Since we are new to Nakameguro, we would like to share our discoveries and interactions with the community. Our hope is that we can give an intimate view of Nakameguro and show places that would normally be passed over by the more popular tourist blogs. Let’s explore together!
In addition to exploring Nakameguro, we are also exploring a new workspace call Scrapbox. This an exciting new workspace that we are only scratching the surface of its true potential. All our posts will be integrated into Scrapbox to create an interactive library as our discoveries grow. Please visit the link at https://scrapbox.io/Nakameguro-Explorer/中目黒
Whenever visiting a new location in Japan, the first thing I do is look for a kissaten (喫茶店). The kissaten is an old school Japanese coffee house. Unlike contemporary cafés, kissatens tend to not standout nor advertise. This adds to their charm along with how each has their own unique way of brewing and serving coffee or tea. Some even serve simple foods like sandwiches or toast. The only rule is to never ask for coffee to go because these are intended to be places to sit and visit with the other patrons.
While walking down Nakameguo’s shopping street, 目黒銀座商店街 (Meguroginzashōtengai), I came across a hidden jewel, グラーノ (Gurāno). Each kissaten has their own uniqueness. Gurāno’s is that it is a kissaten and coffee roaster. They sell raw coffee beans and then freshly roast them to your liking. Gurāno’s 店主(tenshu), owners, are a husband and wife team. The husband roasts the coffee beans and the wife brews the coffee.
Gurāno only serves coffee so there is no lunch set. Like most kissatens the menu is in Japanese. But with a few katakana words it is easy to guess which coffee to get. Basic categories for coffee are blend, specialty, and variety. In katakana the equivalent words are:コーヒー(kōhī), ブレンド (bulendo), スペシャル ティ(supeshaluti), and バラエティ(baraeti).
Because I like bitter coffee, the tenshu recommend the モカジャバ(mokajaba) blend. Gurāno’s method for brewing coffee is the siphon, which is my favorite to watch. I was not prepared to buy any coffee beans this trip but the smell of the roasting coffee makes me want to return and buy a few 100 grams.
Speaking with the tenshu and other customers, they told me about their favorite upcoming festivals. Summer Festival, 夏まつり(natsumatsuri), that takes place on Meguroginza shopping street is the big festival they look forward to. It takes place on the first weekend of August. On Saturday is the阿波踊り(Awaodori) dance and on Sunday is the よさこい(yosakoi) dance. Both dances originate from 四国(Shikoku).
Of course, the Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival 中目黒桜まつり (nakamegurosakuramatsuri) near the Meguro River is the other festival they look forward to. This year the festival will take place on April 8th. From March 24th to April 10th, the cherry blossoms will be lit up.
Kissatens are a great place to get to know the area while relaxing after taking long walks. They are great to practice speaking Japanese. Keep an eye out for these hidden jewels through Japan.
To get there:
2 Chome-17-16 Kamimeguro, Meguro, Tokyo 153-0051
First make your way to north entrance of Meguroginza.
Once on Meguroginza, walk south. On the second street look east (left) and you will see a yellow sign with a brown coffee grinder. That is Gurāno. Open from 11:00-19:30, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.