Hello it has been a while since my last update T_T but I finally have another itinerary up! This itinerary will be focused on Shimokitawa, a small town just west of Tokyo. I discovered this neighborhood by chance and after researching some more about it, I just got to dedicate a whole day to explore Shimokitazawa. However, from what I heard from others half a day is also enough to visit this town. As it is only a short train distance between Shimokitazawa and Shinjuku one can maximize exploring both places without wasting too much travel time from one place to another.
Shimokitawa or Shimota (as the locals call it) is a trendy neighborhood located in the western part of Tokyo. One can describe Shimota as a less hectic haven of Tokyo. Things are much cheaper than its Shinjuku and Shibuya counterparts. Its narrow streets and alleyways is pedestrian friendly and the lack of cars makes the surroundings much quieter than most big cities in Tokyo. It is a placewhere the young and hip gathers.
Over in Shimota, it is quiet well-known for its numerous second-hand and vintage clothing stores. ( It is not surprising to find many well-dressed folks around here!) Be sure to thoroughly explore every nooks and crannies in this neighborhood, as there are so many little indie bars, restaurants, cafes and boutique shops!
More information about Shimokitazawa: Here
Place to Stay: (AirBnB)
Name: Cozy Place(B)Near新宿,渋谷&walk 5mins+Free Wifi, Max 4 (AirBnB)
- Budget: $32 per night + $27 cleaning fee (one time) + $91 Security Deposit (Price at the time of time post) Link to get discount on booking with AirBnB.
- Other info: Shared house. So you get a private room to yourself.
- NOTE: Check in 24 hours (If you stay for a week there is a 3% discount , 5% for a month)
Budget (Expected expenditure for 1 person): Food: 2500+ yen // Others (adult admission tickets price): 480 -2600+ yen
Shimokitazawa: (Official Site)
8:00 AM Walking Tour of Close Shop Doors in Shimokitazawa
If you wake up before 10:00 AM , take a morning stroll around neighborhood before the stores open. Why? You ask. To look at awesome close shop door street art! In a sense it is kind of like walking in a open street art gallery. Maybe you will see some regular graffiti defacing property or just some really cool and intricate designs. And I think it might be one of the many reasons why Shimokitazawa has this artistic vibe going on.
While enjoying the view and getting familiar with Shimota, it is not bad to note down some places you want to visit later on in the day.
9:30 Super Market Ozeki (Site)
- Address: 2 Chome-9-5 Kitazawa, 世田谷区 Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Monday –Sunday (9:30 AM- 11:00 PM)
Description: Gosh I do not know why but I just love going into super markets! Since Supermarket Ozeki opens so early in the morning it will be fun to see what a Japanese market is like compared to the markets back home.
Supermarket Ozeki actually has multiple locations throughout Tokyo, but what is supposedly special about this one according to the locals are the incredible deals and sales here are relatively cheaper than their other locations. And that almost everything is super fresh! So if you are hungry already in the morning, do check out the bento or pre-made food selections. I heard they are reasonably priced too.
10:00 AM どんぐりひろば公園 (Park)
About 3 minutes away from Ozeki supermarket , there is a cute and simple neighbor hood park. If you bought something to eat from Ozeki Supermarket this will be a great place to enjoy your food and just relax in its tranquility. (Hahaha I do apologize, the google image I found makes the park look dismal and dark, but I am sure it looks much better on a sunny day 😀 )
10:30 AM- 6:00 PM Explore and Eat Lunch in Shimokitazawa
By this time, all if not most stores and restaurants should be open by now. Below are some shops I found that looked interesting and I would personally like to visit. Explore and have a fun day at Shimokitazawa.
Places to See and Shop:
Gallery Hana Shimokitazawa (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa, 3 Chome−26−2, ~1F
- Hours: Monday –Sunday (11:00 AM-7:00 PM) [Depends on exhibits]
Description: Gallery Hana is small in size but definitely worth a visit. (It is free to visit.) As you will find different art displayed by local artists. Check out their website to see what exhibit is held there.
Darwin Room (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0032 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Daizawa, 5 Chome−31, 代沢５丁目３１−８
- Hours: Monday to Sunday 12:00PM-8:00 PM
Description: A combination of small animal/ insect exhibit , cafe and a store is what I like to describe Darwin Room. In the Darwin Room you will find preserved and stuffed animals or some encased butterfly and etc. During your stay here, you maybe sit, relax and order a drink and sweets from their menu. Don’t be shy to borrow a book from their library. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy a book along with their orders! Just make sure to return and keep the book clean ;D
B-Side Label (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, 世田谷区Kitazawa, 2 Chome−２−３６−２
- Hours:Monday-Sunday (Closed Wednesday) // 12:00 PM-8:00PM
96 Yen Store (True 100 yen Store)
Address: (A Block away from the restaurant, Torikizoku. Not in the direction of Daiso)
Description: I heard about this store from TokyoCheapo. (Please check out their video about Shimokitazawa here. It is fun and interesting. ) This store is basically a true 100 Yen store! Since there are tax on items, after tax for 96 yens item are exactly 100 yen.
