Whether it’s for a walk to see the city’s most stunning architectural gems, a seemingly unlimited amount of design boutiques, a tranquil rooftop garden or some famous fluffy pancakes - welcome to Japan’s first destination for all things fashionable.
Make your way up the escalator (or, do it like a local and take the elevator on the West side of the building) and go directly to Tokyu Plaza’s 6th floor Omohara Forest, one of the city’s most beautiful rooftop gardens and the embodiment of what an urban oasis should be like. With a gorgeous view over the surrounding areas, lush trees and plants, spacious seating and a beer truck during the summer months, Omohara Forest provides a welcome break during a busy day out and about where you can bring your own food and drinks, relax and enjoy a quiet moment away from the urban buzz.
Another must-visit spot on the main avenue of Omotesando is Espace Louis Vuitton, a free art space hosted by Fondation Louis Vuitton which has sublime views over the neighborhood and exhibitions featuring up-and-coming as well as more established artists.
When strolling around Omotesando be sure to check out all of the side streets leading North and South of the main avenue, as this is where you will find the neighborhoods true hidden gems such as vintage stores Nadia and G2?, B-Side Label whose cute, Japanese-themed stickers make for great presents, and 6% Doki Doki, brainchild of Sebastian Masuda and mecca for kawaii Harajuku fashion.
If you want to discover some of the latest in art and design from some of Tokyo’s up and coming creatives, head over to Design Festa Gallery with its signature black bird’s nest façade, and check out the many small exhibitions as well as a café and okonomiyaki restaurant on the inside.
Somewhere halfway on Cat Street, hidden on the second floor of a sleek little building lies Micasadeco & Cafe, whose ricotta fluffy pancakes will forever change your idea of what pancakes should actually taste like. To avoid queuing, visit during the late afternoon of a weekday and opt for the classic fluffy panckes served with a heavenly whipped cream and melt into the inescapably delicious world of Tokyo’s world-famous, jiggly pancakes.
For some Japanese fine dining, grab a luxurious but reasonably priced kaiseki (course meal) lunch at Sashya Kanetanka, one of the area’s most beautifully designed restaurants serving traditional Japanese cuisine.
On the 4th floor of GYRE, a beautifully designed food floor with a café, restaurant, shop and terrace overlooking Omotesando makes for a perfect stopover on a busy shopping day through Omotesando. The spacious uni café with its slope of wooden cubes and wonderfully curated urban jungle are as much of a feast for the eyes as for the stomach. Before you head out, be sure to check out GYRE’s basement floor where HAY and Cibone sell some of Tokyo’s best sellection of interior design goods.
While in the area be sure to stop by Kengo Kuma-designed Nezu Museum which features beautiful arts and crafts from ancient Japan and boasts one of the city’s most wonderful, traditional Japanese gardens which can be visited for free with a museum ticket.
Fans of star architect Kengo Kuma’s work will want to make their way further down a quiet side street and marvel at the breathtaking SunnyHills at Minami-Aoyama, where visitors can sample a free pineapple cake plus tea, courtesy of Taiwanese sweets-maker SunnyHills.
Lovers of Japanese sweets should stop by HIGASHIYA man, a small outpost of HIGASHIYA Ginza that sells exquisite, handmade confectionaries out of a lovely hole-in-the-wall shop that specializes in “manjū,” sweet buns filled with red bean paste, nuts or seasonal fruit.
To finish off your day in style, head over to TWO ROOMS, a popular bar and restaurant at the border between Omotesando and Aoyama. Especially during summer nights, TWO ROOM’s terrace is one of Tokyo’s must-go-to spots for a relaxed dinner or a late-night drink overlooking Tokyo, while the inside bar boasts a solid menu of signature and classic cocktails, perfect for a low-key glam night-out.
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