Happy spring, everyone!

With the vernal freshness in the air and in our minds and bodies, let’s kick off the new academic year by exploring some new sights and sounds and tantalizing tastes within our lovely neighborhood. From a new favorite shop or hangout to your very own secret getaway, there are sure to be several hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. This month, take a 5-minute train ride from Ookayama to Musashi-Koyama station to experience for yourself why this charming little area is featured in so many travel guidebooks for Tokyo.

First of all, the “Palm” shoutengai: a seemingly endless stretch of shops, cafes, salons, and people – where every nook and cranny has its own nooks and crannies – this shopping street deserves a blog of its own! Without a doubt, whatever you need can be found here – household items, freshly baked pastries, cuisines from different countries, casual and formal clothes, hair and spa treatments, organic produce and ingredients, furry companions to take home, kimono, game centers, a new watering hole, karaoke…and the list goes on. If you’ve just completed a spring clean, you can also unload your retired or unwanted items at any one of the “OFF” stores (Mode Off, Book Off, Liquor Off) located in Palm so they may find a new home with their next owner.

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If you value the more serene, take a right from the station to a delicious and affordable Thai restaurant that sits on the corner of a tiny street, or venture on to the tiny bakery, tiny bars, barbershop, or recycle shop. Turn right again at the 7-11 and, like a pot of gold at the end of a tiny rainbow, you’ll come to a reasonably priced, wonderfully relaxing Chinese massage specialist on your left, where all your troubles will melt away!

Onsen anybody? Another fantastic way to counter the stresses of work and studies, hot springs are also an economical way to pamper yourself. The family running this beautiful, traditional bathhouse has been in the business since the 20’s. While the interior is elegant and soothing with just the right lighting and water temperature, a soak in the outdoors under starlight and a gentle breeze is also a must-do. Whatever the case, you’ll be indulging in a little TLC and reaping health benefits for your nervous system, blood circulation, and more.

shimizuyu onsen shimizuyu onsen

Rinshinomori Park, frequented by many Meguro residents, young and old, is great for a refreshing jog under the mini forest’s blanket of leaves and branches, or for a leisurely stroll and picnic in the fresh air under your favorite sun-dappled spot. Enjoy this diversity of plant life and calming vibe by taking a right on the main road from the station.

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A perfect combination of new and old as well as tranquil and bustling, Musashi-Koyama has something for everyone!

Palm Shotengai

Palm also hosts a variety of events all year round!

Chinese massage (Japanese)

Shimizuyu Onsen (Japanese)

Rinshinomori Park