17-5 Sarugakucho, Daikanyama
This is not the first article to call Tsutaya “the greatest bookstore in the world,” and it’s not likely to be the last. And that’s because it’s the truth. This three-building complex is a world unto itself. Tsutaya includes an unparalleled collection of books and periodicals from Japan and around the world; a video department that has just about every movie ever made (and if it doesn’t the store can download it and burn it to a DVD on the spot); a 120,000-album music department, replete with listening stations to hear any track and concierges to guide you to the right choice in a given genre; a rare-book-and-magazine lounge with a dining menu and full bar; a camera shop; a travel office; a pet-goods store; three cafés; one of the best stationery stores in Japan; and a full-service restaurant with an outdoor deck. Trust us: Just go.
1-5-2 Aobadai, Daikanyama
Yep. A surfers’ café in Tokyo. Saturday NYC could have been plucked off of Sydney’s beachfront—the wooden floors, the surfboards, the laid-back vibe…it’s all here. In a city as chaotic as Tokyo, a seat on this café’s quiet patio, surrounded by greenery, with a view of the surfboards inside, feels like an oasis. The coffee beans are sourced from Ethiopia and the flat whites are some of the best in town. For the dairy-averse, the oat milk froths up well and tastes a lot like cow’s milk, actually.