Illi Shimokitazawa: Tokyo’s Ultimate Sleepover Experience

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Bags packed, phone charged – boys’ night was in full force. But this wasn’t a casual Tokyo all-night bender with the boys. Oh no, this was a complete overhaul of the concept – a sleepover in style. For those who don’t know, Shimokitazawa is the ultra-stylish area of Setagaya in western Tokyo located on the Inokashira or Odakyu lines. The area is known for secondhand shops, music and stylish cafés and has received accolades as one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world. Now, thanks to Illi Shimokitazawa, you can also experience the ultimate sleepover experience. 

The concept is simple: a stylish sleepover for millennials on-the-go. Amenities aside, the apartment itself was huge – easily big enough to comfortably sleep six friends in this open room design. The room (lacking any partition walls) flows from the bedroom to the living room and kitchen with separate rooms for the washroom and shower room. The wise people at Illi Shimokitazawa go a step further by introducing a different theme for each apartment. The sixth-floor apartment (yes, the entire floor – no neighbors) is the music floor, which comes with a record player and Bluetooth speakers that can be connected to the record player and your phone.

While the apartment is amazing, the real charm of staying in Shimokitazawa is… well… Shimokitazawa! For first-time visitors to this stylish wonderland, fear not. Although the streets of Shimo might seem overwhelming, the proprietors of Illi Shimokitazawa have prepared well in advance. Every room has a printed sheet listing restaurants, bars and a few locations that are easy for travelers to access and fun for everyone.

Us boys spent our evening at a local izakaya (a Japanese gastropub) making friends with some of the locals and students who frequent the area. For the ultimate experience, this writer suggests traveling around to a few bars in a single night to really get a feel of what Shimokitazawa has to offer.

There are plenty of interesting themed bars in Shimokitazawa including Umeboshi Sour Senmonwhich serves ume sours (a Japanese salty sour plum liqueur with soda water). Although I’m not a fan of sour plum they also have a great selection of umeshu (sweet plum wine), which was delicious. For those not interested in bars, Shimokitazawa has you covered with record stores, hobby shops and bookstores galore.

Returning to the apartment is a breeze as it’s located just a minute from Shimokitazawa Station. As the entire floor of the apartment is free to be used at the guests’ discretion, it’s so much fun to be able to come back late at night and still cut loose. Can’t have a noise complaint if you don’t have neighbors.

For Illi Shimokitazawa’s contact details, check our Concierge listing

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