A Few of My Favorite (Tokyo) Things: Daikanyama T-Site

The Daikanyama neighborhood is a gem. I’ve heard it described as where Harajuku girls move when they grow up and get married, and it carries a mix of sophistication, intimacy and an overall air of coolness. Closest comparison I could make in NYC would be the West Village.

In my time exploring Daikanyama’s cozy cafes, impeccably decorated shops, and windy side streets, I stumbled upon one spot that instantly became one of my favorite places in the world. Love at first sight, plus books and a bar.

Daikanyama T-Site

Courtesy Wall Street Journal

Daikanyama T-Site is a two-year-old low-level campus of shops and restaurants, perfectly curated and designed. Tokyo firm Klein Dytham Architecture won an award at the World Architecture Festival for the interlinked buildings with interlocking T-shapes making up the facades.

Daikanyama T-Site facade

Courtesy Dezeen Magazine

The pearl at the center is Tsutaya Books and the upstairs lounge Anjin. This is what my dream home would look like. Actually, I just want to move right into this building. Books, designer furniture, soft lighting, a bar made entirely of books, a section devoted to Shiba Inu magazines–what more could a yuppie American girl want? Oh, the food is great too.

Upstairs Anjin, Downstairs Tsutaya Books

Courtesy Dezeen Magazine

Purchase a Vogue, or Monocle or a Shiba Inu magazine (I bought a set of Shiba stickers), and head upstairs to read in Anjin’s surprisingly quiet cocoon of wood, gold, leather and velvet. Order a Japanese whiskey or coffee (from an iPad menu, natch) and watch the well-coiffed locals enjoy each others’ company as late as 2am. My boyfriend noted that, if he were still single (and lived in Tokyo of course), this would be his go-to date spot. Everyone looks sexier surrounded by vintage tomes.

Anjin Lounge

Courtesy travel.cnn.com

Another don’t-miss stop in T-Site is the Daikanyama Kitamura Photo Equipment shop, which carries more digital cameras than anywhere else in Tokyo, and showcases them beautifully to boot.

 Daikanyama Kitamura Photo Equipment

Courtesy t-site.jp

Not surprisingly, T-Site and Tsutaya books are very successful. If bookstores in America all looked like this, I doubt we’d be shuttering brick-and-mortar shops at the current pace.

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