Tokyo: Chilling in Daikanyama

After the shrill excitement of Harajuku we opted for a change of pace and walked to the Daikanyama district from Shibuya. It was a pleasant morning with a slight breeze and our map took us along quieter Tokyo streets, some of them residential, some clearly business-like, here a sleepy cat silently lounging on a porch, there a beautiful Japanese house, possibly a spa of some kind, promising miracles on its territory. Trees were still blooming with flowers and there weren’t as many high-rise buildings to see as in Shibuya. The tempo was decidedly more laid-back than what we had experienced the day before, and both our guidebooks described Daikanyama as wealthy, but at the same time low-key and charming.

We explored a big street stretching out in front of us, looked at shop windows and cafes, stepped in to side streets once again and reemerged, stopped for a sit-down in a courtyard where we promptly got bitten by very efficient mosquitos, found another puppy shop five times as expensive as the one we discovered in Shibuya and stumbled on a number of shop signs I would have gladly taken home with me. Well-dressed young mothers walked down the streets with their babies in strollers and despite it being a weekday I felt like it was another Saturday.

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From Daikanyama we walked to the Meguro river and along it, enjoying the continued tranquility, apartment buildings around us, stopping at more shop windows and exploring a cosy, winding street full of cafes and local flair. There were benches along the river that some people were smoking on, or quietly eating with their backs to the street (like we did later). The high-rise didn’t swallow the low-rise and everything just seemed to work together.

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