Top Things to do in the Ebisu and Meguro area of Tokyo [2019]

Updated September 18, 2019
Ebisu Meguro area of Tokyo, Japan

With 19+ things to see, do, and eat in the fantastic Ebisu/Meguro area of Tokyo – complete with walking map itinerary and map pins – this guide will give you everything you need to fully enjoy your time here.

In this guide, we’re going to take a tour of Ebisu and Meguro as a joint area because they’re close together and there are really cool things to see here.

Here’s something fun that may surprise you. Ebisu is literally named for the beer Yebisu. Yea, really… a beer. 

Ebisu is packed with museums and excellent restaurant options and really beautiful roads to walk and enjoy — especially in the late evening. 

Meguro is just a train stop away, or if you walk you can bump into parts of Meguro too. 

You’ll find Meguro very nice to stroll around. The area has some of Tokyo’s highest-end neighborhoods and they’re very well maintained — and have some excellent shops to peruse.

This is one of those areas you can come back to you time and again and enjoy every time — since there is bound to be a little shop around some corner you saw but didn’t have time to check out.

One thing I want you to keep in mind is this guide is a living document. Over time I’ll be adding more and more to it. But the itinerary will remain mostly the same. 

Think of it as your one-day whirlwind tour of the Ebisu & Meguro area. Where you’ll hit the top sights and not miss out on some of the local vibes.

But if you want more dig down into the guide sections where everything will be explored in more detail.

Let’s get started.

1-Day Itinerary in Ebisu & Meguro

This itinerary of things to do in the Ebisu and Meguro area starts out when you arrive at Ebisu Station.

As a side note, if you don’t want to follow an itinerary and instead explore, which I happen to think is an amazing way to discover Tokyo, check out my guide “The Best Tokyo Adventures Are The Planned Accidents At Stations.”

Morning

8-min walk to Yebisu Garden Place from Ebisu Station

Start the day in Ebisu and spend the morning at Yebisu Garden Place —it’s an area with a fantastic atmosphere, the perfect way to start the day. 

2-min walk to the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Take in an exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography where you can catch some interesting shots of history in Tokyo — and then tour the Yebisu Beer Museum — where Ebisu got its name.

10-min walk to Afuri from Yebisu Beer Museum

And then for lunch, it’s time for a really awesome bowl of ramen at Afuri — a super popular ramen shop in this area. 

15-min walk to Blacows from Yebisu Beer Museum

Or if you don’t want ramen but instead a wagyu burger sounds interesting, check out BLACOWS

Afternoon

After lunch, take the train one stop from Ebisu to Meguro — visit the Institute for Nature Study. This is a crazy sight because it’s this nice little oasis tucked away inside the concrete urban setting of Meguro.

3-min walk to the Teien Art Museum

Also inside the area is the fantastic Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum.

20-min walk to the Meguro Interior Shops Community

After you’re all “arted out,” head over to  Tokyo’s design district to check out the shops that make up the Meguro Interior Shops Community where you may find some cool memorabilia to bring back home.

Evening

13-min walk to the Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade

We’re going to slow down a bit. Take some time to look around while walking to the next stop.

Make your way over to the Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade. If you’re here in late March you’re in for a real treat. The cherry blossoms will be in full bloom — and it’s impressive.

If not, the area is nice to look around. It’s the Nakameguro “village” within Meguro and it really does have a small village vibe that is a welcome break from the big-city Tokyo feel.

Or maybe you’d prefer to see the world’s largest Starbucks Roastery?

17-min walk to Tonkatsu Tonki

When you’re hungry you’re in the area of a restaurant famous across Japan. Head back toward Meguro station and have dinner at the absolutely legendary tonkatsu shop Tonki

As an alternative, if you’re looking for something super fancy keep in mind Joël Robuchon, the world’s most Michelin star decorated chef, has a restaurant is in the area.

Oh, one more alternative before I forget. If you want something affordable, yet delicious, where famous pro-wrestlers like Randy “Macho Man” Savage have eaten, check out Ribera Steakhouse

Then take the train back to Ebisu and hit the neighborhood bar scene starting at Buri (and then maybe make your way over to Enjoy House for a change of pace).

Top Sights in Ebisu & Meguro

The Ebisu and Meguro area is mostly known for the fantastic selection of restaurants and izakaya. But there are a few interesting things to explore too.

