Shimokitazawa (下北沢 Shimokitazawa?) is a district in Setagaya, Tokyo and is usually considered to be one of Tokyo's hippest neighborhoods among young people. The atmosphere and fashion is similar to the more popular Harajuku, but is usually less crowded and has a much more laid-back atmosphere. It consists of the neighborhood immediately surrounding Shimo-Kitazawa Station, where the Odakyu Electric Railway and Keio Inokashira Lines intersect. Also known as "Shimokita", the district is a center for stage theater and live music venues. It is home to the historic Honda Gekijō theater building. With its numerous cafes, unique fashion and music outlets, Shimokitazawa is popular with students and young people.
In 2004, the Setagaya City Council released a plan to redevelop a large section of the city, including the construction of several high rise buildings, and extending Route 54 across the city. The streets are very narrow and highly intersected, with many small alleyways. Because many residents and visitors consider this to be part of the charm of Shimokitazawa, some controversy surrounds the development plan.
- Save the Shimokitazawa
- "Splitting a Hip Neighborhood, in More Ways Than One" by Martin Fackler, The New York Times, October 1, 2006.
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