I'm here to pay tribute to nostalgia, with a list of places in Tokyo which I have visited last April and really liked. I'm also doing this up for my close friends who are heading over to Tokyo really really soon. ☺ So let's start with one of my favorite areas in Tokyo – Nakameguro.
Upon arriving at Nakameguro station, you will be stepping foot into one of the quaintest areas of Tokyo where time slows down to the steady flow of the Meguro river. Walk along the river and you'll find yourself on a narrow street lined with niche shops, restaurants and cafes. On each side of the river bank, neat rows of trees bendover to reach one another, while the playful breeze skip from branch to branch, sending secrets rippling across the river with every fallen leaf.
I make it a point to come back to this place whenever I am in Tokyo. This place is a favourite because it holds a lot of special memories for me – the only 21 deg celsius day I experienced two Summers ago (a huge dip from the usual 30ish), my first sakura viewing, first craft workshop which I have attended in Tokyo (with Mogu Takahashi) and my first outing with my brilliantly amazing friend Saki. It is interesting how I find myself back in same place but it feels so different every time.
One of my favorite places to drop in for a cup of coffee, some cookies and a slice of cake. Their friendly staff will also inform you if they have any seasonal specials – sakura cake was pretty special and refreshing.
I had to skip the cafe this time because I had a more important task at hand – which was to hunt for the next place in this list.
I was specially instructed to look for Chano-Ma and have lunch here on the behalf of Y who couldn't come along with me on the trip. The eggplant omelette sidedish was a symphony of flavors in my mouth, everything was really healthy and tasty. The atmosphere was splendid as well, huge windows which let the afternoon rays in and daybeds that stretched lazily by the side of the cafe. I found out that the cafe is made to be child-friendly for cool mommies to hang out and have lunch with their little kids. What a thoughtful concept!
I felt really pampered when I was there, even though it was slightly awkward to have someone remove your shoes for you. The caramel parfait was divine as well, I almost didn't want to leave but I had a date by the river. ☺
You could just sit here and stare out of the windows for hours, watch the shadows shift around the room, people watch or hangout with a book. And soon... it was time for me to meet my dear friend, Stacy (you will see her in one of the pictures below)!
Nill Style Cafe
I remember walking past Nill Style Cafe thinking that it was somebody's house. Unfortunately the cafe is now closed but still a good spot for photo taking – Stacy and I attempted with self-timer camera on our phones and it was hilarious.
We decided to wander around the area to see if we can find interesting shops/cafe that we have not been to as it was not our first time here. We did find some really interesting shops which I honestly can't remember without photographic evidence. But here are some that I do -
Malmo Art Bird Books
Possibly the most laid back cafe in Japan, and extra extra points on the cool vibes. The owner basically just left us alone in the cafe the entire time. It was nice to just chill out to the great music, and to be surrounded by shelves of design books that we can help ourselves to. We suspect that this place transforms into a really cool spot in the night.
Ok Donut/ Soaks
Wherever we go, we are always on the lookout for places to have nice desserts and good coffee. We ended up at Soaks which shares the space with Ok Donuts. We said Ok to both chiffon cakes and "japanese-style" donuts for dinner because who can really say no to them. They have really interesting flavors for the donuts - ginger, tomato, gobo, lotus roots, ashitaba ... just to name a few. These donuts are made of whole wheat grains and they do not contain trans-fat (yipee). The texture is unlike the typical krispy kreme donuts, if you have tried Hara Donuts you'd know what I mean.
The chiffon cake was soft and moist. According to my dear friend the Chiffon ケ−キ Expert, listen for the 'tssshhhh' sound when you cut through the cake with your fork. If you hear it, it's a MATCH! The evening ended with us in a pile of mush as we cooed over the playful puppy who was playing peekaboo from the sofa behind us, on top of good conversations and dancing taste buds. I'm just really glad to have Stacy's company (miss you!!), it was so much fun to be here with her this time. ♡♡♡
As always, it was pretty tough to say goodbye to this lovely neighborhood but I am looking forward to revisit, to be charmed by the place all over again.