Yebisu Garden Place

Yebisu Garden Place, Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

The Yebisu Garden Place isn’t so much a place as it is an area to walk around and enjoy the greenery, cobblestone-esque streets, and interesting architecture around you.

Which is actually somewhat rare in Tokyo and makes for a great escape sometimes.

Map pin to Yebisu Garden Place

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Ebisu, Shibuya, Japan

This place is interesting. From the outside, if you don’t see the signage, you could easily mistake this for just another Japanese business building.

But you’d be missing out.

The architecture of this place combined with the minimalist placement of quality photos spanning the history of Tokyo is incredible.

If you’re a photographer you’ll absolutely love it here. If you enjoy art, you’ll love it here. If you enjoy history, you’ll love it here too!

Map pin to Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography

Museum of Yebisu Beer

Now, this. If you enjoy beer… this… 

Ah… this is so good. 

The Museum of Yebisu Beer is going to be something super interesting for you.

Not only will you get the chance to see the humble origins of one of Japan’s more prestigious breweries, but you’ll get to sample some too.

Get the “tasting set” for a variety of three beers and a snack. Plus they also have some excellent food if you’re a little hungry (or prefer food with your beer).

Oh, and there’s interesting vintage photos, bottles, and collectibles from the era — and a cool fact: the museum is on the grounds where the brewery stood until 1988!

Map pin to Museum Yebisu Beer

Institute for Nature Study

Institute for Nature Study, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan

Sure,  you could go inside the museum here and see some things and learn about nature. But the really cool part of this is how striking it is in contrast to the urban concrete jungle surrounding it.

You’re teleported into an oasis inside of Tokyo!

It’s a rather strange feeling but it quickly gives way to one of comfort when you realize all the green surrounds you.

Map pin to the Institute for Nature Study

Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Here’s a cool art-deco museum in downtown Tokyo that is also surrounded by a fantastic Japanese garden. The building really stands out as it doesn’t fit the typical style of buildings found in Japan — you can definitely see it’s European influence.

Learn more about the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum

Yamatane Museum of Art

Yamatane Museum of Art, Hiroo, Tokyo, Japan

This museum is interesting because while it has a collection of over 1800 pieces, it selectively chooses to show only a few at a time. 

And they really show them in class. The place is immaculate, beautiful, and minimalistic — with just the right touch of Japan to it. 

If you love art you’ll find yourself at home here.

Map pin to Yamatane Museum of Art

Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade

If you’re lucky enough to be here when the cherry blossoms are out, you’re in for a treat here. 

This little promenade overlooking this small “river” is lined with ancient cherry blossom trees (aka sakura trees) and when in bloom creates a remarkable view.

And every year thee’s is an absolutely incredible cherry blossom festival. If you love street food and music plus beautiful cherry blossoms, this event is amazing.

This is definitely a place you want to check out to add some incredible shots to your Instagram feed — or better yet, print at huge sizes to decorate your home with a fantastic memory.

Map pin to Meguro River Cherry Blossoms Promenade

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo

Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Nakameguro, Tokyo, Japan

The Nakameguro area is home to the world’s largest Starbucks. With floors of interesting things to see and unique collectibles to buy, if you love coffee (and especially Starbuck’s coffee), you’ll love this place.

It’s classy, has a fantastic atmosphere, and you can see how the coffee is made.

Learn more about the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo


Eating in Ebisu & Meguro

Afuri

Afuri is a night owl favorite. It stays open quite late and they have a real nice yuzu-shio ramen. 

Yuzu is a lemon-like citrus fruit and shio is a salt-based ramen broth (shio = salt in Japanese). 

It may not sound all that great individually, but this is very popular ramen in Tokyo.

Learn more about Afuri

BLACOWS

BLACOWS burgers, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan

How does a wagyu burger sound? Yea, I thought so. 

Wagyu conjures images of the most premium beef on the planet. The delicate care that goes into grooming the best beef. 

And this place won’t ruin your dreams. Delicious wagyu burgers with a large variety of toppings like cheese, mozzarella, egg, avocado, and more. 

Learn more about BLACOWS

And if you want to know everything there is to know about wagyu in Japan, check out my guide “Everything There Is To Know About Wagyu Beef In Japan [2019 Edition].

Tonkatsu Tonki

Tonkatsu Tonki is absolutely legendary. There’s really nothing more to say. 

Go here. You will thank me. 

It’s a tonkatsu restaurant that really takes quality to heart — and that’s why it’s famous across Tokyo. 

Tonkatsu is a fried pork cutlet, usually served with a side of shredded cabbage, and an amazing sesame dipping sauce. 

