Best things to do in Shimokitazawa


Shimokitazawa is a neighborhood in Setagaya Ward, southwest of Tokyo. Not far from Shinjuku.

Shimokitazawa is one of our favorite areas in Tokyo! It’s young, dynamic, full of great cafes, lots of cool shops, music bars and generally it offers a really pleasant vibe!

For many Shimokitazawa is THE HIPSTER place in Tokyo, besides Koenji another great neighborhood that we invite you to discover here.

Tokyo if full of hidden gems and Shimokitazawa is one of them! Most people visiting Tokyo will focus on Harajuku, Shinjuku, Shibuya, and so on. It’s a pity as Tokyo hides many other cool places much less touristy.

Shimokitazawa, the hipster place of Tokyo

Key Takeaways from A Visit to Shimokitazawa in Tokyo:

– Tokyo is often described as one of the fashion capital of the world. And for good reason! Go shop in Shimokitazawa, and you will understand why! It’s here that new fashion trends are first seen in Tokyo!
– Walking through the charming little pedestrian streets of Shimokitazawa, you’ll discover lots of fashion boutiques, complemented by small bars, great cafes and plenty of vintage shops.
– Spend at least half a day wandering in the streets of Shimokitazawa.

Here is a walk through Shimokitazawa:

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

Located in the district of Setagaya, not far from the famous Gotokuji temple and its thousands of maneki neko, Shimokitazawa, also called Shimokita, is known to be “the hipster district” of Tokyo.

It is generally presented as “cool and trendy“.

Between a small residential area and streets energized by the presence of bars and unique shops, Shimokitazawa can be reached very easily from Shinjuku or Shibuya, making it a very pleasant place to explore in Tokyo.

Shimokitazawa is the ideal district to hunt for various designer and/or second-hand shops, whether it be clothes, furniture or vinyl.

It is also a district known for its alternative lifestyle and its artistic side.

Shimokitazawa also offers a lively nightlife.

If you are into great coffees, like us, then Shimokitazawa will not disappoint!

Here are a few cafes worth checking when visiting Shimokitazawa:

Brooklyn Roasted Company

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

Let’s not get too much ahead of ourselves here, but we dare to say this is one of the best roasted coffees you can get in Tokyo!

As this rumor starts to spread around Tokyo, be prepared to queue up before you can enjoy your cuppa! But hey, totally worth the wait if you ask us!

On top of great coffee, they do serve great food as well. So why not going there for brunch?!

Bookend coffee

Cafe in Shimokitazawa

If you are tired of waiting to get your cup of coffee at BRC as they call it (Brooklyn Roasted Company), then Bookend Coffee is just across the street.

Much smaller and much more local, this place do serve great coffee though! A good alternative to BRC.

Sidewalk Coffee


Besides Brooklyn Roasted Company, the most stylish coffee in the area is certainly Sidewalk Coffee. Located in the newly built Reload shopping mall, you gotta to check out this trendy place! And their coffee is actually awesome.

Location: here

The Mosque Cafe

Turkish coffee at Shimokitazawa

Our final recommendation, The Mosque Cafe. Nothing to do with a Mosque, in case you were wondering.

Although their specialty is Turkish Coffee.

So if you are into strong coffee, this is a great place to start!

Shopping in Shimokitazawa

Shopping for unconventional, trendy clothes is what Shimokitazawa is all about!

If you are wondering where to start, here is our top recommendations:


NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE in Shimokitazawa

The neighborhood is full of super cool stores.

What makes this one particularly nice is that it was installed in an old sentō (Japanese public bath).

In the large room where the clothes are arranged, you can still see the mosaics of the basins. By digging a little, you can sometimes find branded pieces at really attractive prices!

Even if you are not into shopping, you gotta check New York Joe Exchange. It’s a legendary shop in this neighbourhood.


New or second-hand clothes, designer jewelry and leather accessories, you can find it all at Flamingo! It’s colorful, noisy, full of life: a real Ali Baba’s cave.


Vinyls are becoming more and more trendy again. Why not bring back a great memory from Tokyo. There are plenty of Vinyl shops in the neighbourhood.


This chain (present in almost all areas of Tokyo) is heaven for records! Classified by type of music, new or secondhand, you will surely find your happiness in the shelves of Disk Union.

