Shimokitazawa – the place I’d live in Tokyo

If I tried to explain to you why I love Shimokitazawa so, I don’t think I could. It just feels like home.

It reminds me a bit of Newtown, with alternative types and hippies and students and vintage lovers and artists and rockers and some older people, and restaurants, cafes, bars, gig places, recording studios, dollar (100yen) shops, fruit and veg shops, supermarkets, cool labels, secondhand clothing shops galore, hat stores, florists…just stuff you need to live, without all the neon and showiness of Shinjuku (that I also like, but in a different way)

Shimo is where I’d actually live, if I lived here. The paved, car-free streets where you’re free to wander, are a godsend. Perhaps I should just shut up and post the pictures.

So I started off in Banana Fish, where I bought a great black dress with a crest on it adorned with deer antlers, bats, a crown, chains etc, with assymetric shoulders and a spiky pointed hem. Banana Fish do punk stuff and they do cute –  usually together – but they now have a new cutesy/gyaru section full of sweet stuff, aside from the more punk gear.

OK, I look like a grinning eedjit because we’re saying, KAWAII!!!! – orright?
After that, I checked out the rest of the neighbourhood.
There is a ridiculous amount of vintage/secondhand clothing stores, some with designer goods. Like this one. I tried on a gorgeous Emilio Pucci jacket in my colours of aqua and purple..only to discover it wasn’t 4000 yen as I thought (or $50 aud), but over 40,000!!! Sigh… I sadly gave it back.
Seriously, if you come here and you like vintage, visit Shimo.
Colourful buildings also abound, like this record shop
There were some kind of models or minor celebs there, and people were just queueing to watch them…which gave me the chance to snap them 🙂 First, the ‘celebs’
Now the real people
Check out the shoes on ths one!
and I just kept going with the street shots
There’d be these great colourful stores like Flamingo…
and then these lovely natural florist/garden shops
outside of which I saw these dog owners exchange a moment, cos their doggies decided to get friendly…
I just liked the title of this one, Spooky Used Clothing.. I hope dead people didn’t use to wear it..
As I wended my way back to the train station, I saw people queueing for this Nick ‘n Roll.
It must be good…pity I’d already eaten.
There’s always a train in another few minutes…ahhh…


  1. […] 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 […]