Used clothing shop:
As mentioned earlier, Shimokitazawa is known to have a lot of second stores, especially used clothing, also know as “furugiya”. Below are some used clothing store that I would definitely like to visit and hopefully you will find it interesting too.
Ragla Magla (Everything 990 Yen) (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−30, 北沢2－30－10
- Hours: Monday- Sunday 12:00 PM-9:00PM
Description: Ragla Magla as you can see from the picture above, all (or maybe most (?) items are 990 yen! That is about $8.50 in USD! You won’t know what you will find in there until you visit but if you could walk out with at least one nice clothes that looks like it should worth more than 990 yen , I’d say it would worth the trip!
Stick Out (Everthing 700 Yen) (Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−14, 北沢２丁目１４−１６ ２F
- Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 PM-8:00 PM
Description: Another fun find I found on TokyoCheapo and this time the used clothings are even cheaper priced!! EVERYTHING 700 yen (about $6 USD) Another treasure trove of good deals waiting to be discover and clothes waiting to find a new home.
Shimokita Garage Department (Toyo Department) (Site)
- Address: 2 Chome-25-8 Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Monday- Sunday 12:00 PM- 8:00 PM
Description:Shimota Garage has a collection of hand made craft and second hand stores close to the north exit of Shimokitazawa Station. They sell various types of goods from home accessories to jewellery and vintage clothes.
Places to Eat Lunch:
J.S. Pancake Cafe (formerly known as Flippers(?)(Site)
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−2−26−20
- Hours: Monday-Sunday 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM (Last Order 7:30 PM)
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 1000+ yen (Menu)
- Address: 1 Chome-9-9 Sasazuka, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 151-0073, Japan
- Hours: Tuesday- Sunday 8:00 AM- 7:00 PM
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 200+ yen
- Address: 2 Chome-10-10 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00 AM- 11:00 PM
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 500+ Yen
6:00 PM Go to Enjoy Shimokitazawa Music Scene at Live Houses
For those of you out there who are into the music you are in for a treat. Shimokitazawa has a lot of live houses. As I was doing my research on Goggle maps, I found a lot of “mask icon”, those indicated live house. Essentially what live houses are, Japanese live music club – a music venue featuring live music.
I am not particular into going to clubs, but I did find a live house call Laguna. Which features acoustic, DJ performances, live talk show and art show.
- Address: Japan, 〒155-0031 Tōkyō-to, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−2−2−3, エルサント北沢B1
- NOTE: Laguna is on the 1 Floor
- Hours: Hours may vary please check schedule but generally open at 6:00 PM and performance starts at 6:30 PM
- Price: Price may vary (Depends on who is performing) but generally 2000 yen (Ticket bought in advance) 2500 yen (At the door, includes a drink)
Shimokitazawa Night Alternatives: (For those who are not into going to club)
Places to Eat Dinner:
Jackpot Oyster (Site)
- Address:2 Chome-2-4 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Monday- Friday 7:00 PM -12:00 AM (Last order @11:00 PM) // Saturday-Sunday 12:00 PM- 12-AM (Last order @11:00 PM)
- Price: Expect to spend at least 800+ yen (Menu) ( Tabelog )
- Address: 2 Chome-19-17 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Monday – Sunday 6:oo PM-4:00 AM
- Budget: Expect to spend at least 280+ yen (Menu)
Description: I just have to say I have to thank Youtuber SimonandMartina for making a video of their visit to Torikizoku. I would have never heard about this place if it was not for them. Torikizoku is a skewer place, that specialized in chicken. However, there are other kinds of meat served too. What is special about this place is…EVERYTHING… is 280 yen! NOTE: Most skewers comes with 2 sticks.
After Dinner: Take a bath at Ishikawa-yu
Public bath places is quite common throughout Japan. They are relatively cheap to go to and fun to experience at least once during your visit in Japan. Please note, like onsen (hot springs) you will most like be naked amongst strangers. If you are not comfortable with that, please skip this part of the itinerary. 😀
Ishikawa-yu 銭湯–石川湯 (Public Bath)
- Address: 3 Chome-12-8 Kitazawa, 世田谷区 Setagaya-ku, Tōkyō-to 155-0031, Japan
- Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (Closed Monday) // 3:30 PM- 11:45 PM
- Price: Adult 480 // Children 12-6 years old 180 Yen // Children 6 and under 80 Yen
- Note: If you ever find yourself needing to wash your clothes, right next to Ishikawa-yu is a laundry mat.
10:00 PM End of the Day
Up to this point in the itinerary, you can either call it a day or continue exploring Shimokitazawa or elsewhere. Thank you for check out this itinerary. Stay tune until next time for a itinerary exploring the Roppongi…