Want to know more about Shimokitazawa in Tokyo?
Shimokitazawa is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Toyko, and is filled with several nice restaurants, cafes, shops, and fun activities.
It’s a must to visit this suburb when you’re in Tokyo. It’s such an interesting, creative, and fun place to hang out.
Down below you can read more about Shimokitazawa and good tips before visiting:
Things to do in Shimokitazawa
Walk around the shutter gallery
While strolling around in Shimokitazawa, you’re going to see the artsy shutters outside both stores and restaurants.
These creative graffiti murals are created by local artists. The district association pays for the supplies, and the artists volunteer and practice their skills.
Some of the shutters are really cool and looks great in photos, so make sure to keep your eyes open while exploring Shimokitazawa.
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Go vintage shopping
Shimokitazawa is a heaven for people who like to go vintage shopping. All around this neighborhood you’ll find several vintage shops selling everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and antiques.
There are so many fun shops in Shimokitazawa!
Visit the Shinryuji Temple
After some sightseeing it can be nice to rewind and relax for a while. A good place to do that is at the beautiful Shinryuji Temple located near the station.
This temple is famous for it’s large tengu mask and inari shrine, as well as the Shimokita Tengu Festival that’s held every year.
Discover Shimokitazawa with a personal guide
Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group of people, it’s always be nice to have a local guide when visiting a new destination.
Together with a guide you can decide what you want to see in Shimokitazawa, so you’ll get the most out of your time there. The guide will take you to hidden gems and the coolest places in the Shimokitazawa neighborhood, and tell you interesting information about the places you visit.
Have some fun at the MM Land Arcade
One of the most popular things to do among both tourists and locals in Japan is to visit the arcades and play some games. It’s a fun activity for both kids and adults where you have several fun games to choose from.
In Shimokitazawa, you can visit the MM Land Arcade, which is one of the best in the neighborhood.
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Attend the Shimokitazawa Bon Dance Festival
The Shimokitazawa Bon Dance Festival is a traditional dance festival during the summer in Tokyo.
It’s a festival where the locals ancestors come from “the other side” to visit, and the they dance to welcome them.
Imagine locals in traditional kimonos dancing back and forth, clapping their hands, and raising their arms while doing beautiful movements around the tower.
It’s a festive event, and a must to see if you’re around during summer.
Eat cream puffs at the Totoro Cafe
One of my favorite things to do in Shimokitazawa is to visit the Totoro Cafe and eat some cream puffs. It’s a cute cafe in a calm and quiet area of Shimokitazawa.
If you like kawaii sweets, this is a must to add to your Shimokitazawa bucket list.
Best coffee shops
Bookends Coffee Service
This is a popular cafe among the locals. Here you can sit down by one of their tables outside or buy a coffee on the go.
The coffee is really good and the environment is nice. A coffee costs 180 yen to go, and 200 yen to stay.
Coffea Exlibris is a relaxed coffee shop with a great selection of single origin coffee.
The owner of this coffee shop have traveled all over the world to find the best and most delicious coffee for his shop, which is quite unique.
If you want a high-quality cup of coffee, this is the place to go!
Ballond’essai Latte Art
If you’re into latte art, then it’s a must to visit the cafe called Ballond’essai Latte Art. Their baristas are very talented and can make your latte as simple or complicated as you like.
Some of the most popular designs includes the pig, the swan, and Totoro.
Cafe the usual
Cafe the usual is a cozy and relaxed cafe with good coffee in Shimokitazawa. It’s a place where the locals come to get some work done and socialize with friends.
In addition to their delicious coffee, they also have some good food.
On the Way, Coffee and Cupcakes
On the Way is probably one of my favorite places for coffee in Shimokitazawa. This is a place where you can buy takeaway coffee and delicious cupcakes.
It’s called On the Way, and that’s because this is a place where you buy your coffee while you’re on the way somewhere. So as you can imagine, there are no where to sit at this place.
However, this place is extremely photogenic, so make sure to snap some cute photos before you go!
Rojiura Curry Samurai Shimokitazawa
This is a small curry shop located in Shimokitazawa. Here they served healthy and delicious Hokkaido-style curries that are full of flavors and a variety of vegetables.
You can choose if you want it vegetarian or with meat, what vegetables you want, as well as the spiciness of your curry.
They have an English menu, and a meal cost less than 2000 yen (16 euro). Note, it’s cash only at the Rojiura Curry Samurai Shimokitazawa restaurant.
Address: 3 Chome-31-14 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan
This is a perfect place to experience a Japanese izakaya, which is a type of informal Japanese pub. Here you can eat some delicious and fresh seafood and taste various local sake.
It’s a popular spot among the locals because it’s delicious at good prices.
Address: 2 Chome-9-20 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan
If you’re craving some soba noodles make sure to head over to Dashin Soan. It’s a beautiful restaurant located in a calm and quiet area of Shimokitazawa.
This restaurant is most famous for its sudachi soba (see picture below), but they also serve delicious tempura, dishes with fish, and agedofu, etc.
Address: 3 Chome-7-14 Daizawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0032, Japan
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This is a popular hostel located in central Shimokitazawa with friendly staff who speaks good English. It’s a good choice if you’re traveling on a budget and want to stay near Shimokitazawa.
If you want to stay a bit more central in Tokyo, but still have good connections to Shimokitazawa, this is a good hotel. It’s reasonably priced, have modern and nice rooms, serve a good breakfast, and offers a free pocket wifi for you to use during your stay.
This is my personal favorite hotel in Tokyo. It’s modern hotel with beautiful rooms and a magical view of the city. The staff is friendly, the breakfast is delicious, and it’s conveniently located near a metro station.
Your stay in Tokyo cannot get more magical than this!
More about Shimokitazawa
Shimokitazawa, also called Shimokita by the locals, is today a trendy suburb in Tokyo.
It was originally a farming community, but transformed into a residential district after the Great Kanto earthquake in 1921. The locals migrated to the countryside after the earthquake to avoid potential dangers of living in an urban environment.
Later on, during WWII, this neighborhood was transformed into a US second-hand market for soldiers. And in the 1970s the youth culture of Tokyo found their way to Shimokitazawa, which transformed the area to what it is today – a trendy cool suburb in Tokyo.
How to get there
It’s easy to get to Shimokitazawa from central Tokyo. You can take both the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku, and the Keio Inokashira Line from Shibuya. Just hop off at the Shimokitazawa Station.
How to get around
The best way to get around is by foot. It’s easy to navigate, and the sights and attractions are located by walking distance from each other.
When you’re walking around, you’ll also see lots of new interesting places.
Map of Shimokitazawa
Down below you have a map of Shimokitazawa. If you have a pocket wifi during your stay in Tokyo, it’s easy to use google maps to find the different locations and attractions.
Do you have more questions about Shimokitazawa? Leave a comment below!