Best Neighbourhoods in Tokyo: Minato & Meguro

 

Tokyo’s Minato ward and Meguro ward tend to be frequented less by tourists who visit Tokyo but host an abundance of hidden gems. Minato City features the city’s original skyline landmark, Tokyo Tower and is known for some of the best art museums. For top dining recommendations and trendy bars, make your way to Roppongi.

Next door in Meguro City, the best spot for cherry blossom viewings is along the Meguro River. The Naka-Meguro district attracts a laid-back, artsy crowd who hang out in hipster boutiques and lounge in stylish cafes. Our Minato & Meguro neighbourhood guide will help you to unravel these lesser known spots promising delightful surprises. Read on to discover where to eat, what to see and what to do in Minato and Meguro.

Cherry blossoms coming into bloom | what to see in Meguro Tokyo

a guide to minato & meguro tokyo

WHAT TO DO IN MINATO & MEGURO

If you don’t have time to visit the iconic red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, you have the opportunity to observe a piece of this Japanese culture at Hie Shrine in Minato. The tunnel of 90 red torii gates are located to the rear of the shrine grounds, a serene place where locals come to worship.

For views across Tokyo you can visit Tokyo Tower, which bears resemblance to the Eiffel Tower and has two observation decks, or the Roppongi Hills skyscraper. The latter option is also home to the Mori Art Museum, exhibiting modern artwork collections.

If you do choose to visit Tokyo Tower, we recommend taking a moment to wander through Shiba Park. In the centre of the park is Zojoji Temple, a buddhist shrine. To the side of the temple are rows upon rows of little child statues each wearing a red bonnet. This installation is dedicated to the safe growth of children and grandchildren and is also a memorial to stillbirth and miscarried children.

Should your visit coincide with cherry blossom season (late March – early April), then you must make time for a walk along Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade. The canal is flanked by cherry blossom trees and when in full bloom, creates the ultimate magical spring backdrop.

Whilst not located in Minato or Meguro, if you have some additional time to explore greater Tokyo, then cat lovers should head to Gotokuji Temple in Setagaya City.

THE BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANTS IN MINATO & MEGURO

With a few extra steps and some winning recommendations, you will find tasty Japanese fare across Minato & Meguro. Restaurants here will be less crowded than popular Shibuya and Shinjuku. In some places, capacity is still limited meaning you’ll need to make the occasional reservation or be prepared to queue for a short while.

Japan has an affection for deep fried food. Whether it is a piece of chicken, vegetables or pork cutlets (Bevan’s favourite), you will eat deep fried something more than once in Tokyo. We sampled tonkatsu in Minato’s Butagumi but Nomotoya was also recommended to us for the same Japanese cuisine.

Yakitori bars are a dime a dozen across these neighbourhoods. For a premium, one Michelin star experience, a reservation is a must for a seat at Nanachome.

You’ll also find a collection of soba restaurants in the area which is a great option for lunch in our opinion. Teuchisobadokoro Shisen-an is a 20 minute walk from Meguro Station or try Soba Osame if you’re nearer to Roppongi Hills.

Tonkatsu dinner for two at Butagami | Must Eat restaurants in Japan

THE BEST BARS IN MINATO & MEGURO

If you opt to eat at Butagumi for dinner, stop by THESE for a pre or post dinner cocktail. At the library themed cocktail bar, the bartenders will make you a drink based on your choice of two fruits.

Beer drinkers will undoubtedly enjoy the options in the neighbourhoods too. Another 8 pour up Japanese craft beers in Meguro whilst BrewDog Roppongi brings Scotish craft beers to Tokyo. Continue on to Ant ‘n Bee where another selection of craft beer awaits you.

Changing pace and beverages, Agave lays claim to having one of the world’s largest selections of tequila and mezcal. With more than 550 varieties to choose from, you’re bound to find at least one to taste. You can fight over eating the worm with your drinking pals. 

Combining dinner and drinks is best done at a Japanese izakaya. Make a reservation for a table at Higurashi or Ametsuchi where you’ll be treated to shared small plates and plenty of Japanese beer.

THE BEST CAFES IN MINATO & MEGURO

There are an abundance of cafes in Meguro that run alongside the Meguro River. 

