Shimokitazawa Area Guide

Shimokitazawa is a small but vibrant neighborhood located in Setagaya Ward. Over the years it has garnered a reputation as a hip, trendy area frequented by young adults, thanks to its flourishing art and music scene. Located close to the large downtown hub of Shibuya as well, this area provides residents with plenty of livability and great commuting options.

Contents

Location

Shimokitazawa is a lively, trendy neighborhood just west of Shibuya that is well-known for its hipster vibe which tends to attract many young adults. Whereas other famous neighborhoods like Daikanyama and Omotesando have gained a reputation for providing an environment where one can enjoy the latest in luxury fashion, Shimokitazawa is a niche area of Tokyo where you will find a community of vintage clothes connoisseurs. Along this trend of disregarding mainstream consumerism, there are quite a few art communes and independent music venues in the area (referred to as live houses in Japanese English). This creates a very creative and artistic slice of Tokyo. And since it’s located on two train lines (Odakyu and Keio Inokashira), it’s possible to get around the city easily as well.

A look at the Ozeki supermarket close to the station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Key Stats

Average Rent in Shimokitazawa

Apartment Type Average Rent ($1 = ¥110)
1R 1K ¥86,000/month ($780)
1LDK 2K 2DK ¥149,600/month ($1,360)
2LDK 3K 3DK ¥219,600/month ($2,000)

Apartments For Rent in Shimokitazawa

Train Lines

JR/Subway/Other Line
Keio  Inokashira
Odakyu  Odawara

Accessibility

Transportation to…  Line Time
Shinjuku Odakyu Odawara, direct 8 min
Shibuya Keio Inokashira, direct 4 min
Tokyo Odakyu Odawara (Shinjuku), transfer to Chuo-Sobu (Rapid) 29 min
Shinagawa Keio Inokashira (Shibuya), transfer to Yamanote 24 min
Kichijoji Keio Inokashira, direct 16 min
Yokohama, Kanagawa Keio Inokashira (Shibuya), transfer to Tokyu Toyoko 47 min

Orientation around the station

Since the station received an overhaul in March 2019 (with commercial facilities in Shimokita Eki Way opening November 2019), it’s quite easy to navigate.

Remodeling of the station was completed in March 2019. With all the previous construction equipment and detoured routes now gone, the station has a very clean and modern look! Photo: Scott Kouchi

Shimokitazawa Odakyu Station

  • The Central Exit (中央) is just around the corner form the larger East Exit. This exit will point you straight towards the MUJI store in Shimokitazawa.
  • The East Exit (東口) exits to a large open paved area and moving straight forward from the exit will take you to the Shimokita Front building.
  • The Southwest Exit (南西口) is located on the opposite side of the station from the East Exit. The entrance is slightly smaller than the East Exit, but it’s right below Shimokita Eki Way.

Shimokitazawa Keio Inokashira Station

  • The Central Exit (中央) meets up next to the East Exit of the Odakyu Station.
  • The West Exit (西口) meets up next to the Southwest Exit of the Odakyu Station.

Livability

Shimokitazawa has a bohemian (some might even say gritty) vibe that embraces the independent and artistic. Photo: Gino Mempin via Flickr

This cozy neighborhood is very close to downtown Shibuya, yet has a distinct atmosphere that sets it apart from other Shibuya neighborhoods. Whereas Shibuya is at the forefront of the latest fashion (particularly luxury fashion around Daikanyama and Omotesando), Shimokitazawa has built a reputation as Tokyo’s destination for vintage clothes. This has given Shimokitazawa a reputation as a hangout area for young adults who are more in tune with Tokyo subculture (some might even go as far as saying it attracts rebellious youngsters).

Shimokitazawa is a popular location for weekend dates! Photo: iStock stock photography

The streets around the station are quite narrow, giving the station a lively, albeit crowded feeling. But a quick walk away from the station will bring you to residential streets that are quiet and low-traffic. That being said, those with small children might want to take note of the few parks in the area. Although from Shimokitazawa Station it is possible to get to Inokashira Park and Yoyogi Park quite easily; so if you don’t mind a short train ride, you’ll be able to get to open parks for family walks and picnics.

Looking down a road near Shimokitazawa Station. Photo: Scott Kouchi

With this in mind, this neighborhood tends to attract single apartment hunters or couples without children. And particularly those who are in-tune with the artistic nature of the neighborhood. Not that you can’t find family-friendly homes in Shimokitazawa, but that generally speaking, those looking for child friendly neighborhoods will probably want to search around Setagaya Ward for a little more space for kids.

