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2018年04月06日

Best Hanami Spot in Tokyo!

by Veronika 725

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The end of March/beginning of April is the
sakura season in Japan. There are many
famous hanami (cherry blossom viewing)
spots in Tokyo, however the most popular
one is in Meguro. Many sakura trees are
planted alongside the Meguro river, from
Ohashi bridge to Taikobashi. In this article
we introduce some interesting places to visit
along this route.

Recommended route

Nakameguro Station (main exit) →
Happy Pudding Mahakala →
Green Scape → dessin →
Onibus Coffee Nakameguro →
Nakameguro Station (main entrance)

Distance: 2.6 km
Steps: 4550
Time: 33 min + shopping, relaxing
Budget: 8,000 yen

When you leave Nakameguro station main exit
and cross Yamate Street, you will see Meguro
river in front of you. There are around 800
sakura trees planted alongside the river
between Ohashi and Taikobashi bridges,
spanning for 3.8 kilometers. It is the most
popular part of the bigger route from
Nakameguro to Ikejiri-ōhashi, and it is lit up
during sakura season from 5 PM to 9 PM (this
year until April 10th).

As you head East, you will reach the
Shukuyama bridge. Here the river becomes
narrow, so the sakura trees from both sides
seem to connect creating an arch. That is
why this spot is one of the best to take some
beautiful pictures.

1. Enjoy a nice pudding while looking at
the sakura.

After taking some amazing pictures, head to
the East for a minute. You will reach the
famous "Happy Pudding Mahakala", which
stands out with its wooden blue window
frames. When asked about the name of the
place, the owner explains: "When you eat
something really delicious, you start smiling.
I want to offer people puddings that are so
delicious, they will make them happy".

During lunch you can get Japanese style
pancakes with squid in a restaurant next
door "Mahakala", and the puddings were a
result of the owner wanting to make some
dessert from leftover eggs used for the
pancakes. That is how this pudding specialty
store came to be. On weekends they sell
around 500 puddings, with the number
doubling during the cherry blossom season.

The puddings are handmade every morning in
the store. They offer several different flavored
puddings, like the custard, milk coffee,
chocolate or black tea. The eggs used for the
puddings are considered to be the best in
Japan, produced in Kakogawa city in Hyogo
prefecture.
Slightly hard and chewy texture of the pudding
spreads the rich creamy taste of the sweet egg
the moment you bite into it.
They
They also sell drinks in the store.
The owner's recommendation is the
combination of the traditional "Happy Pudding"
(390 yen) and black tea "Vanilla Bean"
(400 yen). The smell of vanilla and the
sweetness of the pudding make a great pair of
happiness!

The labels are also adorable with seasonal
elements.
The pudding of the season is the "Sakura
Matcha Pudding" (480 yen), known for the
rich Japanese green tea flavor. The cherry
blossoms are just outside the store, so you
can enjoy the views while savoring your
pudding.

Happy Pudding Mahakala
Maison Aoba 101, Aobadai 1-17-5, Meguro-ku Tokyo
03-6427-8706
Open 11:00~18:00
http://www.happypudding.com

After eating the delicious dessert, continue
heading East for about 7 minutes. You will
see the Naka-no-hashi bridge that stands
out thanks to its' bright red color, especially
when contrasted against the blue sky.

The combination of bright red of the bridge
and pink cherry blossoms creates amazing
visuals.
The bridge is located a little further from the
main street with all the shops, so you can
look around and take your pictures in relative
peace.

2. Get "My Sakura" at the bonsai shop!

Head back towards Nakameguro Station for
around 10 minutes and you will see a store
with beautiful bonsai trees lined up. It is a
store specializing in bonsai trees called
"Green Scape".
When one thinks of bonsai trees, one often
assumes that they are difficult to look after
or grow out of control easily, but the trees
offered for sale in this store are all beautiful
and accessible to anybody. 

You can find seasonal bonsai trees as well!
For example, in spring you can get a sakura
tree for around 5000 yen and enjoy cherry
blossoms at home every year. Sakura bonsai
trees are known to be slow growers, so they
don't need that much professional attention.

Cherry blossom bonsai trees only need sunlight,
enough water, and a light breeze to grow
properly.

Watching the tree grow and bloom for the first
time is an amazing experience, turning the tree
into a beloved existence.

The motto of "Green Scape" is "bringing the
four seasons of Japan to the interior". The
store offers bonsai maintenance and
replanting, as well as advice through e-mail
for maximum success. They also offer small
workshops 9 times a year, so if you are
interested and can speak Japanese, do check
out their website.

Green Scape
1-18-4 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku Tokyo
03-5721-1661
Open Weekdays 11:00~20:00,
Weekends 11:00~19:30
Closed on Wednesdays
https://greenscape.co.jp/about

3. Store for used books with beautiful covers.

After looking at some bonsai trees, head
towards the shopping district. On your way
you will find an interesting looking store
with a glass front.

"dessin" opened 6 years ago and is a branch of
Shibuya's famous "Totodo" bookstore. This
store specializes mainly in picture and
photography books. There are many books
here you can't find in other stores, so many
people with particular interests often come
here for inspiration. 

Looking through this store is like searching
for treasure.

dessin
2-11-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku Tokyo
03-3710-2310
Open 12:00~20:00
Closed on Tuesdays
http://dessinweb.jp

4. Coffee even for those who usually hate it!

Just two minutes away from "dessin", right by
the Meguro Ginza Children's Playground is the
"Onibus Coffee Nakameguro".
Follow the enticing smell of coffee right to the
store! The coffee shop is located in a
renovated old-style Japanese house. The first
floor has counter benches and coffee roasting
space, while the second floor is for table seats.

The name "Onibus" comes from Portuguese,
meaning "public bus". The owner wants their
coffee to connect people, just like a bus
carrying them from one stop to another.
The shop has been featured in famous
magazines, and organized workshops overseas,
so on weekends it is filled with coffee lovers
from afar.
Apparently, the owner has ties with coffee
manufacturers and chooses the beans directly
from the source. The coffee then is roasted
directly at the store, in order to provide the
highest quality product to the customers.

The choice recommended by the staff is "Drip
Coffee" (490 yen).
It is even recommended for people who usually
dislike coffee, as light roast, which best brings
out the fruity and nutty flavors of the beans, is
very popular.
The store usually has 4-5 types of coffee beans
from different countries, so it might be a
perfect place to compare the different flavors
and specialties of each type. 

The table seating of the second floor makes
use of the old Japanese house atmosphere.
The soft light coming through the windows
makes you forget about the fatigue of the day
and relax.
From the windows of the second floor you can
see the Meguro Ginza Children's Playground
and the sakura trees growing there, making
this coffee shop a secret cherry blossom
viewing spot. With a hot drink in hand, look
over the nice views.


ONIBUS COFFEE NAKAMEGURO
2-14-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku Tokyo
03-6412-8683
Open 9:00~18:00
http://www.onibuscoffee.com

The recommended route this time focused on
the shops around the sakura path, however
there are plenty of other unique places to
discover in Nakameguro! Try wandering
around the area when you have the time!

Map


Original article in Japanese:
https://sanporge.com/nakameguro_ohanami_sakura/

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