Hop on Tokyo`s Yamanote Line, make an exit at Meguro station and walk up the long street that bears that name until you hit an intersection with Yamate street. There you`ll find a little gem of Tokyo`s home furnishing world: interior dori. A charming 1km long stretch, interior “street” is decked with a cluster of furniture shops lining both sides of it`s wide road. Everything from highly fashionable chairs and sofas that evoke the image of modeling shoots to rustic wooden tables and antique 19th century spoons can be found here, if that`s your sort of thing.
Originally the area was populated by scores of high-end car dealerships, a fact that has left its mark in a few that remain towards the end of the hike. Then the interior decorators came pouring in, along with the antique dealers, craftsman, artists and cafes, until the neighborhood sprang to life with a somewhat whimsical yet sophisticated charisma. It`s the kind of place that`s perfect for a Sunday stroll, even if payday has yet to arrive. Watching a fellow creative carve his vision from a rugged oak, an afternoon sifting through an antique shop`s collection of midwestern Americana, easing into an old British club chair that seemingly escaped the set of Downton Abbey; it`s all a charge for an artist like me.
Maybe you`ve heard enough and would like to pay a visit? If you do then here are a few recommendations. The immediate draw is Acme Furniture on the right-hand side walking up from Yamate street. It`s can be expensive with a worldly flair in design. The basement floor specializes in industrial style and antique furniture, a personal fav. Further up across the street is Point No. 39, a magnet for refurbished and retro furniture, lanterns and early 20th century bicycles. On the opposite side is Silk, a Chinese themed antique shop that I`ve bought from more than once. The wide windows and dark wooden crossbeams feel like stepping back in time to the Ming dynasty. Once you`ve regained your senses, stop for a bite at Hara Donuts, a two-floor shop and cafe with engaging staff. Geographica, a higher class “proper” antique furniture shop, is a must see on many a list of this sort and by all means explore its many floors of decadent grandfather clocks and vintage smokers` jackets. However, I prefer to end my journey at Gallery S, the atelier of a particularly sunny and out going Japanese artisan and his natural wooden creations. Chairs, desks, sofas and dining tables all resonate with his personality, rugged and perfect for a chill session.
There are of course many more shops down interior street calling for your attention and well-earned cash. Go check it out for yourself and see if anything there deserves them.