Shimokitazawa

Swiftly rising as Tokyo's trendiest, and quite possibly its friendliest, bohemian scene.

A short train ride from Shinjuku Station drops you at the front stoops of Shimokitazawa, Tokyo's rising star of creative bohemian acclaim. Shimokitazawa shares Harajuku's highly stylized aesthetic, but it’s slightly removed from the masses that gather in the center of the city. Chaotic in a charming way, Shimokitazawa is more organic than organized—its roads are sinewy and nearly too narrow for cars, its architecture endearingly haphazard, and its look meticulously inelegant.

See 39 places to stay Save this neighborhood

On the Map

Shimokitazawa is within Setagaya District and bordered by Meguro District, Shibuya District, and Suginami District

  • Public transit is Easy
  • Having a car is Possible

Haneda Airport: 35 minutes by car or 1 hour by public transit
Narita Airport: 1 hour & 15 minutes by car or 1 hour & 40 minutes by public transit
Shinjuku Station: 15 minutes by public transit
Ueno Station: 40 minutes by public transit
Tokyo Tower: 45 minutes by public transit

Shimokitazawa: Fashion, Style, and Design In Mind

Shimokitazawa Goto

More laid-back but arguably as fashion-forward as Harajuku, Shimokitazawa centers on Shimo-Kitazawa Station in western Tokyo.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Clothes artfully drape, cuff, roll, and layer their wearers.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Wall-sized murals grace the neighborhood's textured surfaces.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Affectionately referred to as "Shimokita," Shimokitazawa relentlessly endears itself to Tokyoites.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Impossibly narrow streets and sinewy alleyways weave through the neighborhood.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

They make Shimokitazawa exceptionally approachable for pedestrians and uncommonly quiet from lack of cars.

Shimokitazawa Goto MRelease

Its unpretentious boutiques and cafes emanate a kind of hand-hewn charm.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

They make the neighborhood feel less business-like, less buttoned-up, than other commercial centers in Tokyo.

Shimokitazawa Goto

In Shimokitazawa, the day feels unforced.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Time passes naturally.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

The neighborhood's train station makes its shops, cafes, and music venues conveniently accessible.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Pixel
Shimokitazawa is conveniently located [near] Shibuya and Shinjuku. But, many travelers and locals alike choose to spend their time here because of the charm and energy of the town itself, without the huge crowds of the closeby metropolis. Even if you stay somewhere else, you should definitely visit Shimokitazawa just to see what I mean!"

✌ Jay & Dee ✌

Hosts Cozy Hip Cottage & Next to Shibuya!

Recycled and Reused: Shimokitazawa's Vintage Look

Shimokitazawa Goto

What cosplay is to Harajuku and Akihabara, vintage and recycled is to Shimokitazawa.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Broken-in T shirts, previously worn jeans, and reimagined coats, jackets, and hats define the neighborhood's thrift store vogue.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Shimokita exudes a sort of preconsidered playfulness.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

The area's stylish disorganization is extraordinarily orderly.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Pixel
We usually dread staying in Tokyo because it is so crowded and hectic, but staying in this neighborhood was really calming...Shimokitazawa is your young, hip bohemian neighborhood devoid of salary men. Don't miss the nooks and crannies in this neighborhood, there are so many little indie bars, restaurants, cafes and boutique shops."

Jeni

Visited in 2013

The Scene In Tokyo's Newest "It" Neighborhood

Shimokitazawa Goto

Alleyway artists and tunnel performers characterize Shimokita's renowned rock 'n roll reputation.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Music aficionados throughout Japan know the area by name.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Petite theatres provide intimate venues for bands before they make it big.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

The area's artistic nature shines through in more than its music.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Instead of malls and arcades, art galleries, record stores, and bookshops pervade Shimokitazawa.

Shimokitazawa Goto

These days, they're a novelty.

Pixel
For those who dont know, this is the place to stay in Tokyo: laid-back, creative, good coffee, little laneways, great eateries, and close to the action."

Ari

Visited in 2013

The In Crowd at Shimokitazawa's Outdoor Cafes

Shimokitazawa Goto

Unlike Paris or Sydney, patio seating doesn't come standard in Tokyo.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Shimokitazawa defies the odds.

Shimokitazawa Goto

The area is peppered with outdoor cafes, plein air seating, and sidewalk cafes.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Indoor dining is just as easy to find.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

The area's establishments often serve their food with extra panache.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Many of Shimokita's restaurants double as galleries, performance spaces, and bars.

Shimokitazawa Goto
Shimokitazawa Goto

Tomorrow's trend is probably being born on the second floor.

Shimokitazawa Goto

See you then, trend.

Pixel
We really liked the mellowness of the neighborhood–a pleasant break from the otherwise intense bustle of tokyo."

Arthur

Visited in 2013

The Residential Charm of Shimokitazawa

Shimokitazawa Goto

Designer apartments and traditional Japanese homes provide the backdrop to Shimokita's stylish sensibilities.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Its dwellings reflect its commercial attitude.

Shimokitazawa Goto

Contemporary with a twist of timelessness.

Photography

Airbnb works with local photographers to capture the spirit of neighborhoods all around the world. The photography on this page includes work by:

Masaru studied Photography at Parsons The New School for Design in NYC. He has 25 years experience photographing social and human rights issues in Asia and South America. After spending many years abroad, he has begun to focus on his own country of Japan. He established Reminders Photography Stronghold in Tokyo in 2013, a curated membership gallery making multi-photographic activities possible. His photographs have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek Japan, and many others.

Masaru Goto

View website »

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