November is the first full month in a while without a state of emergency in Tokyo. While there still are some restrictions, Shimokitazawa is mostly open for business and back to normal. And with increasing vaccination rates, hopefully, it stays that way. So, in Shimokitazawa this month check out the annual curry festival, the Knockout Music Festival or visit some of the new restaurants and stores.
Food & Drink
Kobe Imoya is a sweet potato specialty shop that, as the name suggests, started in Kobe. They sell all things sweet potato, from baked sweet potatoes to sweet potato chips, sweet potato ice cream and sweet potato milk jam. The shop has won awards for its quality products, so if you are looking for some amazing sweet potato treats, you’ve found them.
Where: 2-31-4 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku
Shimokita Chaen has been operating in Shimokitazawa since 1970, but as of October, it moved into a new location in Shimokitazawa Reload. This shop sells a variety of high-quality Japanese teas and also has a small sit-down space where you can get matcha, matcha latte, hojicha latte and shaved ice. This is another welcome addition to the constantly growing range of shops at Shimokitazawa Reload.
Where: 3−19−20 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku
When: 9am–7pm (closed Wednesdays)
Shimokitazawa Clothing and Accessory Street Market
This is a small outdoor market located on an empty lot in the heart of Shimokitazawa. Five different Shimokita stores set up shop here and sell used clothes and accessories. Shimokita is well known for its used clothing and this market gives you a chance to conveniently check out five shops you might have otherwise missed. Some of the stores include a vintage soccer jersey store, an imported clothing shop and a handmade accessories store.
Where: 2-31 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku
When: 12pm–7pm on weekdays | 11am–8pm on weekends
Knockout Fes will help bring live music back to Shimokitazawa by having over 50 bands playing at 12 venues across Shimokitazawa including Mosaic, Era and Shelter. If you have been missing live music and are ready to get out and see live shows again, take a look at the lineup and find a show you want to see. There will be a huge variety of genres represented so there’s sure to be something for everyone.
When: Nov 6
The Shimokitazawa Curry Festival is easily one of the most exciting events of the year. Upwards of 100 vendors create their own unique curry dishes to serve as part of the festival. Unlike other festivals, this one isn’t held in a fixed location, but instead, each restaurant has a sign posted saying they are participating and you can pop into the ones that look appealing to you. The whole town then becomes filled with people seeking out deliciously spicy curry-themed dishes.
To keep track of what you’ve eaten and what you want to eat, you can scan QR codes at each restaurant you visit. This also allows you to earn points which can then be exchanged for curry-themed goods. This year might be a little different due to Covid-19 regulations, but keep an eye out for more info and make sure to mark it in your calendars.
When: Until Nov 14
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Top and feature image by iamshutter / Shutterstock