The building that La Kagu is housed in started life as a book warehouse belonging to long-established publisher Shinchosha. In 2010, they commissioned famed architecture firm Kengo Kuma and Associates to breathe fresh life into the building. When it re-opened in 2014, the space was converted into a stylish lifestyle store featuring a cafe, a boutique and a lecture space for regular events. The destination store's most distinctive feature is the entrance's grand wooden staircase, ready to sweep visitors up to the ground level and first floor of the building. Inside, it is all light and white, with exposed steel structures and floor-to-ceiling windows to keep it expansive and bright.
On the ground floor is the women's boutique, which carries curated pieces from brands such as Acne, Maison Martin Margiela, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Marni. The look befits Tokyo's serene style, and features plenty of long skirts, oversized shirts and flowy blouses, just in time for spring. There is a small houseware department, with essential but beautiful, kitchen and diningware from Japan and around the world.
Go up to the first floor for the menwear selection, which stocks the likes of Engineered Garments, The North Face and La Kagu's inhouse brand Hundredson. Book lovers can browse handpicked Japanese book titles, as well as photobooks and photography-related material such as Martin Parr and Gerry Badger's The Photobook: A History Vol III.
Diners can sit at the outsized communal tables inside, or enjoy the fresh air on the terrace. The menu is printed on a large sheet with adorable illustrations of their specials. Squash your hunger with rotisserie chicken with rice, a pork confit, or one of their famous hotdogs (you can choose your own sausage) . Watch for their special sandwich of the day and save room for dessert. The brownie with ice-cream is sensational.
La Kagu holds regular events such as lectures, farmers' markets and more. So far the space has hosted talks by the likes of Mitsuyo Tsunoda and Takehiro Kono. Check out their website for event information.
La Kagu is situated just opposite the Kagurazaka Station.