I have read so much about the lovely Shimokitazawa neighborhood located not far away Shibuya, I told myself that I must visit it on this trip. Besides the indie vibe that Shimokita is known for, I also wanted to visit it for Bear Pond Expresso and Shirohige Totoro Cream Puffs. Both shops are residing in the Shimokita neighbourhood.
Shimokita is easy accessible via the subway. We took the train to Shibuya station where we switched to the Keio Inokashira line which stops at the Shimokitazawa station, about 4 stops away from Shibuya.
One of the things I like best about strolling along the streets of Japan is turning a corner and being greeted by a burst of colors from a flower shop. Turn a corner in any neighborhood and you are bound to encounter several flower shops. It is a joy to poke around in these shops and admire pots and pots of botanicals that we hardly see in our tropical climate.
We were in Shimokita a little too early in the day. Most of the shops were still closed! And the streets were empty and quiet. Which isn’t a bad thing for me, because I got a chance to see these beautifully painted shutters of the closed shops. I had quite a lot of fun snapping photos of shop fronts and their colorful shutters.
This reminds me a little of the house in Hansel & Gretel.
This is my favorite. Love the cheery sunflower/daisy motifs.
That’s the grumpy husband, who isn’t a fan of these indie neighborhoods. He prefers Omotesando.
I wonder if the shop owners paint these shutters, or do they hire someone to do the job.
I like the shadows of the messy street wires.
Trust the Japanese to jazz up a boring lock with a cute Snoopy ornament.
That’s the shop front of Bear Pond Expresso, a coffee bar that we did not like very much.
Useful trolley to transport young kids around. No risk of losing control of a bunch of rambunctious kids on the streets.
It is amazing how many hair-salons there are in the neighborhood. Look at that owl-shaped door!
The Japanese are really good at visual merchandising.
Before we left Shimokitazawa, we dropped by Ichiran for a bowl of tonkotsu ramen. Our first visit to Ichiran, and it was quite an interesting dining experience. You eat your noodles in individual booths, separated from your companions by a divider. A rather anti-social way of eating.
I would have loved to spend more time exploring the cute shops in the neighborhood. If I was on my own, I would have spent the entire day in Shimokitazawa, but not when you have a husband like mine in tow.