature pond. Leave all your cares behind you and stop by here to check it out.
Nakameguro Park is a fun spot for all genders and ages. Many flowers are grown here by the locals. As you wander through the park the fatigue of daily life is sure to fade away. In spring, the park is also famous as an outstanding cherry blossom viewing spot in Tokyo.
3. Kume Museum of Art
Kume Museum of Art is located just a 1-minute walk from Meguro Station. The displays here are connected with the famous historian, Kume Kunitake, and his son, Kume Keiichiro. The works of people connected to Kume Keiichiro are also displayed here.
Limited time exhibitions are also put on here so you can enjoy the museum without getting bored. This is a compact museum so why not take some time out of your day of shopping and eating to come for a quick visit?
4. Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum
At Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum you will find an abundance of nature. The art museum building was originally built as the residence of the Prince Asaka Yasuhiko in 1933. The building was renovated and is now used as the current art museum. At every turn you will see features of art deco architecture which was in vogue at the time of the building's original construction. The museum is now also listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
Since its re-opening in November 2014 after the renovation, you can now listen to a tour of the museum using an app. Simple explanations are given one by one. This sightseeing spot is also highly recommended for a date.
5. Daienji Temple
Daienji Temple, founded by Daikai Hoin in 1624, is said to be where the Fire of Gyoninzaka started. In 1772 a fire broke out in the main hall. The streets of Edo were burned and there were a great many casualties. The Daienji stone buddhas were built to commemorate the victims of this fire.
Daienji Temple is a well-known source of spiritual energy in Meguro. Inside the temple grounds there are many statues such as the Toroke Jizo, which is said to eliminate your troubles, and Yakushi Nyorai, which is said to cure you if you place the part of your body which is ailed to the gold leaf of the statue. The stone monument of Yaoya Oshichi and Kichisa in the photo is said to bring a good match for marriage.
Top 5 Hidden Gems in Meguro
1. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a historical hotel complex with facilities such as wedding venues and restaurants. Inside the complex you will see the Maneki no Omon which Miyazaki Hayao took inspiration from in the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away and the Hyakudan Kaidan (stairway of 100 steps) which has been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property.
The Hyakudan Kaidan is a staircase located in a building that was constructed in 1935. This is an extremely popular location for holding events connected to Japanese culture. For 500 yen you can borrow a headset and learn about history of this cultural treasure.
2. PEANUTS Cafe
PEANUTS Café is a popular cafe in Nakameguro that only takes online reservations. It was re-opened in March 2019. Most of the menu items offered here are related to the beloved character Snoopy. Somewhere in your drink or dish you will find a Snoopy-themed element.
Cute yet stylish plates and other items with Snoopy drawn on them are sold here. The cafe is decorated with cute art too, so you will be sure to get some great photos to post on social media. This is such a cute cafe that even people who don't like Snoopy will like it here!
3. Saigoyama Park
Saigoyama Park was created on the location of the mansion of Saigo Judo, famous samurai Saigo Takamori's younger brother. There are facilities here such as an observation deck and man-made waterfall. There is a vast lawn so you can even have a picnic here!
From the park's observation deck you can see Mt. Fuji on a clear day. It's positioned on a small hill, so you will have a gorgeous view. You can also enjoy nightscape views here in the evening. You can easily pass some time here in this beautiful park.
4. Meguro Yakumo Mushipan
Dozens of different mushipan (steamed cakes) are sold here at Meguro Yakumo Mushipan. The mushipan are soft and springy delights. They are often sold out by the evening so get here quick!
They sell caramel, chocolate, and even curry-flavored mushipan. The pizza mushipan is the top recommended flavor. The top of the fluffy mushipan is loaded with pizza sauce and toppings. The flavors are strong and incredibly tasty!
5. Meguro Parasitological Museum
Meguro Parasitological Museum is located on Meguro Dori (Meguro Avenue) nicknamed Kagu Dori (Furniture Avenue). This is the only museum in the world devoted to parasitology. Because it is so unique, visitors come here from all over the world. Entry to the museum is free. There is also a gift shop selling items related to the facility.
There are many formalin-preserved specimens on display. There are also lockers here so you can drop off your luggage and take a good look around. There are even some hazardous displays, so this little-known spot is highly recommended for people with a hard-core interest in parasites.
Have a Great Time in Style in the Modern Area of Meguro
There are so many different kinds of sightseeing spots in Meguro, from trendy cafes to unknown spots and historical shrines. Especially in spring there is no mistaking the deep impression you will get from the cherry blossoms in full bloom along the Meguro River. There also some new spots like the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo so even people who have been to Meguro before now have a reason to come back again! This area is close to the heart of the Capital, so make sure you stop by when you're in Tokyo!
Header Image: Yoshitaka / Pixta
Translated and republished with permission from：Relux Magazine
If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.