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Shimokitazawa is one of Tokyo’s coolest neighborhoods. Just 15 minutes by direct train from Shibuya Station, this bohemian neighborhood welcomes visitors to its maze of trendy streets.
Vintage lovers, coffee snobs, and urbanites will find funky boutiques, stylish restaurants, and architectural shopping plazas. Spend a morning or afternoon getting lost in Shimokitazawa’s nooks and crannies while discovering hidden gems along the way.
This neighborhood guide covers the best of Shimokitazawa by highlighting the top restaurants, shops, hotels, and activities.
What are the highlights of Shimokitazawa, Tokyo?
Best Hotels In Shimokitazawa
Without a doubt, Yuenbettei – Daita is one of the best hotels in Tokyo.
Although just a few steps from Setagaya-Daita Station, this stunning hotel feels like a countryside escape. Particularly for being so close to central Tokyo, Yuenbettei – Daita is incredibly affordable and is a great value for the quality it offers.
Guests can either stay overnight or just book a few hours in the hotel’s elegant onsen. The onsen experience includes a tea and dessert at the hotel and, at ¥3,800 per person, is an incredible gem of a deal. For a morning or afternoon of relaxation, book the onsen experience at Yuenbettei – Daita.
illi Shimokitazawa‘s industrial space sits in the heart of the neighborhood. With only four rooms, illi Shimokitazawa feels more like a private apartment than a typical hotel.
Each of the four rooms has a distinct style and layout, but all can accommodate up to 6 people. As a result, this hotel is a great option for small groups.
The hotel is conveniently located just around the corner from Shimokitazawa Station and within walking distance to hundreds of shops and restaurants.
Best Restaurants And Bars In Shimokitazawa
Universal Bakes Nicome
📍〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Kitazawa, 3 Chome−19−20 reload内 2階 10区画 (reload location)
📍5 Chome-9-15 Daita, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0033 (Setagaya-Daita location)
Universal Bakes Nicome has two locations in the greater Shimokitazawa area: one in reload shopping center and the other near Setagaya-Daita Station.
This excellent vegan bakery offers an assortment of baked treats, but the standouts are their donuts. Many of their offerings are also gluten free.
Expect to wait in line if you visit on a weekend. This bakery is increasingly popular and many of their items sell out near closing time.
Looking for more vegan options in Tokyo? Check out my guide to the best vegan restaurants in Tokyo.
Coaster Craft Beer & Burgers
📍〒155-0032 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Daizawa, 5 Chome−19−13, Kosei Haimu, １F
Coaster Craft Beer & Burgers‘s casual vibe makes it the perfect space for an afternoon hangout.
The brewery features craft beers from around the world, including a selection of IPAs (which can be hard to come by in Japan). As the name suggests, Coaster Craft Beer & Burgers also serves burgers and some other no-fuss nibbles. Their fried broccoli is a personal highlight.
The brewery’s interior is spacious and has several large tables that work well for large groups.
Ogawa Coffee Laboratory
📍〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Kitazawa, 3 Chome−19−20 reload1-1
Ogawa Coffee Laboratory‘s elegant and minimalist interior keeps the focus on the coffee. With an expansive beans list, this coffee shop lets you customize your coffee to your taste and watch the preparation process. Friendly baristas guide you if you need help deciding which coffee beans to select.
If you’re a coffee fanatic, Ogawa Coffee Laboratory is an experience absolutely worth checking out.
Find more coffee inspiration in this guide to the best coffee shops and cafes in Tokyo.
Ballon D’Essai Latte & Art
📍2 Chome-30-11 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
Ballon D’Essai Latte & Art‘s latte art is literally picture-perfect (just check out their Instagram account). The coffee tastes great, but make no mistake – the latte artwork is the main draw to this little coffee shop in Shimokitazawa.
Their baristas can either make a normal, simply-designed latte (like the one shown above) or draw an adorable illustration in the foam.
Seating is limited, so either take your coffee to-go or visit during non-peak hours.
Best Activities In Shimokitazawa
Shop (vintage clothes, home decor, miscellaneous)
Spend hours browsing the many boutique stores in Shimokitazawa. The neighborhood is particularly famous for its many vintage clothing stores. The vintage finds tend to skew toward Americana styles, including American college and football sweatshirts as well as classic brands like Ralph Lauren or Levi’s. Check out BIG TIME Shimokitazawa, Flamingo, or ALASKA to kick off your shopping hunt.
In addition to vintage clothing, Shimokitazawa has many new and used homeware stores. The mid-budget furniture store NOCE has a location in the neighborhood along with home decor shops like Antique Life Jin and 無印良品 下北沢.
Another fun shopping destination in Shimokitazawa is B-Side Label, an eclectic sticker shop that will scratch your itch for all things kawaii.
The modern shopping center reload in the heart of Shimokitazawa is an urbanite’s paradise. You can spend a very pleasant few hours exploring reload’s stylish restaurants, cafes, and boutiques.
While there are a variety of different businesses in reload, the main commonality is the modern and industrial aesthetic. Designed by architect Shin Ohori, this relatively new commercial complex aims to draw consumers and businesses together in a sleek setting.
Favorite businesses in reload include セカイクラス reload (kitchenware), IGNITE yoga studio (yoga), Ogawa Coffee Laboratory (coffee shop), and Universal Bakes Nicome (vegan bakery).
reload draws crowds on the weekends, so arrive early or budget time to wait in line.
Discover BONUS TRACK
Situated between Shimokitazawa and Setagaya-Daita Stations, BONUS TRACK is a hip collection of about a dozen restaurants and boutiques.
This modern shopping hub oozes coolness. Shops range from a grocery specializing in fermented foods, to a vinyl store that serves Taiwanese food, to a vegan American Chinese restaurant.
BONUS TRACK offers visitors ample public seating so that you can settle in and enjoy the atmosphere. Compared with the somewhat similar reload shopping center, BONUS TRACK is less crowded and more off the beaten path.
Hunt for vinyls
In theme with Shimokitazawa’s cool retro feel, plenty of vinyl stores dot the neighborhood. Local favorites include Flash Disc Ranch, Disk Union Shimokitazawa CD Record Store, Vinyl Junkie, and RECORD STATION.
Most record stores in Tokyo carry old vinyls in remarkably good condition and at prices far lower than can be found in many other major cities.
Take your time combing through the aisles of vinyls to find hidden treasures.