Tokyo Travel Guide: Shimokitazawa

If you’re looking for a laid back, family-friendly neighborhood to explore in Tokyo, then a visit to Shimokitazawa is a must.

What used to be a farming suburb and has undergone various transformations before becoming a thriving hub of arts and music. Known for its bohemian, hippy, and artsy vibe, Shimokitazawa is a great place to explore and discover a different side of Tokyo.

What To See and Do

Shimokitazawa is a great place to shop for second-hand items and vintage collectibles. Along the streets, you’ll find an interesting array of shops selling everything, from second-hand clothing to used furniture and accessories. Hidden along its tiny streets are shops selling rare and vintage vinyl records, making it a haven for music lovers.

Little Trip to Heaven, Second Store (Shimokitazawa), Image from

It is also in Shimokitazawa where you’ll find interesting shops that you will not find anywhere else in Tokyo. As proof of Shimokitazawa’s love for anything genuine and unique, you’ll find a variety of shops in the neighborhood selling organic and locally grown produce.

General Record Store (Shimokitazawa), Image from

Coffee lovers will have a blast discovering the many cozy cafes and coffee shops lining the neighborhood. Foodies will also find lots of interesting restaurants to indulge in a delicious meal. These restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, from European, American, and, of course, Japanese specialties, especially ramen shops.

Coffee Shop Uzu (Shimokitazawa), Image from

Shimokitazawa is also a fun place to explore at night. The nightlife here is no different from the other vibrant neighborhoods in Tokyo. When evening comes, the southern district will be blasting of lights and music. A wide variety of pubs ad bars will open late at night to entertain patrons until the early morning.


Getting Around

Shimokitazawa is just a stone’s throw away from the more famous Tokyo neighborhoods of Shibuya and Shinjuku. It has pedestrian-friendly roads so exploring this neighborhood should be pretty easy. The streets might look a bit messy due to the various stalls selling second-hand goods, but you should find it easy to explore.


You’ll easily find numerous stalls selling second-hand goods as you get off the Shimokitazawa station. This is a great way to start your tour of the neighborhood. Check out the vintage clothing shops, including some bookshops that sell a great collection of books, including vintage ones. Check out those little shops at hidden streets and alleys as well.

Kosho Bibibi (Shimokitazawa), Image from

Shimokitazawa usually comes alive only until around lunchtime so make sure you plan your visit well. The best time to visit is in the afternoon when the shops start opening up and in the evening when the bars and pubs will come alive.

How to Reach Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa Station is well connected to various stations all over Tokyo. The best way to reach the station is by taking the Keio-Inokashira Line or Odakyu Line. From Narita Airport, the Shimokitazawa Station is only 45 min away and one hour away from Haneda Airport.

If you’re coming from Shinjuku Station, the Shimokitazawa Station is only 7 min away through the Odakyu Line. From Tokyo Station, Shimokitazawa is only 35 min away. Take the JR Chuo Line to Shinjuku and transfer to Odakyu Line.

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