Around Shimokitazawa

>> Sunday, April 25, 2010

Wendi and Jo have arrived in Tokyo (yay!) which means the blog posts may be fewer and farther in between now. For one thing, I don't have Wendi back home covering my slack. For another, I now have someone to talk to in the evenings!

I have time while the girls are crashed from jetlag to post a few picks of Shimokitazawa, a groovy little neighborhood that has kept its individual character in the face of mounting invasions from Western chain stores and fast food joints. I went with Kristi, one of the eighth grade English teachers, as my guide.

A lot of shops were closed by the time we were able to get there, but enough were open for me to sense the vibe of the place. Shimokitazawa definitely has its own fashion thing going, and it's a far cry from what's being wold and worn on the streets of Omotesando or Harajuku. Shimokitazawa is all retro.

They have rows after row of trucker hats.

Old American sweatshirts.

Great ties. Too bad I don't wear them anymore! (Well, not so bad.)

There's no main shopping drag here, as there is in other places, so the shops haven't turned into hundred yen shops (everything's just one hundred yen--$1 US!) and hawker havens with stacks of toilet paper and shampoo at discount prices. Instead it's a tangle of little streets with a pedestrian focus and unique little shops.

I loved this little place.

I bought the panda I felt like he was me, or I was him. I definitely walk around with camera in hand.

The Samurai Ice Cream! shop was closed for the night.

Neat tile work in the corner of a shop front.

A robot chef, pointing the way toward coffee and treats.

Wall ads.

Our night ended at a great little burger joint, where I had the best plate of fries I've had in a long time, here or in America: Village Vanguard: "Almost Hamburger Shop." I can't even guess at what they were trying to say there.

More pics soon!


tanita davis April 26, 2010 at 5:58 AM  

Oooh. Ties. They're always nicer when you don't HAVE TO wear them.

I'm excited you've got company! It's fun to bum around in a strange city by yourself, but it really makes travel a whole lot nicer to have someone with whom to exchange wide-eyed looks at the crazy stuff.

I'm very bummed that you haven't had Samurai Ice Cream! (The exclamation point just makes it.)

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