If you want to explore and see how the Japanese live and a more relaxed suburb in Tokyo, visit trendy Shimokitazawa for the vintage shops and cool small bars. This is where a hipster would head, as that is where Travel Bunny’s hipster friend lives. It is a great safe place for exploration with tiny alleyways like Fitzroy in Melbourne, Australia – except a lot smaller!
Where to chill:
This cute bookshop/curio cafe stands up to it’s name in volumes. Full of paraphernalia supporting Darwin’s evolutionary theory, replete with stuffed animals including a Zebra. It’s an incredible tiny shop that has tiny live exotic frogs on display, so take a moment to discover them. You may hear them, and believe it, they are real! Do stop in for a wander if nothing else.
Address: 5-31-8 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 155-0032
Business hours: 12:00pm-20:00
Where to eat:
This place does an awesome soup curry. Soup curry is just a more liquid form of the usual thick Japanese curries, There is always a queue and opens at 17:30, seats no more than 20. They make their curry from locally sourced ingredients, including Burdock root. They are a locally owned small chain and have outlets in other locations around Tokyo if you don’t want to travel out to Shimokitazawa (although it’s a shame if you don’t!). Click on the link in the name to be directed to their website (mostly in Japanese) to see the other locations.
31-14, Kitazawa 3-Chōme
Venture a couple of short blocks away for Captain’s Donut for dessert afterwards is a must!
7-5, Kitazawa 2-Chōme
Where to drink:
There are plenty of choices, but there are two small bars with the same owner that are worth visiting just due to the decor and friendly staff.
Mother’s Ruin has a massive copper Lizard scaling the ceiling. Tiny and makes you feel like you’ve stepped into another world. They also serve food. Do note that most Japanese bars allow smoking in the bar, in case that puts you off.
2 Chome-2-7 Kitazawa,
Setagaya, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan
Enjoy exploring Shimokitazawa!