Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro are three ultra-cool hubs on the west side of Tokyo. They're popular with fashionable and progressive young Tokyoites. These areas have a local feeling that is lacking from the busier hubs of Tokyo.
Yebisu Garden Place
Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro are attractive urban hubs where you can see how fashionable Tokyoites spend their free time. Ebisu is on the Yamanote loop line and it's centered on the Ebisu Garden Place shopping/dining complex. Daikanyama is a bit off the loop line (a short walk northwest of Ebisu). It's one of the playgrounds of Tokyo's wealthy young "beautiful people."
One stop south of Ebisu on the Yamanote loop line is Meguro, which is fashionable residential area that feels distinctly Western. There are a few attractions in these three areas, but the main appeal of these places is simply wandering around, poking into shops and sitting down once in a while in a nice café or restaurant for a bite. There are also some great bars and clubs scattered around, and this is a good place to go out in the evening.
Things to Do and See in Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro
- Institute for Nature Study (park)
A short walk east of Meguro Station, you'll find tiny natural wonderland. After passing through a small information center, you enter a dark forest and follow paths down to a scenic marshy pond area. This is one of the best places to escape the endless concrete of Tokyo. You can easily pair it with a visit to the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (see following).
- Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (art museum)
Located alongside the Institute for Nature Study in Meguro, this is one of my favorite art museums in Tokyo. The museum is housed in the former residence of Prince Asaka Yasuhiko. It's worth a trip just to see the building, a superb art deco residence with incredible details throughout. The museum houses various traveling exhibitions, many of them of extremely high quality. Highly recommended!
- Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (photography museum)
Located in Ebisu, this interesting little museum of photography is closed for renovations until Autumn 2016. Check the museum's website for details on the exact reopening date.
- Museum of Yebisu Beer (beer museum)
Though not worth a special visit, this small beer museum might appeal to beer fans. Note that you'll be forced to participate in a 30-minute tour in Japanese before you can sample some Ebisu beer.
Places to Eat in Ebisu, Daikanyama and Meguro
- Yellow Company
Soup curry joints are a dime a dozen in Tokyo these days, but Yellow Company in Ebisu sets itself apart from the rest by also serving gorgeous Hokkaido-grown vegetables. Make sure you try the pork belly and vegetable bowl – it’s a real treat!
- Udon Yamacho
Exploring the Ebisu or Daikanyama areas? Udon Yamacho is a great little udon restaurant to drop by for lunch. Noodle bowls are varied, delicious, and inexpensive, and you get to choose from thick or thin noodles. We recommend ordering from the Japanese menu.
- Jojoen Ebisu Garden Place (Korean barbeque/yakiniku)
On the 38th floor of the Ebisu Garden Place Tower in Ebisu, this high-end Korean barbeque restaurant offers incredible views and superb food to go with it. Highly recommended for meat lovers!
- La Bisboccia (Italian)
Italian restaurant La Bisboccia in Hiroo offers dishes as good as any you’ll find in the old country - perfect for a virtual gustatory trip to Italy and back.
- Ippudo Ebisu (ramen)
I admit it: I'm a sucker for Ippudo Ramen. Their thick soup and crispy gyoza are always the perfect lunch or light dinner. It's on the west side of Ebisu, across the canal.
- Tonki (tonkatsu)
This extremely popular tonkatsu place down in Meguro is an institution. If you're a fan of tonkatsu, why not make a trip to this temple of pork?
- Da Isa (pizza)
This brick oven pizza joint in Meguro serves some brilliant pizza. Just be warned that it's popular and you might have to wait to be seated.
Made famous by Netflix's Ugly Delicious, Seirinkan offers a selection of antipasto and pasta but just two pizzas: your choice of either Margherita or Marinara. A simple case of do one thing and do it damn well
- Kushiwakamaru (yakitori)
Over in Nakameguro (a bit west of Daikanyama), this popular yakitori restaurant is worth the trip if you're a fan of chicken on skewers. It's extremely good.
- Higashi Yama (modern Japanese)
Out in Nakameguro, this chic minimalist restaurant offers fantastic courses of refined Japanese fare that is heavy on fish and vegetables. It's healthy and delicious fare. Consider taking a taxi.
- Nagi Shokudo
Nagi Shokudo in Shibuya isn’t the easiest place to find, but you’ll be rewarded with colourful, generously portioned, hearty vegetarian set meals when you do. We love this place.
- The Westin Tokyo
(View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
A large and comfortable international-class hotel with lots of great facilities and a convenient location right next to JR Ebisu Station (on the loop line). And close to all the cool restaurants and shops in Ebisu.
- Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo
(View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
A large international-class hotel with all the features and facilities you’d expect, relatively spacious rooms and reasonable rates. In Shirokanedai, which isn’t the most convenient neighborhood, but it’s close to two subway stations.
- Hotel Mid in Meguro Ekimae
(View on Booking.com or Agoda.com)
A simple business hotel very close to Meguro Station. It’s a good value for this hip and interesting neighborhood.
- Daikanyama T-Site Tsutaya (bookstore)
Daikanyama T-Site Tsutaya is a veritable cultural institution dedicated to celebrating books, music, and art. Visit for the architecture, and stay to fall in love with a bookstore.
- Liquid Room (club)
This club in Ebisu hosts some pretty big names, including many traveling acts. Check the website for upcoming shows.
- Unit (club)
A self-described "space gathering" in Daikanyama, this club hosts a wide range of Japanese and international acts. Check the site to see what's on while you're in town.
- What the Dickens! (pub)
This popular pub in Ebisu is sort of a classic gaijin bar and live music venue. It's a good spot for some pints and music with local expats and travelers.
- Open the Tokyo map
- You will see the list of places on the left hand side. (Click the 3-line icon in the top left corner if not). Scroll down or use the map search (the magnifying glass icon) to find the place you want.
- Click the name of the place in the list. Its location pin will be highlighted on the map.
- Map pins are color coded - BLUE: Hotels / Ryokan / Guesthouses | VIOLET: Ryokan | PINK: Places to Eat | GREEN: Shops | YELLOW: Things to See and Do
- If you're using the map on your phone, open the map and then search for the name of the place. The map will then zoom in on its location.
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Tokyo guide
- Check Tokyo accommodation availability and pricing on Booking.com – usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Tokyo
- You can buy a Japan SIM card online for collection on arrival at Tokyo Narita or Haneda airports. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Compare airline flight prices and timings for the best Japan flight deals. Check my guides to arriving at Narita Airport and at Haneda Airport.
- If you're visiting more than one city, you might save money with a Japan Rail Pass – see if it's worth it for you
- A prepaid Suica card makes travelling around Tokyo much easier - here's how
- World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world