Before heading up to the mountains to snowboard for a few weeks, I took a few days to explore Tokyo’s off shops in Shimokitazawa, a rad little neighborhood not far from the better known areas of Shibuya and Shinjuku.
With streets lined with second hand stores that range from high priced designer threads to those that offer insane bargains, (ones that make you wonder if the store owners actually know the value of what they’re selling), this is definitely the place to go in search of hidden fashion gems.
With a more bohemian and hip cultural vibe, Shimokitazawa is the exact opposite of what you’ll find in Tokyo’s more upscale shopping districts like Omotesando. I scored some rad new Nike dunks, a Stetson hat, and a few sweaters for the snow, all for under $50 (USD), and I could have gone on for ages.
Some of my favorite Off-Shops in Shimokitazawa were:
I stayed at Shimokitazawa Hostel for the few days I was in town. It was close to the metro, easy to find, and the staff was incredibly helpful, with one of the sweet desk girls even helping me book a hair appointment at Hayato Salon (which I’d also recommend if you’re a native English speaker and need to get your hair done while in Tokyo).
Aside from the myriad of underground bars with live music, cute coffee shops and corner restaurants, my favorite spot was definitely B & B (Books and Beer), a must for anyone who loves art, books and perhaps wants to sit and have a tea or a beer at their leisure. Even though I don’t speak Japanese, I could’ve easily spent an entire day just something thumbing through all their beautiful books.