The trendy, low-key neighborhood of Shimokitazawa is known for its fine thrift stores and high-end vintage shopping. Some of Tokyo’s best vintage boutiques can be found here. With so much to choose from, navigating the narrow streets can be a little overwhelming. So here’s an introduction to some of the area’s most high-profile shops.
Ocean BLVD is easy to spot. Their wide selection of secondhand, handmade, and vintage clothing spills out onto the street. Ocean BLVD may not have much in the way of high-end clothes, but their quirky finds (some of which are handmade and truly unique) keep vintage lovers coming back for more. Interestingly, and perhaps a testament to the shop’s offbeat attitude, they also sell bicycles.
New York Joe Exchange brings in unbranded, used clothing from overseas. The store is aptly named, however — they allow customers to swap their own quality used clothes for items off the shelf. They also buy items for customers from abroad, making them something of a triple threat: shop, exchange, and assist. Even if you don’t end up buying anything, it might be worth it just to check out the architecture. New York Joe Exchange Shimokitazawa was built in an old public bathhouse.
Chicago has a couple of locations in Tokyo, and the Shimokitazawa branch is one of the largest. This used clothing shop carries tons of reasonably priced clothing, both by recognizable big brands as well as truly vintage finds. Among overseas visitors, Chicago is known as one of the best places to pick up kimono and yukata as well as the footwear, obi, and other accessories to go along with it.
Haight & Ashbury is the crown jewel of high-end vintage shopping in Shimokitazawa. The shop stocks authentic, 19th and 20th-century vintage finds from at home and abroad. The best pieces from their carefully handpicked selection are usually on display, and they don’t come cheap. Haight & Ashbury is the perfect place to pick up one-of-a-kind luxury finds, as well as quality shoes and bags that’ll last generations.
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With a tropical mascot to greet the customers, Flamingo cheerfully sells second-hand clothing and affordable vintage buys. They carry both new and used clothing. Most of the clothes are American vintage from the 40s up to the 1980s. Flamingo stocks more men’s fashion than most vintage shops. The rock-bottom sales they have from time to time make this place a worthy stop on any vintage hunt.