There are also lots of independent vinyl stores in the area.

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

Check out these shops to buy cool stuffs from Tokyo:


This small independent store opened in 1989 is the ideal place to find typical Japanese souvenirs at attractive prices!

Pretty cards, decorative elements, bags, pins, furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping fabric)… Don’t be deceived by its somewhat “cluttered” display.


This mini-chain (there are only three in Tokyo) is a haven for anime culture and weird objects (you can buy a plate in the shape of a toilet or neon bandages with cupcake prints)! Even when you are not really attracted by this aspect of Japan, this place is worth the visit!

Location: here


Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

A trip to Tokyo wouldn’t be complete without a visit of Don Quijote. This discount store is pretty much everywhere in Tokyo.

There is one in the center of Shimokitazawa!

We don’t know you, but we LOOOOOVE hanging out at Don Quijote, just looking at weird stuff everywhere. It’s what Tokyo is all about, isn’t it?

For many visitors, the primary goal of going to Shimokitazawa is to eat the famous “Totoro cream puffs” (Totoro is one of the main character from Studio Ghibli).

Head to Shiro-Hige’s Cream Puff Factory to try their delicious desserts!I t’s a small cafe-restaurant-boutique located in a quiet residential area, but only a few minutes walk from Shimokitazawa station.

It’s a great instagrammable place to visit in Shimokitazawa. Make sure to check out.

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa is a pedestrian paradise. Take the North exit when you arrive at Shimokitazawa station and you are ready to begin your exploration.

The most pleasant thing to do in Shimokitazawa is to wander around the many alleys. Cars hardly venture into these narrow streets.

Let yourself be guided by the many shops, each more charming than the next, or by cute restaurants and cafes that are just waiting for you.

We all know it by now, Vegan is a super trend spreading everywhere. And we are super happy about it. We actually stopped eating meat in 2019 and never felt any better.

Shimokitazawa is a bit like the vegan capital of Tokyo. Here you will find heaps of options! Here is our recommendations:

Superiority Burger

We don’t you, but we are super into vegan burgers. And in Tokyo, Superiority Burger is probably serving THE best vegan burger in town!

You gotta try it, really, absolutely delicious. There are lots of different options… just writing about it makes us want to go back there for lunch.


If you are looking for a healthier vegan option, then head to Klasina. You can get a delicious vegan bento box there!


The last vegan gem we recommend is Ming Teng HAO HAO! It is one of the most unique vegan place in Tokyo. They focus on Chinese Vegan food.

We love this place! The restaurant itself is also super cute.

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

We are not talking about the last song of a vinyl here, but a trendy alley in Shimokitazawa.

This area of Shimokitazawa is so hip! It’s an old railway tracks that have been converted to a street of cute coffee shops, eateries, and breweries.

Literally one of the best things to see in Shimokitazawa!

Love the ambient light and tables with gas lamps at night! If you haven’t fallen in love yet with Shimokitazawa, a trip to Bonus Track will certainly change that!

Best things to do in Shimokitazawa

In the same area under the train track, you will find plenty of real cool shop and some sort of street food! We love this area. It’s all made out of containers.

On the 2nd floor, you can chill at the beatuiful TSUTAYA BOOKSTORE!

Check out this area, it is one of the best spots to visit in Shimokitazawa…

Former Marquis Maeda Teahouse

Another place not to be missed in Shimokitazawa is the Former Marquis Maeda Teahouse.

The Former Maeda Family Japanese Residence was built between 1929 and 1930 by Toshitame Maeda (1885-1942), the 16th head of the Maeda family, the former lord of the Kaga domain.

In 2013 it was designated as a national important cultural property.

The visit is completely free. So make sure to check out this gorgeous house with great Japanese architecture, nestled in a stunning park.


If you are unsure about where to stay in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa is an awesome place! You will be based in one of the trendiest neighbourhood of Tokyo and somewhat not as touristy as Shinjuku or Shibuya

And when it comes to finding a hotel. We found an absolute gem! Mustard Hotel. The newest hotel in the area, is modern, trendy, beautifully decorated, and has a coffee shop on the ground floor. Search no longer, this hotel is the place to be!


Shimokitazawa can be reached easily from Tokyo Station or Shinjuku by metro, simply get off at Shimokitazawa station.

Enjoy your visit!

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