7 things to do in Toranomon this spring

Where to make the most of the season in this high-rise ’hood
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In association with Mori Building

With the cherry blossoms now in full bloom, spring is well and truly in the air. If you're stuck in your office wishing that you could be outside, take note: here are some of the best things to do in Toranomon on a sunny day – either on a short lunch break or on a sneaky day off. 

Seven top picks for spring

Attractions, Religious buildings and sites

Pray for good fortune under the blossoms...

icon-location-pin Kamiyacho

Sitting pretty on the top of Mount Atago, the highest natural point within the 23 wards, Atago Shrine is popular for its views and renowned for its 86-step stone staircase. Its gorgeous cherry blossoms burst into bloom in spring, which is also when both locals and visitors from afar visit the shrine to pray for luck in business and love. Atago Shrine

Restaurants, Cafés

Grill some meat...

icon-location-pin Toranomon

If you're looking to taste some barbecue in the heart of the city, head straight for the Toranomon Hills Cafe. Available only in spring, their three different barbecue sets let you grill meat and veg while looking out over the lawn with a cold brew in hand. Toranomon Hills Café

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Things to do

Explore the flavours of Japan's regions...

icon-location-pin Shinbashi

Promoting produce, food and drinks from different parts of Japan every three months or so, the Shintora Market is focusing on seasonal items from the cities of Yamagata, Yugawara, Takaoka, Ube and Imabari between February and June. Try the Takaoka oden combination plate or a crab cake burger, pick up an Imabari towel or just grab a cup of coffee to go. Tabisuru Shintora Market

Shopping, Specialist food and drink

Give your friends some dry squid...

icon-location-pin Toranomon

Those looking for an offbeat souvenir will want to visit this strange store, where 35 kinds of rather quirky snacks are presented in packages decorated by local artists. Try the ginkgo nuts (¥350), known here as 'presents from ten metres above ground', or the dried squid (¥400), named 'Thousand and One Nights' luxury'. The in-store bar opens in the evening. Hotaru no Hikari

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Restaurants

Feel the season in a flower...

icon-location-pin Shinbashi

It's not often you get a restaurant run by a flower shop, but when you do, the results can be spectacular. Take Ohana, which specialises in edible flowers and turns out eclectic fusion cuisine themed on seasonal flavours and colours. Their Camembert Flower Salad is the perfect example: a vivid, delicious dish finished off with cuts of caramelised cheese. Ohana

Restaurants, Tempura

Dig into deep-fried delights...

icon-location-pin Shinbashi

This unpretentious and comfy tempura joint boasts a strong local following, mainly thanks to its wonderfully crispy and aromatic creations. In spring, the list of specials includes delicacies like taranome (Angelica tree buds), fukinoto (butterbur sprouts), shirauo (icefish) and broad beans, fried in a light mix of cottonseed and sesame oil. Look out for the reasonably priced lunch deals. Tempura Osaka

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Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Sweeten up with time-honoured desserts...

icon-location-pin Shinbashi

If traditional Japanese sweets are your thing, you'll love this old-school purveyor of wagashi which deals in snacks like the newly released Shintora-yaki (¥200). Their signature treat, however, is the monaka. These wafers come in two flavours, bean paste (¥120) and chestnut (¥150), and are at their best the day after they've been baked – a decrease in moisture helps stabilise the taste, they say. Bunsendo Honpo

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