One of the trendsetting places for youngsters in Japan is located on the west side of Tokyo. A small town known as “Shimokitazawa,” also called “Shimokita,” is popular among the younger crowd and trendy people. It is well-known for having small independent shops, live houses, bars, cafes and theaters. It has very narrow alleys which hint a sense of adventure for people to explore.
Vehicles can enter the streets of Shimokitazawa, but some streets too small or are so crowded with people walking, that at times, cars are not permitted to enter. Somehow, this gives thrills and joy to the visitors who want to explore the area. Just like the backstreets of Harajuku and Koenji, Shimokitazawa enables many independent retailers to survive, which is considered to be its main feature. Many students visit numerous secondhand shops which offer vintage clothing. There are even some selling miscellaneous items dating back to the 70s.
Shimokitazawa is also popular for its festivals such as Shimokitazawa Theater Festival. This is held every year (It was held in October in 2017), and showcases various plays held in different theaters. With the cutting-edge performances, visitors and locals are surely given a treat. Another event is the Shimokitazawa Music Festival which occurs every July of the year. This brings about an enjoyable atmosphere where music bands fill the streets with live music! At the end of January/ beginning of February (in 2018 it will be held from February 2-4), the Tengu-matsuri festival is held which is a parade of locals dressed as the mythical Tengu, a long-nosed goblin. Lastly, the Mikoshi-matsuri festival is held in early September where you can see portable shrines being carried by people by means of two, four or sometimes six poles.
You can access Shimokitazawa via the Odakyu line (two stops from Shinjuku Station on the express or 6 on the local) or the Inokashira line (one stop from Shibuya station on the express or 4 on the local.)
Shimokitazawa is the perfect place providing an atmosphere of fashion and festivities to be enjoyed!
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