Shimokitazawa is the town of subculture. It is a part of Tokyo that has its own culture and a special atmosphere that is different from the business districts and suburbs. It’s a mixture of everything, but still maintains its own culture. Shimokitazawa has a somewhat exotic atmosphere, which makes just walking around the town fun. In this article, we will introduce a very distinct part of the Shimokitazawa culture; thrift shopping. There are over 30 second-hand clothing stores scattered around the area surrounding the Shimokitazawa station. We will introduce you our recommended stores of different genres and tastes that you can see in half a day.
Shimokitazawa - the town of second-hand clothing stores
Shimokitazawa doesn't have the "good old traditional Japanese" feel, but still, many tourists nowadays visit this the town. The disordered atmosphere is far from the organized manner that the Japanese love, but that is exactly what gives Shimokitazawa it’s exotic atmosphere. One of the most well-known aspects of Shimokitazawa culture is the second-hand clothing. Why did second-hand clothing become a part of Shimokitazawa’s culture in the first place?
Nowadays, many tourists visit Shimokitazawa on both weekdays and weekends.
The town of theatre,music, and young people - Shimokitazawa has many different nicknames. Young people who come to Tokyo to chase their dreams to become actors and musicians have always gathered in this area. They practice day and night and discuss their goals in a passionate manner. Lily Franky and Arata Furuta are one of the many celebrities known to have spent their early days in Shimokitazawa.Till this day, it is still a town where poor dreamers gather, which is why the bargained second-hand clothing has become a big part of Shimokitazawa culture.
Half a day second-hand clothing store tour
There are shops, second-hand clothing stores and restaurants within walking distance from the station.
As soon as you start walking from the station, you will start seeing various second-hand clothing stores. There are over 30 second-hand clothing stores within a 10-minute radius from the station. It's quite difficult to visit every single store. Today, we will introduce 4 second-hand clothing stores of different genres and tastes within a 7-minute walk from the station.
How about going to Shimokitazawa for lunch and then taking a tour around the various thrift shops?
22 stores all at once! Best pick for beginners: Toyo Department
Toyo Department has a taste of Shimokitazawa style
Toyo Department is one of the symbols of Shimokitazawa. It is only a 2-minute walk away from Shimokitazawa Station East Exit. "Toyo Department" is actually a small shopping mall that consists of around 20 stores gathered in a garage. It’s one of the famous locations in Shimokitazawa. The painting of a train on the wall makes it easy to spot.
Well known store with the "Shimokita" feel
Many tourists take pictures in front of the colorful paintings on the outside wall
The outdoor and indoor interior design reflects Shimokitazawa's miscellaneous atmosphere as it is, and that together with the cozy resting area leaves a strong impression. The posters of theatres and live shows at the resting area and the outdoor wall painting are two popular photo spots.
The resting area’s miscellaneous interior leaves a strong impression.
As of August 2019, there are currently 22 stores in Toyo Department. There are second-hand clothing stores of different genres and price points, variety stores that sell handmade items, and vintage stores. You can find your favorite store within the 22 different stores, and that is why it is recommended for those not very familiar with second-hand clothing. It's a very "Shimokitazawa - town of the youth" location, so you can enjoy the unique atmosphere of the stores and have interesting discussions with the shop staff.
A famous store that represents “the town of subculture”.
The store map is painted on the resting place’s wall.
Store hours and days differ depending on stores, so make sure you check online before visiting. You might find treasures if you stop by.
Find one-of-a-kind items at "NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE Shimokitazawa Store"
The entrance of "NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE Shimokitazawa Store" is slightly hidden.
NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE Shimokitazawa Store is located at approximately a 3-minute walk from Toyo Department.
This building used to be a public bath, which was then renovated to become a second-hand clothing store. The neon lights, tile walls and floors and the strong fittings inside the store will remind you of the building’s past.The name of the store is also a pun of the Japanese word for public bath, "入浴場 (nyuuyokujo)". There are also rumors that stylish celebrities visit this store often.
The cute and colorful tile floor is also left untouched.
The door to the back room is also from the public bath days. Even the interior is fun to look at.
All items are under 10,000 yen!
There are items from various genres on sale. The store purchases all kinds of clothing, varying from quality, brand, and year, so customers will be able to find their very own one of a kind item.
The store has a large variety of second-hand clothing of all genres.
One reason for the store's popularity is that all products, including brand items, are priced under 10,000 yen.
