TOPWhat’s New in Shimokitazawa This Month: April 2021

What’s New in Shimokitazawa This Month: April 2021

From wagashi to new Japanese music, here's what's new in Shimokitazawa this month

By Cole Lubchenko

Fresh out of the second state of emergency, and with murmurs of new restrictions incoming, we are all experiencing various levels of the so-called Covid fatigue. During this time, it is important to stay safe but it is also important to enjoy some of the year’s most agreeable weather; and what better way to do that than to meander through the backstreets of Tokyo’s hippest neighborhood. 

This month in Shimokitazawa you can find a new burrito joint, the Knockout Music Festival, a record market and plenty more. If you are hesitant to travel too much during  Golden Week, this is a wonderful chance to dive deep into one of Tokyo’s coolest corners, whether it is your first time or your 50th.

Restaurants

Oku-Shimokita Ricca

 

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This new Western-style izakaya has fun, modern decor and an open atmosphere. They serve a variety of dishes influenced by Western, Chinese and Japanese cuisine, and are open for lunch and dinner. If you are looking for an interesting drink, they have shochu highballs with rosehip syrup, basil and tomato, and other creative ingredients. If you stop by for lunch, you can grab a huge portion of roast beef on rice for takeout. 

Pico de Gallo

Mexican food is notoriously hard to find in Japan and you will be happy to hear that a new burrito shop has opened in Shimokitazawa. Pico de Gallo makes tasty chicken burritos with black beans, ancho peppers, fresh salsa and domestic chicken breast. These burritos are a good size, a fair price and a welcome addition to the relatively small number of Mexican options in this city. Just be aware that this place is takeout only.

Tenshi Warabimochi

The bubble tea craze has come down from its dizzying pre-pandemic heights and Tenshi Warabimochi is trying to find the next delicious instagrammable drink. They serve tea with warabi mochi in it instead of your usual tapioca balls. This shop is located right next to Pico de Gallo, so grab some drinkable mochi after diving into your burrito.

Events

Knockout Fes, April 17

Knockout Music Festival will be held in 13 venues around Shimokitazawa with over 100 bands and artists performing. With an equally impressive variety of genre, you will have no problems finding something you are interested in. There are plenty of alternative rock groups as well as electro-pop, punk, EDM and many other styles too. Of course with big events in these uncertain times, keep an eye out for news regarding cancellations or changes to the schedule. 

Record Market, April 17-18

If you are interested in vinyl, DJing or music in general, be sure to hit this record market featuring 14 independent record stores. If you have never been to Bonus Track, this is also a great chance to go. You will always find something worth your time there and it is always a fun atmosphere. It is especially nice in the beautiful spring weather.

Mish Mash Holiday Food Market, May 8, 9 

The Mish Mash Holiday Food Market is held in the Senrogai area just outside the main exit of Shimokitazawa station. It has a big variety of vendors selling local foods, vegetables, soaps and lotions and more. They also have an online store if you can’t make it to the event or if you want to check out what might be on offer before you go. 

Shimokitazawa Market Caravan, April 15-16

The market caravan is similar to the holiday food market but happens (almost) every weekend. It is a small collection of food trucks and other mobile vendors on a vacant lot of the Senrogai area. There are often new and different vendors here, so be sure to check it out and see what you can find.

Other

Shop Stop App Location

Shop Stop is a food truck tracking app that shares the location and menus of food trucks around Tokyo. There is a new food-truck location near Shimokitazawa in Daizawa Seseragi Park. This week there are trucks selling roast beef curry, green curry, taco rice, yakisoba and more. Check out the app and enjoy an outdoor meal at one of Tokyo’s food trucks. 

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Aino and Alvar Aalto: Shared Visions Exhibition, March 20–June 20

The works of Finnish architect, designer, and artist Alvar Aalto, and his wife and collaborator Aino will be displayed at the Setagaya Art Museum this spring. This exhibit will show their relationship, and highlight their works and their shared visions. Located in Kinuta Park, this museum is a bit of a journey away from Shimokitazawa but it is worth the journey if you are interested in architecture and art. 


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