Want to know where everyone is hanging out in Tokyo? We will give you a little overview of some of the trendiest hotspots in the city! In future issues there will be breakdowns of all the fun places to go and explore in each of Tokyo’s neighbourhoods.
Kōenji is a small and quiet area to the west of Shinjuku, accessible via the Chūō line from Shinjuku station. Exit the station from the South Exit to find the shops, cafés, and more! The buildings in the district are somewhat old-looking, which lends itself to the nostalgic atmosphere of the area. On quieter days retro music is played on overhead speakers, so even strolling down the street can feel like a bit of a time warp.
Though a seemingly quiet and unassuming area, the district has a thriving vintage clothing scene packed with live music houses and plenty of chill cafés.
Whatever style appeals to you, you will be able to find something for you in a vintage shop in Kōenji! It is always the perfect place to discover small indie designers, often popular with the local fashionistas and fashion college students. You won’t find any high-end labels here but you will find many pre-loved pieces at a mid-range price tag. The shops are small and carefully curated with select items that represent each
shop’s unique aesthetic. Not only are the clothes meticulously chosen, but the shops themselves are always decorated to match their unique identities. The styles range from pastel to retro-American to eco-fashion—you’ll find all you need in this small district!
The café scene here is also booming. As with the shops, each café is designed to create a chill atmosphere so that you can relax and enjoy your food. Each café is themed so you can have fun finding one that suits your mood! However, the cafés are also quite small—so it would be best not to venture here with a huge group of friends! They are definitely better if you’re looking to relax with a couple of friends, or simply as a couple. And good news for the vegans and vegetarians—there are plenty of cafés here for you!
Our advice: if you want to find the coolest shops and hangouts, keep a keen eye out for small signs and signboards. The best places are often located in unusual places behind a single, heavy door with a narrow staircase!