Shimokitazawa is one of the few local shopping districts in Japan that have been able to sustain its vitality. Shimokitazawa is, still today, the most vibrant shopping districts in Tokyo despite its chaotic environment.
The district was developed as a residential district mostly after the Great Kansai Earthquake of 1921 and after World War II, the commercial businesses began to encroach the residential area. The development of both residential area and commercial area were executed without proper urban planning. As a consequence, the district became a place without any road that is wide enough for good auto access, without any traffic signal (but do have railway crossings) , and with only few high-rise buildings which is a rarity in commercial districts in Tokyo. With what seems to be demerits for commercial district has been functioning as a positive factor in Shimokitazawa. It has been described by New York Times writer as “Tokyo’s answer to Greenwich Village, an epicenter of youth culture in one of Asia’s trendiest metropolises”

 Fabulous mural in an apartment fence

IMG_0635_1 Pedestrians and Bicycles rule the street

IMG_1707 Ditto

IMG_1710 Musicians are everywhere

IMG_1722 And they are even good

IMG_0639_1 This building is called “Toyo Department Store”

IMG_0632 Subcultures are abundant here

IMG_0627 These are not hanging out washing. They are actually selling.

IMG_0634_1 Food court

IMG_0652_1 You can even have free massage from the professional if you are lucky

IMG_1717 It is not an asphalt jungle

Railway crossings
Railway crossings 

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