I’m getting hungry while writing this. Maybe I’ll see you there. 

Map pin to Tonkatsu Tonki

ZAUO Meguro

Zauo is a fishing restaurant.

Yes. That’s right.

A fishing restaurant.

You might be wondering what a fishing restaurant is. Well, let me tell you.

It’s a restaurant where you fish and catch your meal. The restaurant is shaped like a boat and you cast your line over. Catch what you want and the staff prepares the fresh fish for you.

Rather a cool concept actually.

Map pin to ZAUO Meguro

Hakata Mangetsu

Hakata Mangetsu, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan

If you’re on a budget but still on the hunt for some good yakitori, here’s your place.

This basement izakaya is lively, fun, and laid-back at the same time. Rather than the standard chairs, you’ll find sofas. 

The staff is friendly and the service is excellent. But the real catch here is the price.

Yakitori starting at ¥46 a skewer is unheard of! And beer for around ¥199 a glass!? That’s an excellent price.

Map pin to Hakata Mangetsu

Joël Robuchon Restaurant

Joël Robuchon has restaurants all over the world. There’s no reason to come all the way to Japan for this.

But I include it because my guides aren’t only for tourists. Maybe you live in Japan, or are here with the U.S. military and want to find a great place to take your significant other for a date night.

This will definitely do if you’re ready to splurge a bit and don’t mind the weirdly high-end, decorated style French food.

Joël Robuchon is a world-renowned chef with 31 Michelin stars under his belt. You really can’t do much better if you’re looking for top-of-the-line French cuisine.

Map pin to Joël Robuchon Restaurant

Ribera Steakhouse

Ribera Steakhouse, Meguro, Tokyo,  Japan

If you’re a pro-wrestler fan you’ll really like this place. It’s a wrestler mecca.

Wait… what am I saying? Even if you don’t like pro-wrestling you should check this place out.

It’s a Japanese steakhouse. It’s a mix of Japanese culture and the pro-wrestling scene. Famous people from all over have eaten here, like the “Macho Man” Randy Savage. 

Oh, the steak is delicious and the price is fantastic too — as if you needed more reasons. 

Well, they do have English menus if that helps. 

Map pin to Ribera Steak House


Drinking in Ebisu & Meguro

Buri

When you want to get a real feel for the local nightlife scene, check out Buri.

If you’ve never been to a standing bar in Japan, this one will be fun. It’s very popular and you’ll easily find a happy, upbeat party to join and enjoy.

They actually have quite a wide variety of sake to choose from — and they’ll even serve them semi-frozen like a slushie!

Map pin to Buri

Enjoy House

Enjoy House, Ebisu, Tokyo, Japan

This is totally one of those places you’d never, ever, ever think to go into unless you were a local. It’s just too “normal” looking on the outside.

But the inside… it’s actually hard to describe. On the one hand, it’s homey. It has a nice, at-home vibe that makes you feel very comfortable.

On the other, it goes off the weird cliff a little. The lights and streamers hanging from the ceiling give it an almost retro, albeit strange, disco-era feel to a degree.

If you look at the photos on Google Maps you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Map pin to Enjoy House


Shopping in Ebisu/Meguro

Atre Ebisu

Recently redone, Atre Ebisu is a shopping mall complex located right inside the Ebisu Station. It offers eight floors of shopping and dining as well as trendy and well-known fashion and homeware brands.

Plus it’s a great escape from the Ebisu crowds if you need a break. I know I do sometimes., 

And while you’re there, stop off at the little Ebisu Statue for a quick photo.

Map pin to Atre Ebisu

Meguro Interior Shops Community

This is a collection of friendly home goods and furniture shops selling all sorts of cool and interesting collectibles, memorabilia, and home furnishings.

The shops line the main drag and some of the small side alleys too.  They all came together as a coalition, thus the name Meguro Interior Shops Community.

Map pin to the Meguro Interior Shops Community


Ebisu & Meguro Q&A

How to pronounce Ebisu?

This is actually easier than you may think.

Say “A bee sue” and you’re 99% there. Click here to hear the word pronounced by a native speaker.

Where is Ebisu in Tokyo?

Ebisu is technically a part of Shibuya, which is one of the main 23 “downtown” wards of Tokyo.

It’s sort of west-central in Tokyo. Here’s a map pin to the Ebisu area

How to pronounce Meguro?

This one is easy. Simply say “may goo low.”