24, Model, Tokyo - Japan
Enter the virtual labyrinth of shopping streets and alleyways and discover an inspiring mix of locally-owned boutiques, quirky vintage stores and thought-provoking meeting spaces. Shimokitazawa is a hotbed of creativity with a thoroughly relaxed vibe. But don’t just take our word for it! Read through the list of tips of Tokyo-based model and style guru, Saki Shibata and discover why Shimokitazawa is one of her favorite shopping destinations.
Shop the Shimokitazawa (Tokyo) look: Backpack
My No. 1 pick for breakfast? 8 Jours, by a long shot! The pancakes are to die for. But today, it’s quiche with a cup of one of the dozens of varieties of tea they have tucked away behind the counter. I love how even the napkins come with a cute, hand-drawn picture courtesy of the waitresses here. It’s worth starting my day here just for that!
- Saturday-Wednesday 9.08am-8.08pm
- Thursday 9.08am-8.08pm (2th & 4th Thursday closed)
- Fridays 9.08am-6.08pm
If Shimokitazawa’s amazing stores have you out of breath, maybe it’s time for a little break. As their concept “a library on the street corner” suggests, all the books in this gallery are free for you to read. And mulling over an old favorite or discovering something new is not a bad way to spend a lazy morning! But be warned, it’s easy to forget the passing of time here. And they close late!
- Saturday-Thursday 8.00am-6.00pm
“More food?!” you ask? I know it’s not even midday yet but I’ve always wanted to go to this place. Because their deep-fried French toast is legendary! Take your pick from six different flavors: plain, green tea, hassaku orange, chocolate, tomato & basil, and cheese. I’m determined to try them all!
- Monday-Sunday 11.00am-6.00pm
First of all, the name. “Oto-nomad” literally means “sound nomad” and the this is the perfect place to come for those who roam the world in search of that unique sound. Browse the collection of vinyl and CDs, ask to listen to a track or two and be transported to a different place.
- Monday-Wednesday 1.00pm-8.00pm
- Friday-Saturday 1.00pm-8.00pm
- Sunday 12.00pm-7.00pm
Japanese are into vintage in a big way, so be prepared to muscle your way through the amazing collection of secondhand finds at SPiKe. You can find almost anything here from shoes and bags to eyeglasses and other accessories, most of it straight from the USA. I wonder what I’ll find in this treasure trove today.
- Monday-Friday 12.00pm-8.00pm
- Saturday-Sunday 11.00am-8.00pm
The cutest little second-hand bookstore with a wide selection ranging from magazines and comics to picture books. And they even have a pretty decent foreign section. What I love most, though, are all the original accessories on sale. Like their cool book covers: a must-have, for sure!
- Wednesday-Friday 2.00pm-8.00pm
- Saturday-Sunday 1.00pm-8.00pm
Lunch comes served with a side of retro Japanese style at the Mois Café, housed inside a newly renovated building from the 1960s. The Japanese red pine at the entrance and all those sliding doors with frosted glass makes me feel like I’ve come to my grandparents’ house. And then the amazing food comes and the image is complete! Definitely worth a try.
- Monday-Sunday 12.00pm-11.00pm
A literal treasure trove of retro furniture, household appliances and home deco items! Lots to spark new design ideas or set of every room in the house. Just make sure you’ve got space in your Eastpak, cause I’ve never managed to walk out of here empty handed.
- Monday-Sunday 1.00pm-9.00pm
No trip to Shimokitazawa is complete for me without a stop-off at this vintage paradise. There’s stuff here dating back to the 1800’s all the way up to the 1990s, most of which comes from the US and Europe. The staff are all friendly and I always end up having a long conversation with them. I often find myself checking out vintage T-shirts or logo sweatshirts.
- Monday-Sunday 12.00pm-9.00pm
Head out the west exit of Shimokitazawa Station, follow the train tracks and you’ll find this cool women’s secondhand clothing store. You’ll find a solid selection of vintage pieces from the 60’s and 70’s you won’t find anywhere else. They also stock several haute couture brands, so with any luck, you’ll be able to pick up a bargain here!
- Monday-Sunday 12.00pm-8.00pm
The best way to enjoy a good book? With a good beer, of course? Or vice versa. Either way, you’ll find plenty of (liquid and literary) refreshment at Book & Beer - B&B for short. They often hold events and seminars here featuring famous people from various walks of life. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled and ready for a chance encounter!
- Monday-Sunday 12.00pm-12.00am
Looking for a truly unique gift or souvenir? Every item in this quirky store comes with a story. Sourced by the owner himself from the U.S., you’ll find all kinds of things here including antique toys and other rare curiosa.
- Monday-Saturday 1.00pm-8.00pm
- Sunday 12.00pm-8.00pm
Also within walking distance of the Shimokitazawa Station, it’s hard to walk past the window of this stylish boutique without being lured inside. Once you have, you’ll find a wide array of inspiring, one-off pieces ranging from vintage design to military collectables.
- Monday-Sunday 12.00pm-9.00pm
Time for dinner – with a difference! This incredibly relaxing café (complete with hammock!) is run by a couple who have travelled around the world a combined 5 times. Which means the amazing food invariably comes with an equally incredible story from across the globe. Plenty of inspiration, in other words, for your next journey!
- Monday 1.00pm-12.00am
- Wednesday-Saturday 1.00pm-12.00am
- Sunday 1.00pm-10.00pm
Full photo gallery
Photography by Keita Nakada