Even if the product is from a famous brand, you can get it for 10,000 yen or less. This might just be the secret for constant popularity. All the items are bought from customers, so the display is different every time you come to the store. Come find your destined item at the store!
You might find your favorite one-of-a-kind piece of clothing.
Besides an option to sell your items for cash, the store also gives you an option to trade your items. After your item has been evaluated, you can choose to trade your item with a store product that costs 60% of the "store price (evaluated price)" instead of receiving cash. With this method, you can still purchase your favorite clothing item without cash. Ask the store staff for details.
Get trendy second-hand clothing at "FLORIDA Shimokitazawa Store"
"FLORIDA Shimokitazawa Store" also has many products that are imported from overseas.
An approximately 3-minute walk from "NEW YORK JOE EXCHANGE Shimokitazawa Store" is "FLORIDA Shimokitazawa Store", a second-hand clothing store that sells both imported clothing and those bought from local customers.
The wooden sign with a green flamingo guides you to the store, which is located on the basement floor at the bottom of the stairs. The interior of the store resembles a western courtyard, and if you look at the ceiling, you can see a blue sky above you. You can also find vintage interior throughout the store.
Well organized second-hand clothing.
When you think of a second-hand clothing store in Shimokitazawa, you will probably think of a cluttered store full of clothing. However, the layout of FLORIDA is very neat, which makes the store easy to visit even if you are not that familiar with second-hand clothing. The rows of items in the store are full of trendy and on-demand items. Besides clothing, they also have a wide variety of shoes and accessories.
You can find a wide variety of accessories that go well with the second-hand clothing.
A unique buy-out system "Komezing Ticket"
One of the interesting features of this store is its unique buy-out system "Komezing Ticket". Usually, if you come to sell your items to a second-hand store, you will get the evaluated price of your item in cash. However, at FLORIDA, you can choose to receive a ticket called "Komezing Ticket". You will be able to exchange your "Komezing Ticket" to either one of the products in the store or rice.
You can exchange the ticket with this rice.
Cash, clothes, or rice. You can pick your favorite buy-out method yourself.
All stores 50% off! Don't miss the "Blue Sky Market"
During the last Saturday and Sunday of every month, FLORIDA Shimokitazawa Store holds "Blue Sky Market", during which all the items in the store are 50% off. During these 2 days, you can buy trendy second-hand clothing 50% off, so the store is full of customers all day long.
During "Blue Sky Market", all items are 50% off.
However, the prices at the store are very reasonable to begin with, so if you wait until Blue Sky Market to buy your favorite item, it might already be sold out. If you find an item you want to get, we recommend you buy it right away.
A selection of natural colored items - "meadow by flamingo"
”meadow by flamingo” is popular among many age groups.
Many second-hand stores in Shimokitazawa are full of casual American fashion and colorful vintage clothing. However, "meadow by flamingo" sells mainly items that are monochrome, natural and earthy tones. This store is located at approximately a 1-minute walk from "FLORIDA Shimokitazawa Store".
The store is full of items in natural, earthy, monochrome colors, which are easy to use in all kinds of outfits.
The theme of the store is "meadow", and they purchase strictly selected items from the United States and Europe that fit many different age groups.The shop also sells accessories, dried flowers, and other small items that will perfectly decorate your home.
The leaf tag on the accessories is cute.
You can also buy stylish dry flowers.
Original brand "nomadism" also on sale
You can also find items from the store's original remake brand "nomadism" in one part of the store.
The concept of the brand is to connect "the charm of second-hand clothing as a material" and "moving the base of time and history". Using military patterns, denim, and knits as the pivot, they create items that make the best use of the "second-hand clothing look".
"nomadism" adds the uniqueness of second-hand clothing into simple colors.
The remake brand started in 2017, and it was created by sister store’s manager Ryo Iida at the sister store, Flamingo Harajuku. The items are made with an emphasis on his self-taught styling and the balance of the silhouette.They are all items of earth, natural, and monochrome tones that you can wear easily without hesitation. Feel free to try them on and experience the balanced silhouette yourself.
Why don't you go search second-hand clothing in Shimokitazawa on your next day off?
Second-hand stores have many items that are one-of-a-kind, so time flies by before you know it when you start to look for your favorite one. The stores we introduced in this article are all very different, and you can easily spend 30 minutes to an hour in each store.
The mornings in Shimokitazawa are slow, and many second-hand clothing stores open at noon or in the afternoon. If you decide to go shopping for second-hand clothing in Shimokitazawa, we recommend that you go in the afternoon. Why don't you go search for your favorite item to Shimokitazawa?