Shimokitazawa 下北沢

The name is a mouthful isn’t it – locals call this neighbourhood ‘Shimokita’. I decided to check out this area in Setagaya-ku after reading about it on japan-talk which described it as “what Japan would be like if it was run by hipsters.” It is really close to Shinjuku station – only 2 stops away on the Odakyu line. It’s not a huge place at all but still boasts a good number of quirky stalls, second-hand/vintage clothing and record shops, little cafes/restaurants as well as a relatively quiet residential area. The streets are all very narrow which is a good thing – no cars! and not that many bikes either though I see a lot parked everywhere, and they are all really cool looking bikes too! The area is also known for its music and theatre scene however we left just before dinner time so many of the bars were not yet open.

Hipster alert!

Hipster alert!

Reminds me of the art and graffiti back in Melbourne

Reminds me of the art and graffiti back in Melbourne

Tiny little shop hidden at back on an alley, a japanese guy sits inside and makes amazing leather good.

Tiny little shop hidden at back on an alley, a japanese guy sits inside and makes amazing leather bags and wallets

As mentioned there are many very aesthetically pleasing bikes parked everywhere! I have noticed there are lots of bikes with small wheels in Japan, yes you do pedal more but they are more light and portable, and cute of course.

bike 2

colour perfect

colour perfect

bike 1

Did you konw there is one vending machines for every 23 people in Japan?

Did you konw there is one vending machine for every 23 people in Japan?

Another thing I love about Japan is discovering great architecture, especially residential dwellings. They are not loud or fancy and many sit on tight plots of land. But there is just something about them that appeal and make them look so natural in their surroundings.

This one is clad in a dark metal sheet similar to corrugated iron with what looks like strategic openings on all sides.

Two architecture students look at this house and think SANAA. Its clad in wood painted white, I really love the combination of the white with the blue of the windows.

And as usual for Japan, many kawaii (cute) things can be found bringing a smile to your face 🙂

kawaii!

how cute are these caps?

How cute are these caps?

It was also discovered today that the green tea lattes at MOS burger are by no means worse off than the ones at Starbucks (where I have been getting one a day during lunch breaks), except that they are half the price at 280 yen. Totally in love with this drink!

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