Meguro (目黒) is a largely residential district in southwest Tokyo, named after the Meguro River.
The JR Yamanote, Metro Namboku (N01), Toei Mita (I01) and Tokyu Meguro lines all pass through Meguro station. The Metro Hibiya and Tokyu Toyoko lines also stop at Naka-Meguro (中目黒), the other end of the area.
- 1 Kumano Shrine (熊野神社). Built 800 years ago. Surrounded by trees, people visit to pray or just for the peace and quiet. Some come for specific the worship practice of Yakuyoke a purification ritual to drive out evil spirits. Like all shrines, they sell protective amulets for health, good studies, or traffic safety, but these are distinctively cute. For a traditional shrine, they have a particularly flashy website that gives a good preview.
- 2 Meguro Parasitological Museum (目黒寄生虫館), 4-1-1 Shimomeguro, ☎ , fax: . Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; closed around New Years. One of a kind and oddly popular with couples on dates, although you might want to skip lunch before (or after) your visit here as the exhibits and pictures can be rather graphic. A compact two-story building, the most famous exhibit inside is an 8.8 meter-long tapeworm, with a matching string for you to take the measurement. Free; donations appreciated.
- 3 Meguro Gajoen (目黒雅叙園) (five minute walk from the West exit of JR Meguro station, adjacent to the hulking Arco Tower office building). A luxury hotel and wedding hall, with restaurants, cafes, and banquet rooms. One of the most popular attractions, though, is the spectacular public restroom.
- 4 Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (東京都庭園美術館) (five minutes from the East exit). Art museum housed in a classic Art Deco style structure, connected to a small park with Japanese and Western gardens and outdoor sculptures.
- 5 Institute for Nature Study (自然教育園), 5-21-5 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku (adjacent to Teien Art Museum), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep 1-Apr 30 9AM-4:30PM, May 1-Aug 31 9AM-5PM; closed Mondays, closed Dec 28-Jan 4. A 200,000 sq m nature preserve in the heart of the city, with birds and waterfowl, insects and marine life. Adults ¥300, senior citizens and children free.
- 6 Gohyakurakanji (五百羅漢寺). 09:00-17:00 all year round. This temple contains over 300 statues, all with different facial expressions. They were all carved by the same monk from 1687 to 1695. 300¥.
During cherry blossom season, the trees by the normally rather drab Meguro River bloom pink and Japanese congregate to picnic and drink by the riverside.
The local chamber of commerce and neighborhood association is very active here staging more modern and fashionable events and festivals on many weekends. See a beautifully decorated Christmas tree or maybe an opera singer performing arias on the street. During the September festival you can watch people carry a sacred portable shrine or omikoshi.
- Kameyamannendo (亀屋万年堂), Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 1-15-12, ☎ . This Japanese-style confectionery shop was establish since 1938. ¥800.
- Nihondo Kampo Boutique (日本堂漢方ブティック), Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 2-9-6, ☎ . It is a Chinese herbal medicine and healthy food shop. Advisers choose the best medicine for you. Chinese tea is popular for young women because it is good for beauty. ¥2,000.
- Wara (和ら), 2-14-8 Midorigaoka Meguroku, ☎ . There are many kinds of kimono which is gathered all over Japan. Money pouch (巾着) and bag which are made by cloth of kimono are popular. In this shop, you can learn how to put on kimono. ¥5,000.
Meguro is famous throughout Japan for sanma (さんま), or Pacific saury, a type of ocean fish. It's obviously not fished in the area; rather, its fame comes from an old story. In September, there's a sanma festival where you can try it grilled by local vendors. If you need a cheap snack to sustain you go for a crepe, smoothie, or melon pan from one of the street vendors operating out of small trailers or funky old VWs. For many women in Tokyo, the neighborhood of Juyigaoka is almost synonymous with sweets; it's impossible to list all of the many tea shops, cake shops, bakeries large and small, cafe's, and chocolatiers.
- 1 Komahachi Meguro Sanma Center (駒八 目黒店). Izakaya serving sanma in all shapes, try at least the shioyaki and the sushi. Adventurous eaters might try the sanma rice crackers that include the head. 3000¥.
- Sweets Forest (スイーツフォレスト), Meguro-ku, Midorigaoka 2-25-7, ☎ . This is a mall dedicated to desserts. Multiple shops and cafes. From ¥500.
- Nana's Green Tea, Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 1-29-18. 10:30AM-10:30PM. This cafe has a lot of sweets and drinks made with powdered green tea and adzuki bean. Taste four kinds of Japanese tea. Try the Maccha chocolate latte. ¥600.
- Hara-Donut (はらドーナツ), Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 1-3-13, ☎ . Organic donut shop. Seemingly oxymoronic healthy donuts are made with soy milk. ¥200.
- Ichariba (いちゃりば), Aobadai 1-30-11, ☎ . Open daily for lunch and dinner. Excellent izakaya serving up very authentic and tasty Okinawan food, try the goya champuru (bitter gourd stirfry) and the Okinawan-style raw spring rolls. Occasional free live performances of Okinawan music. Most dishes ¥500-800.
