Just a couple of stops away from the mayhem of Shinjuku is a little place where Tokyo's flickering tempo slows right down to an almost lazy pace. Here the bright lights fade into two storey pastel buildings dotted with vintage shops and record stores. Its easy to lose yourself in the intricate labyrinth of tiny lanes beckoning you to explore. The cafes are kitsch, hidden in basements or up an unassuming flight of winding stairs.
'Shimokita' as it is affectionately known has a charming, untouched organic vibe, a haven for artists, musicians, Tokyo-ites and travellers wanting to tap into hipster Tokyo. By day the streets are peaceful but as dusk settles, the laid-back alleyways come alive with Shimo's vibrant bar and rock n roll music scene. Do yourself a favour on your next trip to Japan, book a homely airbnb and spend a few days uncovering the gritty magic of Shimokitazawa.