Shimokitazawa: Tokyo’s Hidden Gem for Vintage Fashion, Vinyl & Vibes

A fashionable district in Tokyo, 下北沢 Shimokitazawa is a must-visit location for anyone seeking to discover the city’s vibrant subculture scene. Boasting a unique blend of vintage fashion, vinyl records, independent cafes, and eateries, Shimokitazawa has something for everyone. Whether you’re on the hunt for a fresh wardrobe addition, an elusive vinyl record, or a cozy spot to savor coffee, this distinctive district offers a myriad of options.

From secondhand fashion to records, cafes, and more, Shimokitazawa has something for everyone.


Shimokitazawa is easily accessible via the Odakyu Line or the Keio Inokashira Line. The nearest station is Shimokitazawa Station (OD03, IN03), which is approximately 20 minutes from Tokyo Station. From the station, many of Shimokitazawa’s main attractions are within walking distance.

Food and Drink

While Shimokitazawa is not primarily known for its food scene, the neighborhood offers a great mix of traditional Japanese cuisine and international flavors. Visitors can also indulge in the neighborhood’s Japanese and Indian-style curry shops, as well as sushi restaurants, ramen shops, and izakayas. Additionally, Shimokitazawa has a diverse range of international dining options, including Thai food, vegan and vegetarian eateries, and more.

A nice coffee shop. [Photo for illustrative purposes only]

The neighborhood’s cafes are particularly well-known for their expertly brewed espresso-based drinks and pour-over coffee.


Shimokitazawa is a shopper’s haven, featuring a diverse selection of secondhand stores, vintage clothing outlets, record shops, and handmade craft shops. Here, you can find high-end designer apparel, retro t-shirts, vinyl records, and unique, locally-made artistic goods. With many stores operated by independent entrepreneurs, shoppers can discover rare and one-of-a-kind items, as well as used bookstores and organic food products.

You’ll find many second-hand clothing stores in Shimokitazawa.

The district’s vintage clothing scene is particularly noteworthy. With an array of shops catering to different styles and eras, Shimokitazawa’s stores showcase the evolution of fashion through the decades. Shoppers can expect to find items like colorful kimonos, denim jackets, and even rare designer pieces at reasonable prices.

Shopping for second-hand clothes. [Photo for illustrative purposes only]

For vinyl enthusiasts, Shimokitazawa offers a treasure trove of record shops with extensive collections. From classic rock to contemporary indie, these stores are stocked with both mainstream and niche genres, providing a comprehensive music experience for collectors and casual listeners alike.

Shopping for vintage vinyl. [Photo for illustrative purposes only]

One of the latest additions to the neighborhood, which opened in 2022, is the ミカン下北 Mikan Shimokita shopping center. Located beneath the station tracks, this center features a blend of vintage shopping and international dining, reflecting the neighborhood’s eclectic character.

The latest addition to the neighborhood, Mikan Shimokita.

Sightseeing and Activities

While Shimokitazawa offers excellent shopping during the day, it’s not known for daytime activities. However, as night falls, the district livens up with live music venues, fringe theater performances, art exhibitions, and an array of bars and izakayas offering beverages and small dishes. This creates the perfect atmosphere to relax and unwind after a day of shopping and sightseeing.

Enjoying an izakaya with friends. [Photo for illustrative purposes only]

In summary, Shimokitazawa is an indispensable stop for those wishing to immerse themselves in Tokyo’s thriving subculture scene. Its distinctive combination of vintage fashion, vinyl records, and independent enterprises creates an unparalleled shopping experience. With easy train access and a wide array of activities, Shimokitazawa is the perfect place to discover and unwind, catering to various interests. This dynamic and ever-changing district guarantees an unforgettable exploration of Tokyo’s diverse urban landscape.