Cool places in Shimokita & Koenji (or how I went looking for ‘Dog’ & found God instead)

While looking at pics from my recent trip and trying to decide what to post, it came to my attention that I still have photos from my July trip last year that I haven’t posted or written about!

One of the things I love most when in Tokyo is just walking around different neighbourhoods with some friends and seeing what we find. And so in late July, I met up with friends Utarou and Aki, and went to Shimokitazawa and Koenji.

Shimokitazawa is one of my fave places in Tokyo, and I’ve written about Shimokita here . 2 weeks ago I attended two gigs at the Shimokita Garden, seeing the Cherry Cokes one night, and 13th Moon the next, so stay tuned for posts on those.

A close-up of my outfit shows the Stigmata corset better (vintage, from Closet Child, back from the time when Kenzo-A was one of the designers). You can *just* see the white ribcage necklace from Destroy-X. Utarou and I are both friends of Amelia, and we both turned up wearing Angelspit/Destroy-X products! The railway station entrance always seems to be under construction – maybe one day it’ll be finished.


Firstly we attended the “Footprint” travel photography exhibition held in a Shimokita bookshop/cafe called Free Factory :

The walls were left in their rustic unfinished state, lending a decaying urban loft feel to the place:

Here’s the lovely Utarou, singer of Japanese industrial/cyberpunk band Baal (see my Baal post for more), wearing an Angelspit tank top. Alas, while leaning forward to talk to her while having coffee, my ribcage necklace snapped! Woe..


The Free Factory is a groovy place to hang out, and a lot more atmospheric than the ubiquitous chain coffee houses you see scattered about Tokyo. It often has interesting exhibitions too, so if you’re in Shimo, check it out. See the Free Factory website for more.

Then it was off to explore the many intriguing shops in Shimokita. There are a  lot of vintage shops nestled alongside boutiques, cafes, restaurants, bargain shops, chemists etc, so it’s always fun to get lost in the alleyways. One of my faves is the “Grown Up Tabatha” hat shop (almost opposite which is the Shimokita Garden live house)

Note the snapped necklace with only upper ribcage left 🙁      Now, Utarou’s turn to pose!

Novelty stores sell such essentials as rubber piglets and chickens, just ripe for the squeezing, with hilarious noises ensuing:


Shopping is tiring work, so we had to stop off for some lunch (and no, obvs early afternoon isn’t too early for beer!)

No matter what I order (and I did leave the raw egg alone)…

I always end up getting food envy, and wish I’d ordered what my friend ordered…know the feeling?

Finally we high-tail it over to Koenji, where we just HAVE to pop into Nude n’ Rude, as Aki and Utarou are good friends with Lilian, the owner:

For more info, see my Nude n’ Rude post here.

Then it was time to go and look for the elusive “Dog” store in the Kita Kore building. My friends didn’t know about it, and so we went searching only armed with a map. We finally spied the signatory puffer jackets/suits hanging near the building, and I went inside the decrepit Kita Kore building to have a look…but alas, Dog was closed! Only open on weekends – dang!

Ah well, the nearby Nincompoop Capacity shop was open, so up the stairs we went to investigate, spotting some psychedelic artwork on the wall on the way up:


At the top of the landing, one could see an amazing gelato-coloured lounge setting on the rooftop (complete with oversized ice-cream cone – why?), as well as numerous death-trap wiring scenarios:

And then I found God.

Heh, well, I just wanted to write that. The word “God” was attached to the door – apparently used as a clothes hanger.

Inside was an interestingly curated and fairly punk collection of clothing – note the teddy bears on the kimono-looking jacket on the door, inches away from a skull print.   There was a gorgeous little dog inside too, so I had to have a little pat and show some puppy love <3

I was polite & didn’t take pics inside…but Made with Japan went at the end of the year and interviewed the Nincompoop Capacity designers – go have a read! Or have a look at the Nincompoop Capacity website.

So I failed spectacularly to check out Dog, and lacked time on this last visit. One for 2012, I guess!

I know Tokyo Telephone will be featuring the store soon in their blog, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Have you managed to see Dog, whether the Koenji or Harajuku store?


  1. Shoppers and eaters paradise. Sigh.

  2. (I’m fiiiinally catching up on blogs, hurrah!)

    I have proper post-Koenji blues! What do you say – shall we run away there & set up a cool boutique? I THINK SO! 😉


  1. […] sadly, the gelato coloured lounge setting was no longer present n the rooftop  See my post “Cool places in Shimokita and Koenji” for pics and more from my July 2010 […]