The Tokyo hipster town Shimokitazawa – What you need to know about this indie music culture

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Music culture in Shimokitazawa

If you’ve done some research on which area to visit in Tokyo, you’ve probably heard of Shimokitazawa, the town of Tokyo subculture where all the hipsters gather. There are plenty of thrift stores filled with vintage clothes from the 70s-90s, and cozy cafes with great latte. However, Shimokitazawa is not complete without its music culture. It has long been known as the mecca for aspiring amateur and indie bands.

Shimokitazawa is filled with small “live house” which is a Japanese term used for live music clubs. Many of them hold music events every night where indie bands get to perform. So if you are looking for somewhere to enjoy live music in Tokyo, Shimokitazawa is the place. There are also many music bars and restaurants where you can dine and have conversations while listening to background music. However, if you are a hard core music lover, visiting a live house is more recommended. You will probably encounter a crowd of music lovers there with a common purpose; to enjoy music!

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The town isn’t only a place for these aspiring artists to perform at.

It’s also a place where they practice at. There are numbers of studios that you can use for a cheap price, and that is the major reason why so many bands gather in Shimokitazawa. This town is amateur-artist-friendly, and you’ll find out for yourself when you pay a visit, as people carrying instruments will constantly pass by you especially in the evening.

One other aspect of Shimokita (short for shimokitazawa; use this and you become one of the locals!) music culture: Vinyls. You can walk around the town to find tons of shops with vintage vinyls and even records released in recent years. Vinyls are perfect for souvenirs since it embodies both the vintage vibe and the vibrant music scene of Shimokita.

Shimokitazawa is only 3 minutes ride from Shibuya by Inokashira-line. So why not head out to the hipster music town at night to discover the cool subculture of Tokyo? If you are lucky enough, you might even get to see a live show of rockstars-yet-to-be.


written by

Sion Lee

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