Start at either The Workers Coffee/Bar or Bubbles Chill Coffee before finding your next coffee inside Paradise Tokyo clothing store. Cross over the river again to discover Streamer Coffee’s Nakameguro location or a little further along is Sidewalk Stand. As you complete your stroll along the river, Onibus Coffee Nakameguro and Switch Coffee round out your choices.

On the edge of Shibuya is where you’ll find the best coffee in Minato. Take a moment to enjoy a coffee at Cobi Coffee. Further along is another bite sized cafe, Shozo Coffee Store, or escape the main roads to find Café Kitsuné Aoyama.

Children dieties in Shibu Park | what to see in Minato Tokyo

BEST SHOPPING IN MINATO & MEGURO

The best shops in Nakameguro are housed along the main road that dissects the precinct. At the aforementioned Paradise Tokyo/Wacko Maria, the boutique offers shoppers the opportunity to craft their own unique street style look. 

Stepping off the main street, discover 1LDK Apartments which offers a mix of clothing and homewares. For wearable artworks, take a browse at the racks of Have a good time. If you forgot to bring your travel diary, don’t despair because you can pick up a new keepsake inside Traveler’s Factory Nakameguro, perfect for jotting down all of your Tokyo memories.

If the weather turns bad, you can also find plenty inside a shopping mall and Tokyo Midtown is your best bet in the area. You find a range of clothing and homeware stores spread over the four levels that make up the Galleria.

WHERE TO STAY IN MINATO & MEGURO

You’ll find a terrific assortment of hotels in Minato Tokyo. On our most recent trip, we stayed at The Lively Azabujuban in Minato. The 4-star hotel offers free beer to guests during its evening happy hour which we happily took advantage of. The hotel also offers guests a complimentary drink at their rooftop bar, The Lively Bar, which is open to the public.

For some added luxury, our top pick would be a stay at The Prince Park Tower Tokyo whose suites overlook Tokyo Tower.

Surprisingly, there are few options for those wanting to stay in a hostel across these neighbourhoods. Waves Nakameguro offers a simple hostel stay with both Western and Japanese style lodging.

Alternatively, find a place to crash using Airbnb. From shared to private accommodation, you’re sure to find a room that suits your needs. Sign up for Airbnb with this link to get $55 AUD off your first home booking!

SAVE OUR MAP OF MINATO & MEGURO

PLANNING YOUR VISIT

How do I get to Minato/Meguro from Narita Airport?

Train from Narita Airport to Minato

To get from Narita Airport to Minato, the journey is at least 1 hour (60 mins).

Option 1: Narita Express Train ~¥1,350

Option 2: Skyliner > JY Yamanote Line ~¥2,660

Bus from Narita Airport to Minato

The journey is at least 2 hours and will cost ~¥1,220

Drive from Narita Airport to Minato

The journey is around 1 hour depending on traffic. The cost varies depending on whether you hire a rental car or organise a private transfer. Expect the cost to begin from ~¥22,000.

Train from Narita Airport to Meguro

To get from Narita Airport to Meguro, you will need to catch at least two trains. The journey is at least 1.5 hours (90 minutes).

Option 1: Skyliner > Hibiya Line ~¥2,770

Option 2: Skyliner > JY Yamanote Line ~¥2,960

Bus from Narita Airport to Meguro

The journey is at least 2.5 hours and will cost ~¥1,220

Drive from Narita Airport to Meguro

The journey is around 1 hour depending on traffic. The cost varies depending on whether you hire a rental car or organise a private transfer. Expect the cost to begin from ~¥22,000.

How do I get from Shinjuku to Meguro River?

If travelling from Shinjuku Station, catch a train or metro to Ebisu Station or Naka-meguro Station. From both of these stations, it is a 20-minute walk to Meguro River.

Share your recommendations of what to see and do in Minato & Meguro.

LIKE THIS POST? PIN IT AND SHARE IT!

Torii gates at Hie Shrine | Minato what to see and do
Tokyo Tower | Neighbourhood Guide Minato City Tokyo

Leave a comment

SOLVE YOUR QUANDARY

The best of our travel tips direct to your inbox. Receive our latest posts by dropping your email address below.

We promise to only send you the good stuff!

 

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM

 
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Hello!

WANT TO JOIN OUR COMMUNITY?

Receive the latest travel guides from our featured destinations & travel inspiration straight to your inbox.