- Ju (near Nakameguro Station). Yakitori (chicken kebab) and kimuchi chahan (fried rice with Korean pickles - tastes better than it sounds!).
- Tonki (とんき), Shimo-meguro 1-1-2 (Meguro West exit, down the hill on the left), ☎ . Closed Tu and third M of the month. Possibly good place to go for tonkatsu (breaded deep-fried pork cutlets), and popular with foreigners.
- Tuk Tuk, Kami-Osaki 2-13-22 (Meguro East exit, on the corner opposite Sederhana, above), ☎ . Only in Japan: Italian and Thai on the same menu. Fortunately they don't actually mix the tom yum kung and gnocchi, and both are good.
- 2 Junkadelic, 4-10-4 Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku (from the east exit of Nakameguro Station, follow the train tracks south, continue past the Family Mart, the restaurant is just under the train tracks from Natural Lawson), ☎ . 6PM-2AM. Though the building looks a little old, this Mexican restaurant has some great Tex-Mex cuisine. The menu is not very large, but what it has is worth eating. Portions are reasonably sized, so consider getting an appetizer along with the main dish. For drinks, there are several Mexican beers and Mexican tequila available. Main dishes ¥800-1,600.
- Shutters, Setagaya-ku, Okusawa 5-27-15, ☎ . 11:30AM-11PM. Try the apple pie a la mode. Popular dishes here are the odd combination of spare ribs and apple pie. You can eat many flavors of tender spare ribs such as soy sauce, basil, and mustard. You can choose from sauces on your apple pie: cinnamon, blueberry, raspberry, chocolate and carmel--with vanilla ice cream too. ¥1,500~.
- Sushikou (鮨幸), Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 2-18-14, ☎ . Sushi. ¥10,000.
- Jiyugaoka Burger (自由が丘バーガー), Jiyugaoka 1-3-15 4F, Meguro-ku. Domestically-sourced, organic and THICK burgers in a lush balcony setting. Sets from ¥1100.
- Kochoo (コチュ), Okusawa 6-22-12, Setagaya-ku (3-min walk from Kuhonbutsu Station; 8-min walk from Jiyūgaoka Sta.). Specializes in sundubu, a Korean stew which actually has roots in Los Angeles. All-you-can-eat banchan, which is common practice in Korea but rare in Japan!
- 4 Mangetsu Korean Cuisine (韓国料理 満月), Hills Spiga 2F, Jiyugaoka 1-14-16, Meguro-ku (2-min walk from Jiyūgaoka Sta. South Exit). Korean-run establishment with an intimate atmosphere, great for an evening date. Good chijimi!
- 5 Peko (ペコ), Okusawa 5-27-19, Setagaya-ku (3-min walk from Jiyūgaoka Sta. South Exit). Though their specialty is pizza, the peperonchini soup pasta is beyond words for garlic lovers.
For anyone looking below budget, exit the south side of the station, pick up a can at any convenience store, go to the tree-lined street one block south and sit on the benches. In the early evening you'll have plenty of company if the weather is good.
- Clann, 1-8-18, ☎ . 6PM-3AM. Irish pub with live music many nights.
- The Meguro Tavern, Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Shimomeguro 1-3-28, Sunwood Meguro Building 2F (Take either of the main roads leading downhill to the river from JR Meguro Station). A British-style pub with plenty of draft beers and football on the telly.
- Rakuya (楽屋), Kami-Meguro 2-15-6 (3 min from Naka-Meguro station), ☎ . Spacious, classy but casual restaurant-bar with live music every night.
- Rude Boy Cafe (ルードボーイカフェ), Setagaya-ku Okusawa 5-28-15, ☎ . 6:30PM-2AM, closed Tuesdays. Reggae, some curry, tequila.
- Speyside Way, Meguro-ku Jiyugaoka 1-26-9 5F (North exit, take second right down a narrow street two short blocks to a T, across the street an just to the left. Look up for the sign.), ☎ . Hundreds of whiskeys fill every available space. Hundreds. Short selection of micro-beers is also available.
- The Westin Tokyo, 1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku, ☎ . Rooms are elegant and well furnished with over-sized bathrooms and workout areas. Their in house spa offers a variety of services. ¥33,000 and up.
- Tokyu Stay Meguro-Yutenji, 2-15-7 Yutenji, Meguro-ku (Yutenji station, on the Toyoko Line from Shibuya), ☎ , fax: . Part of the Tokyu Stay chain, these hotels are popular with business travelers. The small kitchenettes, washer/dryers, and free LAN access in all rooms makes these a good value. Singles start at ¥9,450, doubles at ¥17,850. Slight discounts are offered for extended stays.
- Princess Garden Meguro Hotel, 23 Kami-Osaki, 2 Chrome. Princess Garden offers rooms that are very comfortable. The beautiful garden and Japanese Tea Room on the hotel grounds add a level of beauty and serenity.
- Hotel Pulitzer Jiyugaoka (ホテル ピュリッツァー 自由が丘), Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 2-11-18 (Exit on the Rotary side. Walk past Cafe Excelsior and on the left just before the next light.), ☎ . Small hotel with only 18 rooms right in the center of Jiyugaoka. ¥15,000.