Travel Guide

Shimokitazawa Shimokitazawa

Just 7 minutes west of Shinjuku, or 3 minutes west of Shibuya lies one of Tokyo’s coolest districts. Shimokitazawa is often called “Shimokita” or “Shimo” by Tokyoites and is a hip city frequented by Tokyo’s students, trend-setters and artsy populations.

Characteristic of this area are the numerous shops of fashion, especially vintage, music shops, retro toys, quirky household items, small theaters (Theater Honda is the most famous), clubs that host rock, jazz, blues live music concerts. It is the district for the lovers of cinema and music, the aspiring actors and musicians. In the evening the neighborhood and the various places are very lively. With its high-density concentrations of vintage, used, boutique, antique, fair trade, artesan, and puzzling bric-a-brac stores, it’s hard to know where to begin. While it is thriving with stylish cafés and bars, it also has several old Japanese-style bars and eateries, bringing about a truly distinctive atmosphere in the area.

Shimokitazawa is a tiny, crowded network of alleys and passageways surrounding the station of the same name. Most of the roads in the area are narrow streets closed to automobile traffic. The whole area can be easily explored on foot and has a very special atmosphere. The vast majority of the stores, cafes, bars and restaurants are independently owned, and this gives Shimokitazawa a unique, small-town feel. The atmosphere and fashion is similar to the more popular Harajuku, but is usually less crowded and has a much more laid-back atmosphere. Most of Shimokitazawa’s places of interest are located to the south of the Shimokitazawa Station but you can head either way from the station and cross over the tracks at the pedestrian crossing nearby.

This area is also a very quiet and coveted residential area.


Travel Advice

Festivals in Japan

There are a number of festivals held annually in Shimokitazawa. Every February, the town plays host to a month-long theater festival – The Shimokitazawa Theater Festival. In July, the Kitazawa Music Festival brings lives music to locations both inside bars and out in the streets.

If you are interested in Japanese cultural festivals, you should check out the Tengu-matsuri Festival, held at the end of January or beginning of February, and the Mikoshi-matsuri festival in September. Both involve a parade through the streets and are a great way to experience traditional Japanese celebrations.



Address Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Admission Free  
Hours Free time  
Closed Open 7 Days a Week
Duration 1 hour
Getting There By Train
1 minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station on Odakyu Line, Inogashira Line.
Parking No parking available

Attractions in Japan