Tomigaya: All you need is a dog in Tokyo!

Posted on November 2, 2018 by Toothpicker There have been 0 comments

Tomigaya

Tomigaya dog  Tomigaya dog

Dogs in strollers

 

When you think of dog-loving cities, most likely you are going to think of Paris, but on the other side of the world, Tokyo is now the 'Paris of the East' (in terms of their obessions with their pets or dogs).

Tomigaya is an area in Shibuya, located on the southwest of Yoyogi park, that has become a 'hip' place for locals and foreigners alike. Perhaps it is due to its low-key neighbourhood feel, and its interesting mix of independent shops and eateries, but it certainly feels less commerical and touristy than Harajuku, which is on the southeast side of the park. And you know the area must be cool when there is a Monocle shop here!

Walking around the area on a Saturday afternoon, I couldn't help but notice that dogs have literally become the new LV bags in Tokyo (there was a time when the LV monogram bag was carried by 90% of the women here)! Some of them were even being pushed around in strollers like babies, which I thought was quite bizarre to say the least.

 

Tomigaya cheese stand  Tomigaya dogs

Tomigaya dog  Tomigaya dog

Tomigaya dog

Tomigaya dog  Tomigaya dog

 

According to Nikkei, the market for pet products and services is growing robustly in Japan even as the number of pets falls. Over the eight years through March 2016, the market for pet products and services in Japan grew nearly 10% to 1.47 trillion yen ($13.2 billion), according to Yano Research Institute in Tokyo.

In a country where the population is aging rapidly, and birth rate falling to a record low, perhaps it is not surprising to see people here turning their focus onto pets or animals. After all, dog is man's best friend, and you can affirm this belief in Tokyo.

 

Tomigaya

Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho

dorian gray Kamiyamacho  Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho  Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho

monocle tokyo

Tomigaya Norwegian Icons  Tomigaya Norwegian Icons

The eclectic mix of independent shops here include Monocle and Norwegian Icons (bottom row)

 

Aside from dog-spotting and the Monocle shop, you can find a variety of shops here including Shibuya Publishing & Booksellers (which I have written about previously) and Norwegian Icons that is dedicated to mid-century (1940 to 1975) Norwegian designs and furniture. I often think that Scandinavian and Japanese furniture designs share a great deal in common, hence I believe that Norwegian designs would not look out of place in a Tokyo home.

 

camelback tokyo

camelback coffee  camelback sandwich

fuglen tokyo

shibuya cheese stand

Kamiyamacho

 

This area is also full of cool cafes and eateries, and Camelback sandwich & expresso is probably the most popular takeout counter here. There are only a few benches outside, and usually there is a long queue here (mostly foreigners), so be prepared to wait for some artisanal sandwich and coffee. Hayato Naruse is a trained sushi chef, and his signature sushi-style tamagoyaki omelet sandwichi is the bestseller here. Was it worth the 20-minute wait? Yes, it was delicious and so was the coffee.

If you prefer to sit down while you eat and drink, you can visit the nearby Fuglen, a coffee shop and bar with vintage decor that is originally from Oslo, and now a huge hit in Tokyo.

Shibuya Cheese Stand is another popular eatery here where you can taste freshly made cheese like mozzarella and ricotta made in Hokkaido, the northmost island famous for its diary produce.

 

so books  so books

So books

 

The best thing about Tokyo is that often you would stumble upon some unique/wonderful shops while rambling in different neighbourhoods. And this was how I came across So books, located on a quiet street not far from Yoyogi Hachiman station. It is a small bookshop that specialises in rare photography books (new and secondhand), with also some art, design and craft books. The friendly owner Ikuo Ogasawara speaks very good English, and he was surprised to learn that I had simply stumbled upon the shop. I bought a few books that were easy to carry – I would have bought more if I didn't have to travel further on. Luckily, the owner told me that they have an online shop and ship internationally (not many Japanese shops like to ship overseas), so it is great news for photgraphy book fans out there.

 

hinine note  hinine note

hinine note

hinine note

Hinine note

 

Hinine note was the shop that I was seeking in the area after reading about it before my trip. It took a bit of effort to find it (with the help of google map), but it paid off. This is a stationery shop where you can customise and create your own notebooks. You can choose the size you want, the paper style, cover designs and binding methods. There is a wide selection of designs/colours to choose from, and everything is made on the spot. Not only you can enjoy using your one-of-a-kind notebook, it would help to reduce waste too. Love it.

 

Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho

Kamiyamacho

 

I think this is an interesting neighbourhood that is not just full of trendy and established shops (which I tend to avoid), and I definitely would want to return and explore further.

 


This post was posted in Coffee, Tokyo, Food & dining, Stationery, Shopping, Shopping guide, Travel, Japanese stationery, Anything Japanese, books, Japan and was tagged with Coffee, Tokyo, Food & dining, stationery, shopping, Shopping guide, cafes, street life, bookshops, dog, Tomigaya

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