by Ben Meehan

There is so much going on in this trendiest of Tokyo suburbs it’s hard to begin. Shimokitazawa is basically a series of pedestrian streets interlinking around the busy station and train tracks (Inokashira, Odakyu, and Odawara lines).

To the south of the station the area tends to lean towards salaryman gambling and drinking establishments but on the north side is a mix of trendy vintage clothes shops, music shops, skateboard hangouts, trendy eateries, and organic food suppliers which, strangely, reminded me of Camden town in London (or was it just the grey English weather while I was there?).

As a foreigner-friendly area, I did spot many non-native Japanese about, particularly at the Segafredo cafe, perfect for people watching on the main center-gai.

Just around the corner from Segafredo I also paid a visit to Zenmall, essential for someone like me. Larger sized suits, shoes, and clothing; the brands they carry are as impressive as the prices. For example, you can pick up an off-the-rack Hugo Boss suit for ¥40,000.

For dinner I found The Village Vanguard—a cozy Tex-Mex-themed restaurant, family-friendly with an English menu. Try the homemade hamburgers and you won’t be disappointed!

Recently opened is also an English-speaking clinic called Primary Care Tokyo (PCT), with Doctor Kuroso, who attended Tokyo American school and later Stanford university in the US.

(1) PCT Clinic
2-1-16 Shimokitazawa,
tel. 03-5432-7177
6-3-1 Shimokitazawa,
tel. 03-3481-5620
2-31-10 Shimokitazawa,
tel. 03-3481-1641