Best of Shimokitazawa
Popular with the youth of Tokyo, Shimokitazawa's narrow winding streets make for a perfect day of cafes and vintage shopping.
Unlike the large, traffic-congested streets found in many of the big tourist centers, the streets of Shimokitazawa form a relaxed pedestrian friendly shopping district.
The many vintage stores in Shimokitazawa compete with each other by catering to specific styles and fashion trends. From prices guaranteed to be under 1,000 yen, to brands that have a connection to the music industry, each shop offers something special. Ruby Tuesday, for example, sells clothes with a European focus. Find the shop that suits you!
On these cold winter days, stopping for a coffee is a good way to relax for a minute or two between shops. We’ll highlight a few of our favorites out of the many you’ll discover as you wander. Bear Pond Espresso is a great place to grab coffee on-the-go. The seats are limited so grab a coffee and keep moving. We recommend their “flower child” espresso, it has almost a dark chocolate flavor. Coffea Exlibris really works to brew its coffee to perfection. With snacks, and tables in the back, this is our choice for a place to rest between shops. For coffee on a budget, Bookends Coffee Service serves delicious coffee for under 250 yen.
Bear Pond Espresso
Throw back to the good ol’ days, stop by Jet Set Tokyo, a popular record shop. With a large collection, Jet Set Tokyo is calling your name. Linger for awhile and play familiar albums, or find new bands!
For lunch, Anjali is a great Indian curry place. A lunch set is roughly 1000 yen, and is a great way to energize yourself for shopping, round two. Or, try Da Oggi, an Italian pizzeria. Crisp and delicious, they actually bake their pizzas in a stone oven. You can even satiate your sweet tooth with their apple and honey cinnamon dessert pizza with gelato.
Jet Set Tokyo
After lunch, Haight and Ashbury, a vintage store known for its classic American and European styles, is a must. They have a fashion blog for men, women, and vintage clothing. This store really knows its vintage fashion.
Once you’ve had your fill of vintage shops, check out Village Vanguard. A book and nerd paraphernalia store… and so much more. With a little something for everyone, Village Vanguard is likely to have that thing that you never knew you wanted.
Haight & Ashbury
If you want to see rare and unique figurines, Convict is your shop. With boxes of lower price point figurines out front, and its wide range of valuable merchandise displayed in the store, they really do make use of all the space available to them. The shop may be small, but the passion for collectibles is palpable.
Finish off your day at the Darwin Room. Its garden hide-away exterior does not disappoint. This coffee shop and bookstore is a menagerie of pinned butterflies and life sized stuffed animals. A unique place to enjoy a cup of coffee.
If snacks and drinks are more your speed, you have to try Shirube Shimokitazawaten. With seats right at the bar, this izakaya style dining experience puts you right in the kitchen, to talk to the chef while your food is prepared.