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Updated: April 2, 2018

Meguro River 目黒川

Meguro-ku, Setagaya-ku, Shinagawa-ku

A leafy stroll in the heart of the city

The Meguro River meanders nearly 8 kilometers through several chic neighborhoods before emptying into Tokyo Bay. Generously landscaped walking paths along its banks and easy access to drinking and dining make it popular year-round.

Tips

  • A slow stroll taking in the Meguro River's respite on the edge of the city vibe
  • Joining revelers for evening parties beneath illuminated cherry blossoms in spring

Much of the Meguro Riverside area provides pleasant walking and a mellow atmosphere that marks a contrast to the capital's urban buzz. The stretch between Nakameguro and Gotanda Stations is renowned for its pretty greenery and easy access to the hip Nakameguro neighborhood with its many restaurants and bars.

Just beside the river, the Meguro Museum of Art focuses on modern Japanese artists and is worth checking out if you get caught in the rain. So is the quirky, squirmy Tokyo Parasite Museum just a couple blocks from the river. The gift shop alone is worth a look.

Further downstream at the edge of Tokyo Bay, Tennozu Isle offers galleries, chic cafes, and waterside dining, including at T.Y. Harbor, a popular brewery restaurant.

The Meguro River is also one of Tokyo's premier cherry blossom viewing spots. Over a kilometer of trees lining the paths on either side of the river in Nakameguro burst into bloom at the end of March and beginning of April, forming a corridor of flower clouds above the river.

When the sun goes down, the paper lanterns strung along the river come on during the Nakameguro Sakura Festival when bands of locals celebrate spring with feasting and drinking on blue tarps beneath the blossoms. Grab a beer from one of the street stalls and bask in the glow of Japan at its most laid back.

Wintertime has its own charm when a stretch of the river near Gotanda Station comes alive with an impressive holiday lights display.

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