Pic: Angela An


Shimokitazawa is a bohemian neighbourhood just a few stops from Shibuya or Shinjuku on the Keio Inokashira and Odakyu lines respectively.

The narrow streets of Shimo are stuffed with vintage clothing shops, quirky cafes, live houses, indie fashion outlets and artist studios. Despite being such a sought after address, it’s far enough from central Tokyo that things are a lot cheaper. Ozeki Supermarket is a great place to pick up a fresh sushi bento for 500yen.

The more discerning cheapo’s needs are also met, for example with the particularly good latte from Ballon D’essai, or the wholesome and organic shopping found at Natural House and the 500yen authentic italian pizza revolution is well underway here too. And there’s even a few places to pick up a secondhand kimono like Kimono Hasegawa.

If you’ve never been before, catch a flavour first by watching our video above and listening to our Shimokitazawa podcast episode

And finally of note, because of the extremely high hip to yen value ratio, we voted Shimokitazawa as the #1 neighbourhood for cheapos to live in Tokyo.

Getting there

The last ground level railway crossing in Shimokitazawa. | Photo by Gregory Lane

Both the Odakyu Line from Shinjuku Station and the Keio Inokashira Line from Shibuya Station converge on Shimokitazawa. The trip takes 7 minutes and costs ¥157 from Shinjuku by express train, while the journey from Shibuya takes just 3 minutes and costs ¥126. If coming from neighborhoods in central Tokyo, the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line, which either connects with or runs into the Odakyu Line at Yoyogi-uehara Station, provides the easiest access.

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