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Hiroo: An Worldwide Hotspot | Tokyo Weekender

As a foreigner dwelling in Tokyo, the cultural variations provided by Japan in regard to its meals, style and common environment imply there may be nearly all the time one thing new to expertise and discover close by.

However whereas this creates a lot of the attraction for a life within the capital, or Japan generally, there typically comes a time when folks lengthy for a style of their previous lives again house. Whether or not they miss a selected meal they used to get pleasure from of their house nation, or just want to encompass themselves with a extra westernized environment, it is comprehensible for foreigners to hunt out such locations at instances. Locations like Hiroo.

Situated solely a brief distance from Shibuya and residential to numerous overseas embassies, over time, Hiroo has developed itself into hub for ex-pats the place now you can discover a slew of worldwide tastes and traits on supply.

Nook of Hiroo purchasing road and site of Truffle Bakery

International Meals

Catering to tastebuds from around the globe, the meals on supply in and round Hiroo Procuring Avenue is bound to have one thing for everybody, no matter your dietary necessities or the place you are from.

Right here you will discover the Indian restaurant Priya, Arabian meals at Zenobia and a staple of the Hiroo meals scene, the well-known Homework’s.


Based in 1985 and branded as the primary connoisseur hamburger and sandwich restaurant in Japan, Homework’s says it delivers an genuine style of the USA, whereas additionally offering meals and providers that permits prospects to really feel the heat of house.

For these with a candy tooth, tucked away simply off Hiroo Procuring Avenue can also be the place you will discover Hal Okada Vegan Sweets Lab. A small institution devoted to the creation of vegan muffins, puddings, fruit sandwiches and different confectionary items, all made with one hundred pc plant-derived elements.

Lastly, throughout the intersection on the finish of Hiroo Procuring Avenue is the place you’ll be able to benefit from the refined baked items of Truffle Bakery. With a philosophy at delivering the very best product it could actually to its prospects, Truffle Bakery prides itself on the usage of sustainable, non-artificial elements in its truffle-infused creations.

Arisugawa Memorial Park

A Pocket of Nature

No Tokyo hotspot could be full with out some lush inexperienced parkland tucked in amongst the concrete. Hiroo isn’t any exception.

Whereas as soon as the location of a villa utilized by the Japanese feudal lord, Minonokami Nambu, Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park was developed right into a public leisure space again in 1934. Since then, guests and residents have been spoilt with a panorama of water, play areas and greenery that enhances and accentuates the realm’s pure topography.

The park is situated solely 5 minutes from Hiroo Procuring Avenue. Throughout summer season, irises and hydrangeas may be seen in full bloom, whereas on the lake, turtles may be noticed sunning themselves on the rocks by the financial institution. As spring arrives, the realm additionally turns into an ideal spot to calm down amongst the ever-popular cherry blossoms.

Nationwide Azabu

Imported Elements

For foreigners dwelling in Japan, it could actually typically be the little issues that make us miss house. Maybe it is the snacks we used to frequently purchase, and even your favourite laundry liquid. However no matter creature consolation it might be that leaves you eager for house, if there’s anyplace in Tokyo that is going to have it, it is Nationwide Azabu.

Located immediately throughout the highway from Arisugawa-no-miya Memorial Park, Nationwide Azabu options two tales of imported meals, drinks and homewares from around the globe. However do be aware, as is commonly the case with imported items, if you do discover that packet of Hershey’s dipped pretzels, or the jar of Vegemite you have gone so lengthy with out, likelihood is it will likely be costlier than again house.

For these with wheels, Nationwide Azabu additionally presents on-site parking which is free for 60 minutes if you spend over 2,000 in retailer and free for 90 minutes if you spend over 5,000.

Azabusan Zenpukuji Temple

Azabusan Zenpukuji Temple

About quarter-hour on foot from Nationwide Azabu is the ornate temple of Azabusan Zenpukuji. Initially established over 1,200 years in the past, this temple, appears hidden by the encircling buildings, is without doubt one of the most historic temples in Tokyo.

Based by the famend Kobo Daishi as a temple of the Shingon college of Buddhism, the temple grounds are additionally house to the oldest tree in Tokyo. The 750-year-old ginkgo tree is alleged to have been planted in a spot designated by the monk, Shinran, throughout his go to to the temple.

Consistent with Hiroo’s historical past of overseas settlement and affect, Azabusan Zenpukuji is also called the primary Tokyo Legation of the USA, the place in 1859, the Shogunate appointed American diplomat Townsend Harris as the primary United States Consul Common to Japan. It was a historic second that has been immortalized with a monument simply contained in the temple grounds.

Yamatane Museum of Artwork

Historic Artworks

Whereas overseas affect may be seen all through a lot of Hiroo, there are nonetheless locations through which conventional Japanese tradition is upheld above all else. Locations such because the Yamatane Museum of Artwork.

Focusing primarily on the show and exhibition of nihongaa common time period for conventional Japanese work, the museum sometimes shows 5 to 6 completely different exhibitions every year, with work chosen in line with explicit themes.

The museum additionally holds collections of historic Japanese calligraphy and ukiyoemaking it a must-see for artwork lovers wishing to get a glimpse right into a bygone period of Japanese creativity.

Hal Okada Vegan Sweets

Getting There

A reasonably central location, Hiroo may be reached from Shibuya station in underneath quarter-hour by taking the Toyoko Line to Nakameguro Station, then transferring to the Hibiya Line till reaching Hiroo Station.

Pictures by Ben Cooke