Enjoy the youth culture in the theatrical performances, music, and secondhand goods shops. A town exactly like a toy box.
Shimokitazawa, commonly called "Shimokita," is on the western side of Tokyo, and although just a small town, it is very popular among young people. In questionnaire surveys about where young people want to live, Shimokitazawa is always one of the top three responses. This is because there are many small theater halls, live houses, bars and secondhand record shops, and this town is known as a trendsetting place for youth culture. With its many narrow alleys that are inaccessible to vehicles, you are given a real sense of adventure while exploring the town on foot, which is a real joy in and of itself.
When it comes to shopping, secondhand clothes shops and shops offering miscellaneous items from the 70s and old animation-themed toys are quite popular. The number of large-scale shops in the area has been increasing, but the nicest feature of this town is the many shops expressing the ingenuity of their young owners, such as those combining a cafe and a record shop or an outlet for small handmade items.
During the month-long Shimokitazawa Theater Festival, held every February, various plays are performed at eight small theaters. There is also the Shimokitazawa Music Festival held every July, where you can enjoy live music not only in live houses, but also in every alley throughout the town.
If you want to experience the casual and friendly charm of Shimokitazawa, it is highly recommended that you visit during the Tengu-matsuri Festival, held at the end of January or beginning of February, which includes a parade of people dressed as the specter of the mythical Tengu, with its long nose and red face. The lively Mikoshi-matsuri Festival (portable shrine festival), held in early September, is another local event that should be experienced.
[Rail] 1h from Narita Airport to Tokyo Station by JR Narita Express Line.
[Air] 1h from Itami or 1h 10 min from Kansai International Airport to Haneda Airport.
[Rail] 2h 30 min from Shin-Osaka to Tokyo Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line (Nozomi), and from Tokyo to Shinjuku Station by JR Chuo Line. 7 min from Shinjuku to Shimokitazawa Station by Odakyu Line (regular express).