Shimokitazawa secondhand stores & vintage clothes: Tokyo hipster neighborhood, Japanese thrift shopping.
Shimokitazawa is a Tokyo district known for its vintage stores and hipster vibe. In this post, I’ll give you a tour of the best boutiques — including one that sells secondhand Gothic & Lolita clothing.
My lion t-shirt is from the I.T / Izzue store in Hong Kong. The image reminds me of my Scottish Fold kitty, Basil Farrow.
Met up with my Tokyo friends, Yukiro and Michelle. Their purple and blue coordinates happened to match.
Attempting an avant-garde pose underneath the subway tracks. Not sure if we succeeded.
Faux leather skirt: GladNews in Shibuya 109 (more photos from this shop soon)
Leopard print tights: from a random boutique
Silver stud ankle boots: Yosuke, from Shibuya 109
It’s easy to get to Shimokitazawa; the ride takes only 10 minutes by subway, from Shinjuku or Shibuya. “Shimokita” is a favorite hangout for Japanese youths, packed with retro anime stores, music shops, coffeehouses and second hand fashion.
We had lunch with Jake Adelstein, crime journalist and author of Tokyo Vice, a gripping memoir of his yakuza reporting escapades. Jake and I recently worked together on a TV show, but we can’t say much about it yet… lest we lose a finger!
Yukiro was so hungry that he began eating the flowers outside the Thai restaurant. (Tokyo in the spring is beautiful, isn’t it?)
After eating, we browsed the various secondhand stores in Shimokitazawa. This one had crates of old anime, manga and retro character goods. Michelle was tempted to get the Sailor Moon VHS tapes.
Gotta love Japanese programs for kids, which always leave you scratching your head in wonderment.
Not only young people live here… this neighborhood is a nice mix of residential and indie businesses.
Yukiro couldn’t stop laughing at the “Toy n Gay” stamp on the wall.
We all love Sailor Moon, crosses, spikes, and cats.
Upstairs, in the secondhand store Grand Bazaar, there were racks of Sweet Lolita fashion. Brands included Jane Marple and Justine et Juliette, which you can’t always find in Closet Child.
This intriguing boutique had Alice in Wonderland decor on the outside. But it was marked “Members Only,” so we dared not enter.
This thrift store looked like a repurposed bathhouse, and had a large selection of colorful sweaters, long skirts, and clothing from the 1970s and 1980s. Love the style of these two girls.
Marilyn Monroe overlooks a row of 70s-style tops. If you’re a fan of vintage shopping, you could spend all day here.
Haight & Ashbury is much-loved among treasure hunters. Items are pricier, but you’ll be sure to find high-quality, rare or designer pieces.
There’s an outstanding antique / dolly section, with faded lace and Victorian-style purses.
Shimokitazawa’s a fun place to spend the day, shopping and people-watching.
Be sure to bring your camera, stop for coffee or pancakes, and wander aimlessly.
You’ll be sure to stumble upon oddities, like this Doraemon (earless robot cat) store.
Or a skeleton playing a cello.
Have you heard of Shimokitazawa, or been to this Tokyo hipster neighborhood? Which are your favorite vintage stores?
And what do you think of our outfits in this post? Let us know below…