You know that Tokyo is not all about serene shrines, neon-lit streets, and bustling crossroads. In fact, it’s exactly those places that don’t live up to stereotypes that have the greatest local discoveries. Daikanyama, often referred to as “the Brooklyn of the Japanese capital,” is one of those places; a hidden gem where modernity and comfort combine the perfect harmony. A popular weekend destination for locals, this area’s relaxed vibe, tree-lined pedestrian-only streets and trendy eateries make it a suburban oasis located just a 15-minute walk from the world’s busiest intersection.
History & Background
One of the many public housing building projects undertaken by the Ministry of Home Affairs after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1924, was a 232-apartment unit in Daikanyama. The building served as a focal point for all future architectural developments in the neighborhood, built with the use of earthquake-proof concrete designs. While this apartment complex was destroyed in 1996 during the restructuring of the neighborhood, Daikanyama still maintains the suburban feel with its low-rise concrete architecture.
Slightly removed from the hustle of Tokyo’s center but easily reached by train from Shibuya station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line, Daikanyama is equal parts stylish, sophisticated and casual. Today, Daikanyama is dense with upscale low-rise architecture, small boutiques, open-air cafes and an incredible literary complex lent it a laid-back vibe pleasantly wanderable feel. It also features a wide variety of art and culture that makes it the place to be for a slice of the artsy, modern life. Here’s how to enjoy Daikanyama to the fullest and navigate this little town like a local.
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