Tokyo summers can feel unbearable, but that doesn't mean you can't go out and have fun. These are some of the best things to do in the Toranomon area this summer, including chowing down on some of the tastiest eats out there and catching spectacular festivities in the heart of the city.
The magnificent seven
No time for an overseas vacation? Visit Yellow Bamboo for a taste of Vietnam without leaving Tokyo. In summer, try the Bun bo hue, a beef-based soup with rice noodles, punchy chilli and a refreshing, lemongrass-tinged aftertaste – and order a glass of Vietnamese beer on the side. Yellow Bamboo
Pirouette serves up an adults-only version of kakigori (shaved ice) throughout summer. The flavours change monthly: July's special is the Marianne, made with rosé wine and peach liquor ice. Its pink shaved ice, topped with meringue ice cream and grapes, may look cute but packs a potent alcoholic punch and is sure to cool you down at the end of a hot summer day. Pirouette
Having trouble deciding on a souvenir? This summer, opt for some traditional rice crackers from Kiya: their Edo Okaki are made with organic rice, soy sauce and soy bean oil, come in six flavours including soy sauce and nori seaweed, sesame and sugar, and are packed in small candy-like wrappers. If you're looking for an offbeat variety, try the habanero or wasabi crackers. Toranomon Kiya
With unimpeded views all the way to Tokyo Bay, the Andaz Tokyo’s Rooftop Bar is perched on the top (52nd) floor of Toranomon Hills and offers a spectacular late-night experience. Seasonal fruit form the basis for the cocktails here, while the shaved ice drinks should be perfect for those looking to beat the summer heat. Head over early to catch the sunset with a tipple in hand. Rooftop Bar (Andaz Tokyo)
Although Tokyo's revered Omotesando Koffee had to close down last year, sister shop Toranomon Koffee keeps the flag flying for top-notch Joe. Pair your cup with some delicious butter toast for a power-packed breakfast – getting ahead of the competition, the shop opens from 7am daily. Toranomon Koffee