Japan Tokyo Shimokitazawa


A hub for creative expression in Tokyo

Photo of Shimokitazawa, Japan (Shimokitazawa 下北沢 by Ryosuke Yagi)

Shimokitazawa, a Tokyo district, is known for its bohemian atmosphere, drawing a varied crowd with its vintage boutiques, indie music venues, and quirky cafes. This area, with a history dating back before WWII, has become a gathering place for students, artists, and musicians. Shimokitazawa blends historical elements with modern creativity, providing a diverse range of experiences that mirror the neighborhood’s historical depth and modern appeal.

About Shimokitazawa

Also called Shimo-Kita, Shimokitazawa traces its origins to a village within Musashi Province, with roots predating its transformation following the opening of Shimokitazawa Station in 1927. Its development from farmland into a bustling commercial area was influenced by its varied topography, consisting of valleys and plateaus, resulting in a maze-like network of petite streets and alleys.

The area’s status as a theater district is partly due to the historic Honda Gekijo, which is surrounded by a number of small theaters. Shimokitazawa is also renowned for its vintage fashion, with Shimokitazawa Ichibangai and the southern entrance shopping district being particularly noteworthy.

The neighborhood’s character remains intact despite modern redevelopment, such as the undergrounding of the Odakyu Line’s rail tracks, which began in 2013. The community’s efforts to balance modernization with the preservation of Shimokitazawa’s distinctive atmosphere reflect a commitment to maintaining its identity within a rapidly changing Tokyo.

Shimokitazawa invites exploration, revealing places like the well-known Tollywood Short Film Theater and transformed walking paths that were once rivers. Shimokita is also known for its cafe culture and craft beer scene.

Events such as the Shimokitazawa Curry Fest, and depictions in media like “Zawazawa Shimokitazawa” and “Shimokita GLORY DAYS,” add to its character and appeal to visitors. Community initiatives address safety and environmental concerns, including disaster preparedness and maintaining a welcoming atmosphere.

For a unique cultural exploration in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa provides an engaging backdrop. The neighborhood’s small theaters, music, and gastronomy combine to offer a journey reflective of Tokyo’s diverse cultural landscape.

Getting There the easiest way to reach Shimokitazawa

OH 06

 Odakyū Odawara Line

 5-10 minute walk (600m)

Around Shimokitazawa


Shopping Street in Tokyo

open 11am - 8pm
closed Irregularly


下北沢, 東京

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Updated 13 Mar 2024 • Report an error

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