Looking to stay on the cutting edge of food, drink and shopping trends in Tokyo? Sure, keeping track of all the new restaurants, bars, shops and stands opening across the city every month can feel exhausting and almost hopeless – but that's where we come in. Sparing you the trouble of wading through long lists of shiny promotional pics and hollow praise, we've again compiled a handy list of the top five spots to start business this month. Check out our editorial team's picks below, and make sure to leave a comment if you think we missed something.
No, the flowers won't talk to you (we think), but this flower shop-meets-café serves up some very Instagrammable fare. Try one of their ten types of smoothies (from ¥400), or tuck into the selection of open sandwiches (from ¥480) and 'flower puddings' (from ¥300) – possibly their most interesting menu item – all flawlessly presented. Their staff includes 20 employees with physical disabilities; we hope this will help spark a new hiring trend across Tokyo. Read more
Not a new opening per se, but artist and interior designer Shun Kawakami's coffee and tea stand has essentially been completely reborn after moving from Harajuku to Nakameguro's Koukashita complex. Decorated with tea utensils and tableware from the designer's own collection, the shop also serves as Kawakami's office (!) and a community space open to all comers. The single-origin beans come courtesy of coffee authority Kentaro Maruyama himself, the organic tea is supplied by small-scale farmers, while the edibles are the work of the owner's wife. Read more
Swanky Minami-Aoyama has been graced with yet another farm-to-table restaurant, which in this case takes the shape of a salad shop. Good Life Factory offers eight different 'signature' salads, as well as the option to create your own by choosing a base, adding some veggie toppings, a dressing and, if you so please, proteins such as marinated fresh salmon or roast pork with soy sauce. The prices match the slightly upscale postcode, but portion sizes are relatively generous for Tokyo salad standards. Read more
4) KGR (N)
Kagurazaka sure is an unlikely location for a box-sized club with a progressive outlook and plenty of ambition, but we have high hopes for the leftfield-oriented KGR (N), scheduled to open right next to the station later this month. With space for 80 revellers on the main floor and 20 more in the lounge, the venue is also set to host daytime gigs on weekdays. Read more
5) Trunk Hotel
Set to open in between Shibuya and Harajuku, this hotel is keen to let you make the most out of the 'hood by trying to really let you experience the best of what the surrounds have to offer. The folks behind it hope Trunk Hotel will also become a real hub for people from all walks of life to come and exchange tales and ideas. They're even set to collect discarded bicycles, fix them up (or stitch a working one together from different parts) and rent them. Read more