Sunday, February 21, 2010



If you like used clothing, vintage, thrift, zakka and antique stores then Shimokitazawa (or Shimokita) is the Tokyo suburb for you! Shimokita is a sweet little neighbourhood located in Setagaya-ku, only a few train stops away from Shibuya. In Tokyo questionnaire surveys about where young people want to live, Shimokitazawa is always one of the top three responses. It's packed with teeny tiny six-seater bars, adorable cafes, loads of cheap and cheerful restaurants, vintage and retro clothing stores, live music venues, secondhand record stores, homewares and vintage stores and is generally known for trendsetting in youth culture. Come here if you fancy an afternoon wondering around people spotting, stay until sundown, have a G+T at Mois cafe, and try some delicious okonomiyaki.

2-26-13 PACKAGE ONE 1F Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

I think Lotty is my absolute ichi-ban favourite vintage clothing store in Shimokita. The store styling is just adorable and the selection of items just perfect! Think vintage embroidered trims, retro postcards, crocheted throws and cushion covers, 1950's glassware and a huge selection of vintage clothing.

2-37-2 1F Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo.

One shop not to miss in Shimokita is Sou. Stock up here on MT tape, katakana + hiragana wooden stamps, hand-made fabric pocket tissue cases, Mori girls fashion pieces and loads of other zakka essentials. Also worth a trip for the custom made calendar given free to customers. I still have my one from 2008 up on my studio wall it's so cute. Perhaps it's time to replace it with my new 2010 one (below).

Sou is part of a family of three stores along with Five and Ten and Khopchai. You can shop online at all three of them at Five and Ten.

2-33-6 2F Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo.

Commune is a mini-me shop stocking zines, art, and unique handmade goods along side it's teeny tiny gallery space. Look at these ear-rings (literally) that I found in there. Don't worry if you are not going to Tokyo any time soon, you can shop online here.

(Above Mois image special thanks to 8tokyo)

2-21-26 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

Fancy an iced caramel latte? Lemon tea? Or just a regular coffee and cake? Or are you more a G+T and mixed vegetable plate type of person? Well fear not as Mois café has it all. Set inside a two storey old Japanese style house, this café is a super cool place to relax after rummaging through Shimokita’s vintage clothes stores. Cool electro music playing softly. Uber-cute Japanese peeps speaking as softly as the music. Couches and tables. Sneak peek online here or here.

Gracie's Mini Tokyo Potted Garden inside her Shimokita apartment

More Tokyo tips like this will be in my Hello Sandwich Tokyo Guide coming soon! The Hello Sandwich guide will come complete with maps to make it much easier to get about! Phew!

Love Love
Hello Sando


  1. Your pics makes me really wanna visit Toyko!

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. woohoo!!!! i CAN'T WAIT to see the guide - wonderful and inspiring finds and pictures!

  3. i haven't been to tokyo in 5 years and seeing your lovely pictures makes me itch to go so badly.... i think i shall be booking a ticket this week. cant wait to put that tokyo guide to good use x

  4. I really adore the store front in your second photo!
    If I go to Japan, I am definitely coming to these places to vintage shop! Maybe I can actually get clothes in my size for once! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  5. enjoying all of the photos and tips on Tokyo! I'm visiting the first week in April, and will have to try to find some of these shops~

  6. oh wow. what a lovely post (and guide!) :) I so wanna visit tokyo and after reading/seeing this I want to go there even more..!

  7. So many great tips! They all look really great. I wish I could go there right now!:)I`ve sent link to my friend who are in Tokyo right now. Thanks for all the tips! But now I really want some okonomiyaki. I guess I will have to make my own here in Norway....;)

  8. Thanks for the list of vintage shop in Japan, and cant wait for Hello Sandwich Tokyo Guide

    I will visiting my best friend, Yuki in Tokyo this summer holiday...


  9. Wow - I can't wait for the full guide - this is such a good taste of what's to come!

    Can't WAIT to get back to Tokyo. Ikitai!


  10. SUUGOOOI!!!!
    ebonychan!! hontou iina~!!
    great great lovely post!! love the pictures and the descriptions!
    thank you for sharing!!!
    i remember going to a Lotty store! i remember it was very vintage! i bought a pencil case there. hahah

    this is so exciting all of this!!

  11. my mini potted garden thanks to you! The plants are still alive!!so beautiful my dear! thank you!

  12. One thing I liked about shimokitaza when I lived in Japan was that it's was of those places that only the Japanese know about.

  13. I didn't know about this suburb, but I can see that I would love it! Hope I can make it there someday...

  14. This is great! i just moved to Tokyo from Scotland. Found your blog and am loving it for Japan/Tokyo tips, will check out this area soon...

  15. This is heaven! There are neighborhoods a bit like this in Taipei, but stores like Lotty are hard to find here. I miss vintage clothing stores so much! Thanks for sharing these pictures, and I look forward to your Tokyo guide because that is one of my dream vacation spots.
    the renegade bean

  16. hey there

    i'm from south africa and i might be going to tokyo in october for the first time. Hui from Lazy Jane put me onto your blog. it's so cool and i will definitely be back.

  17. Yay to the Hello Sandwich Tokyo guide!! You bet I'm gonna be carrying this list the next time I head down there (which better be soon)!

