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.

 photo L1000383-2-150218-v2__zps3dkd9l8v.jpgOne 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.

 photo L1000386-2-150218-v2__zpsxxpemyxa.jpg photo L1000394-2-150218-v2__zpsawuxxe3r.jpgWe 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.  

 photo L1000397-150218-v2__zps8eozlnh3.jpgThis reminds me a little of the house in Hansel & Gretel.

 photo L1000407-150218-v2__zpslk01wvaa.jpg photo L1000401-150218-v2__zpsa2txzw8g.jpgThis is my favorite.  Love the cheery sunflower/daisy motifs.

 photo L1000402-150218-v2__zpssdxluzq2.jpg photo L1000412-150218-v2__zpsir5bpcpe.jpgThat’s the grumpy husband, who isn’t a fan of these indie neighborhoods.  He prefers Omotesando.  

 photo L1000414-150218-v2__zpsywctk08a.jpgI wonder if the shop owners paint these shutters, or do they hire someone to do the job.

 photo L1000416-150218-v2__zpsiyz9rlnp.jpgI like the shadows of the messy street wires.

 photo L1000417-150218-v2__zpsw7dousxt.jpg photo L1000418-150218-v2__zpsvhupvbrx.jpgRetro-chic gate.

 photo L1000421-150218-v2__zpszdbm46pr.jpgTrust the Japanese to jazz up a boring lock with a cute Snoopy ornament.

 photo L1000424-150218-v2__zpspwfogn8z.jpgThat’s the shop front of Bear Pond Expresso, a coffee bar that we did not like very much.

 photo L1000426-150218-v2__zpsxsae4qus.jpgUseful trolley to transport young kids around.  No risk of losing control of a bunch of rambunctious kids on the streets.   

 photo L1000429-150218-v2__zpsosrg0hrs.jpg photo L1000409-150218-v2__zpscdjdvaxi.jpg photo L1000431-2-150218-v2__zpsmt8sv9y5.jpg photo L1000436-150218-v2__zpsxu2roa5k.jpg photo L1000403-150218-v2__zps1kjxjdbn.jpgIt is amazing how many hair-salons there are in the neighborhood. Look at that owl-shaped door! 

 photo L1000441-150218-v2__zps5ubgvdsc.jpg photo L1000443-150218-v2__zpshoknuk2i.jpgThe Japanese are really good at visual merchandising.

 photo L1000447-150218-v2__zpslzw1shhk.jpg photo L1000449-150218-v2__zpsrauct6e4.jpg photo L1000451-150218-v2__zps9ow5whji.jpg photo L1000453-150218-v2__zpshlfazgnt.jpg photo L1000457-150218-v2__zpsvzrleljg.jpg photo L1000459-150218-v2__zpsekrcwino.jpg photo L1000460-150218-v2__zpssopvzeud.jpgBefore 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.

Tokyo: Morning In Shimokitazawa
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2 thoughts on “Tokyo: Morning In Shimokitazawa

  • Mar 13, 2015 at 1:14 am

    One of my friends lives in Shimokita and loves the vibe there. I also went to an Ichiran although that was in Hakata Station – an interesting eating experience indeed!

  • Mar 14, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I wished I spent more time roaming around in that place. It is such a charming neighborhood.

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