Shimo-Kitazawa, also known to locals at Shimokita, is a very young neighborhood to the east of Central Tokyo, in the district of Setagaya. With cheaper rents, the area has always attracted students and small shops and this is what it is famous for. It is a short train ride from Shinjuku or Shibuya stations but it feels a world away. True that the whole area is very crammed with second-hand stores, small restaurants, street vendors and lots of people walking around. Already in 2008, when I went to a WGSN conference, they mentioned that Shimokita was a great place to spot new trends. It still is.

Image by Tansy Kas

Image by Tansy Kas

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