  18. Oh these photos are lovely - I can't wait to see/buy your HS Tokyo Guide (want to go to Japan so much)!

  19. oh man, i love shimokitazawa. when i went there, i instantly wanted to live there! your pictures are GREAT. mad props.

  20. I was in Tokyo once, a long time ago - this makes me want to go back! I love your blog by the way - I think you'll like mine too: ellenitza. Stop by when you have a minute.

  21. just found you via some blog love from: for me, for you....

    LOVE IT.

    I just did a couple of Japan related posts too... I was there last Spring, but now I really, really want to go back!

  22. wow wow wow, all these photos are making me want to go to Tokyo! especially the cute vintage shop

  23. this is sooo great!!! I love it!!!!

  24. Wonderful shots!!! I love the first photo of yaoya. Even yaoya looks shimokita-like! I still haven't been to mois cafe, looks really nice dayone!

  25. when will the guide be out? I'm off to Tokyo mid May and I can't wait to hear more tips from you!!

  26. Love, love, love!!!! 2 kawaii for words. cannot WAIT to see your tokyo guide! :)

  27. Hello Jeanne, Oh you should go if you can! It's great!

    Bree-chan! ooooo I can't wait to get it onto the Hello Sando big cartel shop too!

    Beci hello! Oh I am so happy you will be going back! I bet you will have a great time! And I hope the Hello Sandwich guide will help you have an even better time!

    Zelda was a writer! Thank you for your sweet comment!

    Celine, Thank you so much! oooo yes you will have to go along to Shimokita's vintage stores!

    Hello Marisa, I hope you have a fantastic time and that the Hello Sando guide will be finished in time for your trip! eeep!

    Hi Maria! Oh thanks so much! Yes book now for Tokyo! You won't regret it!

    Hello Hana! Thank you! you are sweet to send the link! I wish I was in Norway! That seems so fun too! Okonomiyaki is the best isn't it! Tabetai!

    Designani, I am so happy you are looking forward to the Hello Sandwich Tokyo guide! How exciting you will be going to Tokyo too! yay!

    Kate, Thanks for your comment. watashi mo ikitai!!! Lets go now! eeeep!

    Make It Easy! Love! Oh you are gorgeous! Lotty is great ne~! I want to see a Make it Easy Tokyo guide onegaishimasu!xxx

    From a sows ear - I can't believe they are still alive! ahhh Japan!

    Hi Jason, Yes that is a nice little hidden secret isn't it. Though it's fast becoming a popular gaijin hang out too!

    The Hausfrau, I hope you can make it there someday soon too! You would love it!

    Anonymous, oooo how exciting! Nice move indeed! I hope you will have a nice day in Shimokita! Stay tuned for the full Tokyo Hello Sandwich guide which will have maps to help you get around!

    Catherine_sr, Thank you for your comment! I also went to Taipei last year. I loved wondermilk cafe! Do you love it there? I hope you will get to go to Tokyo very soon!

    SuperDuper! Hello! Oh yay I hope you can go to Tokyo this year! eeeep! Thanks for your comment! xxx

    Cookie Cutter Hello! ha ha! I'll probably be carrying it too! It's so easy to get lost in Tokyo ne~! Hope you are well dear!

    Hello Penelope! Thank you so much for your comment! I hope we can have a cup of tea in Tokyo together one day!

    Hello Chinchillakwak! Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Shimo is great isn't it!

    Ellentiza hi there. Thanks for your comment. I'm happy my Shimokita post could inspire you!

    Emily hello there. I was so happy to be on for me, for you! Isn't that blog amazing! I LOVE your blog too! Thanks so much for commenting over here! I will visit you from now on! eeeep!

    Daydream Lily! Lets go to Tokyo together now - what do you think?

    Am, thanks so much for your comment! I'm so happy you like!

    Hiki-chan! Lets go to Mois together one day? But nothing can beat our little jiyugaoka hideaway!

    Heidi! Hello. I am sure that the Hello Sando guide will be out before your trip! How exciting you are off to Tokyo! xxx

    Pretty Pretty Yum Yum! well it won't be nearly as fantastic as your lovely Japan zine, but it's a start!

    Thank you everyone for your comments!
    Love Love
    Hello Sando

  28. I can't wait to get my hands on the guide!!
    it is all so exciting indeed!!!

  29. Excellent post. You really have an outstanding blog here.

  30. I was just here in Tokyo a few weeks ago, I only got to wander in Shimokitazawa for a couple hours after dark, but I totally fell in love. Your pictures really do it justice. I can't wait to go back ASAP :n )

  31. living in japan for 3 years now..i always heard shimokita is a fantastic area but somehow i always end up doing harajuku instead. i will GO on tuesday, so why is Loty closed on that day? waaahh! any other similar spots u can recommend?
    thank you. i`m loving ur pictures!

  32. Been there and it was to me at least A MUST TO GO THERE AGAIN!!! I will be there next year, hopefully!!!

  33. I am an American that used to live in Shimokitazawa. The white shop with the christmas wreath in your fourth picture has the world's BEST crepes. I used to live right down the street from there! They make crepes with anything you want inside, but their ice cream+strawberries+banana crepes are amazing!

    Shimokita is definitely a great place to live and definitely visit if you get the chance!

  34. Awesome photography……..the only thing I don’t like about them is that I didn’t shoot them.