Japan, Kanto

Daikanyama Guide: An Afternoon in a Quiet Tokyo Neighborhood

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I spent a week in May remote-working from one of my favorite cities in the world: Tokyo. In this trip, I stumbled upon Daikanyama, one of the residential neighborhood surrounding Shibuya. Daikanyama unexpectedly became one of my favorite areas in Tokyo – I’ll tell you why in this post!

Typical sight in Daikanyama
A typical sight in Daikanyama

Most of you probably don’t expect this, but this blog is not my full-time gig. I’m still working full-time in Singapore. But because I like traveling, I kept running into this issue of perpetually running out of leave. I’ve managed to book up all my annual paid leave for the rest of the year by July. So when my boyfriend suggested we fly to Tokyo for a week, I had to spend some of my weekdays working remotely. Thankfully, my job is amazing and allows for some flexibility.

This is when Daikanyama came in – this place is heaven on earth for those working remotely, but still perfect for visitors looking to spend a slow afternoon. I actually came to Daikanyama for lunch one day without much expectation, but I fell in love with the quiet and relaxed ambiance of this neighborhood that I camped out here a few days in a row.


Daikanyama is only a stone throw away from Shibuya (10 minutes walk to be exact) but it’s a stark contrast from the busy, crowded and at times overwhelming Shibuya. Daikanyama actually encompasses a very small area and you can easily explore it in one day or a few hours – to quote a friend who has spent his whole life in Tokyo: “It’s not even really a place, it’s just this area on the way to other places”.

Despite that, Daikanyama is hardly a hidden gem – it has been featured by major publications and referred to as “The Brooklyn of Tokyo” by Vogue. I’m sure you can guess what you’ll find in Daikanyama – small boutique shops, coffee shops, and trendy restaurants.

So without further ado – here is my short Daikanyama guide, perfect for a lazy afternoon:

1. Log Road

Log Road is an open-air mall and a short walking path that sits on the former rail track of Tokyu-Toyoko line. When the track was moved underground (this is also why you can see a lot of constructions in Shibuya), the area around the track was repurposed into what is now known as Log Road, opened up in 2015 to host restaurants and shops. The road and shops are lined with wood and timber, hence the name Log Road.

2. Garden House Crafts

We came across this cafe while wandering around Log Road after having lunch at King George (more on that later). Hands down, Garden House Crafts is my favorite place to work from in Daikanyama.

Garden House Craft ticks all my remote-work criteria: it has plenty of seating options (both indoor and outdoor), good coffee, delicious cakes and strong wi-fi. On weekdays afternoon, they are not very busy which is always a huge plus. Aside of a small menu consisting of sandwiches, coffee, and tea. They also have beautiful cakes and delicate cookies to accompany your drink. I tried their Ginger Rose cookie and I loved it so much that I bought more packets to take home.

Al fresco dining at Garden House Craft
Outdoor dining at Garden House Craft
My typical set up while in Daikanyama
My typical set-up while in Daikanyama

3. Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo

Just down the Log Road from Garden House Craft is Spring Valley Brewery Tokyo, a restaurant with its own brewery under Kirin, one of Japan’s biggest beer producer. For craft beer lovers, you can get yourself a pint or try their tasting menu, which gives you a sip of their six craft beers. Their food menu is pretty good too albeit a bit pricey. Aside of the ox tongue dish pictured above, we tried a tomato salad dish which looked unassuming but was so delicious that we had to order a second round.

Spring Valley Brewery
Spring Valley Brewery
Ox Tongue at Spring Valley Brewery
Ox Tongue at Spring Valley Brewery
The inside of SVB
The inside of SVB

4. Daikanyama T-site

Short for Daikanyama Tsutaya (Tsutaya is Tokyo’s biggest bookstore chain) and undoubtedly the most well-known space in Daikanyama, this place is a must-visit for book lovers, travelers and photographers alike. I don’t read books so I fall more into the latter categories, but I absolutely loved exploring the bookshelves and stacks upon stacks of books.

Aside from being a massive bookstore, this site also provides space for visitors to read, a lounge with vintage reads that serves coffee and alcohol, dedicated floor for movies and music, among many other things.

There is a Starbucks on the ground floor (You’ll see that Tsutaya and Starbucks are often partnered up in Tokyo). Photographers might want to check out the camera specialty store outside of the bookstore, called Kitamura Photo Equipment.

Daikanyama T-site
Daikanyama T-site
Daikanyama T-site
Daikanyama T-site

5. King George Sandwich Bar [Closed]

Update: King George is unfortunately permanently closed as of 2021, but i’m leaving it here for memories 🥲

Who knew I’d find a legit sandwich in Tokyo? At King George, you will. The sandwich shop was opened up by a team of husband and wife in 2013 and named after their cat, King George. The shop occupies the 2nd floor and 3rd floor, plus the rooftop of a small building in the heart of Daikanyama. Their menu consists of mostly sandwiches, smoothies and a selection of beer.

The second floor of King George
The second floor of King George

Just how legit are their sandwiches? Check out this photo of The King George Sandwich cross-section. My mouth is watering just thinking of their sandwiches…

A few days after my first visit here, I pretty much begged my boyfriend to go back again because I was just craving the sandwich so badly! What makes King George a huge winner is not just how perfectly cut their sandwiches are – the ingredients they use are always fresh, top notch and they will give you plenty. I was full after one sandwich, but it’s the good kind of full, if you know what I mean.

If you need something to accompany your sandwich, their smoothies are really good too – I got the Acai Smoothie which left me craving for more. On my second visit, I got the Mango smoothie which was good but Acai is still my favorite.

I highly recommend going up to the rooftop if you come here on a good day, and taking a seat in one of their tables up there where you can double up your lunch with some people-watching.

Other notable places in Daikanyama

Since I was mostly working during the day, I did not have time to check out more places in Daikanyama. Here are a few that caught my eyes. I will definitely come back for them in the future!

Urth Caffe – Right across from King George, I saw this cafe when we were having lunch on the rooftop. I lived in Los Angeles for awhile so this cafe immediately caught my attention! And sure enough, this is the very same Urth that has become an iconic trademark in LA, mostly known for their organic coffee and fine teas.

Tempu Shibuya – I love hole-in-the-wall places and Tempu definitely got my attention because of that. They seem to be well known for Takoyaki, which is more well-known in Osaka than Tokyo.

Osteria Urara – This place is right next to Tempu, and seems to be very popular with locals. I can guess from the name that they serve Italian food, and some easy google searches proved it right. I reckon this would be a nice place to have an easy weekday dinner.

Alright, that’s all I have on Daikanyama. If you have a free day in Tokyo, I highly recommend checking out this area.

If you are currently in Tokyo and wondering what there is to do, you can check out my Tokyo Guide here.

Until next time!


  1. Rohan Gillett says

    No Daikanyama Starbucks! I think you should add that one for people who love to join long lines. Great post.

  2. I’ll be in Tokyo later this week and i’m wondering if this place would still be opened in the evenings?

  3. Nina says

    Daikanyama looks and sounds so cool! I love Japan and would love to go back to Tokyo one day, perhaps for a slightly longer period. Really love your blog and of course, your instagram, Melissa! Keep up the good stuff 🙂

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