Tokyo has its fair share of serene parks and nature escapes, but we don't always want to make a special trek to enjoy the outdoors. When the weather's good, we just want to grab some snacks, maybe a few drinks, and catch up with friends in central Tokyo. Luckily, the city has plenty of green spaces and open-air terraces that are just perfect if you’re on the hunt for an outdoor hangout that's closer to shops and cafés. Read on for our top spots in the capital to enjoy the outdoors this sunny season.
Sitting right in the heart of Shibuya, Kitaya Park is a small, redeveloped park which has its fair share of outdoor seating and greenery. The urban oasis is also home to a Blue Bottle café where you can grab coffee and other light bites. There’s plenty of space to sit on the bench-like stairs, making this a great place to park yourself for lunch or a weekend coffee date. The semi-outdoor terrace attached to the café also hosts numerous public events, food trucks and markets.
This bustling rooftop park comes complete with a skateboard park, bouldering wall and even a sandy court area for beach volleyball. Sitting atop the trendy Miyashita Park shopping complex, you’ll often find the fashionable Shibuya crowds picnicking on the grassy lawns. Follow suit and grab takeout from one of the many restaurants in the mall – you can have your pick from gyoza dumplings, tacos, ice cream and more.
This lush hangout between Aoyama Itchome and Nogizaka Station is the perfect retreat from the busy city streets. There’s a spacious lawn where you can sprawl out on picnic blankets, or opt for one of the tables or lounge chairs under the canopy of greenery courtesy of onsite plant store Solso Park. No visit is complete without a pick-me-up from Little Darling Coffee Roasters, Share Green’s roastery and café, where you can get freshly brewed coffee, soft serve ice cream and more.
Just under five minutes’ walk from Shimokitazawa Station, you’ll find Bonus Track, Shimokita’s hip hangout that brings together about a dozen shops intertwined with walking paths and a lively courtyard. There’s plenty of outdoor seating around the area and many of the small restaurants and cafés have takeout windows, so you can easily order from outside. Stop by over the weekend, as there are often events or small markets selling ceramics, clothing and fresh veggies.
Daikanyama is one of Tokyo’s coolest neighbourhoods, so it’s only fitting that the area has a super trendy place to hang out. Log Road is a collection of free-standing shops and casual eateries which include Spring Valley Brewery, three-building streetwear store Sneakersnstuff (which also has its own café), and bakeshop Garden House Crafts. Take advantage of the outdoor seating – each restaurant has its own spacious terrace – or snag one of Log Road’s many benches lining the main path.
This massive outdoor shopping complex is all the way out in Machida, but it’s worth the trek out to western Tokyo to explore the many shops, restaurants and green spaces in the area. It’s also home to Tokyo’s famous Snoopy Museum and the picnic-themed Peanuts Café – a fitting theme, as there are many free benches and lawn spaces to enjoy a picnic of your own. Just behind the shopping centre, you’ll also find Tsuruma Park, which acts as Grandberry Park’s unofficial backyard, extending the lush greenery even further.
With so much going on at Shibuya Parco, you might not even realise that there’s a serene rooftop space which is open to the public. Take a breather after a long shopping excursion and grab some food to bring up with you from Parco’s modern yokocho, or just grab some tacos or curry at Commune, which is right on the rooftop. We recommend stopping by around sunset for the views, but it’s worth a visit at any time of day.
Right behind Tokyo Midtown, you’ll find the beautiful Hinokicho Park. Although a popular spot during cherry blossom season, the lush grounds are wonderful to visit at any time of year. Since it's within such close proximity to the shopping centre, you can easily grab food and drinks before settling down on the lawn or one of the many benches around the park. Hang out for a few hours here and you might even forget that you’re in the middle of Roppongi.
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