Shimokitazawa –nicknamed Shimokita- is the neighbourhood of young and hip Tokyoites. A friend recommended the area so my partner and I booked a place on Airbnb when we visited last March. It quickly became one of my favourite Tokyo’s neighbourhoods.
The centre of Shimokita is full of cool vintage clothes stores, cafes and bars, but the backstreets are quieter.
Our first night in Shimokita started with dinner at Shirube. Highlights were the blowtorch grilled mackerel and the fun vibe. I always enjoy izakayas, but this one felt especially welcoming. It can get busy, so I suggest making a booking.
Flower Bar Gardena
Tokyo is known for its tiny bars, but this one is special. It’s a florist during the day and a bar at night, where you can drink a cocktail surrounded by beautiful flowers. The perfect spot for a date.
Vintage clothing stores
You can’t go to Shimokita without hitting the many vintage stores. If vintage is your thing, you’ll go nuts there. Even if it’s not, it’s fun to browse and see all the crazy fashion. I found a beautiful hand-sewn sashiko jacket.
This store is all about young Japanese designers. The pieces have completely different cuts and styles than anything I’ve seen before. I’m coming back for sure next time I’m in Tokyo.
Bio Ojiyan Cafe
I’ve heard this café specialised in ojiya (Japanese risotto) and I was very intrigued by this dish. I thought I knew Japanese cuisine quite well, but never heard of this. Oh my. It was delicious! I didn’t know the dish already came with nori, fried sweet bread and tako sausage so I added kimchi, mentaiko and karaage. Treat yo self, right?
All photos by me, except the one of Nietzsche, by Leibal.