There’s no denying the popularity of this area, thanks to the variety of interesting cafes and restaurants, abundance of vintage clothing stores, and wide array of live music venues. Photo: iStock stock photography

Charming vintage pocket of Tokyo

A quick walk through Shimokitazawa and you’ll understand why it earns its reputation as a unique neighborhood in Tokyo. It stands out from the bright lights and modern stylings of other popular Shibuya neighborhoods. There are countless secondhand clothing stores, and groups of young adults browsing these shops waiting for their favorite local bands to play at the small, independent live music venues in the area.

The recently revamped station adds a very clean and up-to-date look that some might consider an affront to what used to be a hub for those trying to escape the creeping modernization of Tokyo. Time will tell how this merging of styles will change the landscape of Shimokitazawa.

With all that said, there is definitely a type of person that is attracted to the gritty charm of Shimokitazawa. If you’re all about the laid-back, artistic, and counter-culture then this might be a neighborhood worth looking into. Otherwise, there’s absolutely no shame in wanting to live in a more standard residential area.

Street art decorates many walls and storefronts in the area! It’s evident that Shimokitazawa residents take pride in their local art scene. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Eating

Those who live in the area will be able to find a variety of groceries thanks to the Ozeki and Peacock grocery stores located adjacent to the station. Thanks to the fashion-forward, trendy vibe of the neighborhood you’ll also find a large selection of cute cafes and restaurants nearby. Places like Magic Spice Shimokitazawa, FRANKIE Melbourne Espresso, and Toyonchi no Tamago are examples of the different kinds of dining options you can find in the area.

Shimokitazawa also has a bit of reputation for its quaint, stylish cafes like okidokei and Cafe Stay Happy. With so many different cafes and restaurants, you’re sure to find a place that you like where you can become a regular!

The Peacock supermarket right next to the station is where you’ll also find a convenient 100 yen shop. Photo: Scott Kouchi

Useful Info at a Glance

Supermarkets

Nearby Supermarkets Hours Address
Peacock Store Shimokitazawa 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM 2 Chome-25-21 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
Ozeki Shimokitazawa 10:00 AM – 9:45 PM 2 Chome-9-5 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
foodium Shimokitazawa Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri., Sat., Sun.: 24 hrs

Wed.: 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM

2 Chome-20-17 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
Miyataya Mon. – Sat.: 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Sun.: 3:00 PM – 12:00 AM

6 Chome-5-25 Daita, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0033
Natural House Shimokitazawa 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM 2 Chome-26-3 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031

*This is just a selection of supermarkets in the area.

Gyms

Nearby Gyms Hours Address
TIPNESS Mon. – Thu.: 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Fri.: Closed

Sat. – Sun.: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

2 Chome-5-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
Anytime Fitness 24 hrs 〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Kitazawa, 1 Chome−40−6 柏サードビル
CENTRAL FITNESS CLUB Shimokitazawa Mon., Tue., Wed., Fri.: 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM

Sat.: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Sun.: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

1 Chome-46-5 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031

*These are just examples of gyms available in the area.

Universities

Nearby Universities Information
The University of Tokyo Komaba Campus The University of Tokyo Komaba Campus Home Page

Ward Office, Police, Library

Nearby Community Center/City Hall/Police Station Hours Address
Setagaya-city Kitazawa Branch Office Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

2 Chome-8-18 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031
Kitazawa Police Station Mon. – Fri.: 8:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Sat. – Sun.: Closed

6 Chome-4-14 Matsubara, Setagaya City, Tokyo 156-0043
Setagaya City Daita Library Mon.: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Tue. – Sun.: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

6 Chome-34-13 Daita, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0033

Hospitals/Clinics

Nearby Hospitals/Clinics Address
Shimokita Clinics 〒155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City, Kitazawa, 2 Chome−17−2 AZURE1F
Toho University Ohashi Medical Center 2 Chome-22-36 Ohashi, 目黒区 Tokyo 153-8515

*These are examples of hospitals/clinics in the area.

Parks

Family-Friendly Features

Nearby Family Friendly Features Address
HANEGI AFTERSCHOOL 5 Chome-4-9 Daizawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0032
Daita Children’s Clubhouse 6 Chome-34-13 Daita, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0033

 


Shimokitazawa Apartments

Apartments for rent near Shimokitazawa Station:

Shimokitazawa definitely has a polarizing quality. If you’re not drawn to the artistic expression that is seen throughout the landscape of the neighborhood, Shimokitazawa might not be the best place for you to call home (unless it’s a convenient location for your commute). Those seeking the most affordable apartments in the area can find 1R studio apartments for approximately ¥60,000 per month.


Apartments For Rent in Shimokitazawa

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Lead photo: Gino Mempin via Flickr