The calm before the storm
I framed this particular route between two JR stations, starting at Meguro Station and finishing at Shibuya Station, which is ideal for Japan Rail Pass users. Upon emerging from the West Exit of JR Meguro station, finding the Meguro River is simple. Just keep walking west along Route 312 (Meguro-dori Avenue) and eventually you’ll see the river. From there, simply head northwest along either of the river’s elevated banks.
Since this segment of the riverbank lacks restaurants and shops, crowds are sparse, and you’ll be able to enjoy a pleasant, unencumbered stroll for about 1.5 kilometers. Take your time, snap some photos, and make the most of these moments because as you approach Naka-Meguro Station, the scenery and your experience, will begin to change.
A new world
Just after crossing Route 317 you’ll enter a new, bustling world filled with all of the excitement that Japan’s fleeting cherry blossom season brings. If you aren’t a fan of crowds, you may want to cut your stroll short and hop on the subway at nearby Naka-Meguro station.
However, if you get caught up in the seasonal excitement, you should press forward, merging with masses of people as they shuffle up and down the river snapping countless selfies along the way. Make your way through the crowds (or go around them via a side street) and you’ll eventually come across the headline-making Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo, currently the largest Starbucks Roastery in the world.
Once you reach Route 317 (Yamate-dori Avenue) it’s time to call it an evening and make your way northeast to JR Shibuya Station. Follow the elevated Shuto Expressway as you make your way to the station. It may not be the fastest route, but it will minimize your chances of getting lost in Shibuya’s hilly, labyrinthine neighborhoods.
Once you arrive at Shibuya Station, it’s time for your next adventure. The night is young and there are more cherry blossoms to see before the all-too-brief season comes to an end.
For an interactive map of this five-kilometer walking route, click here.