下北沢 * Shimokitazawa

Here are some pictures from Shimokitazawa (where I bought the sweatshirt and shoes in the most recent blog entry). I spent a few hours just walking around and exploring the area. I really liked it. It feels laid back and has a lot of really interesting shops – especially second-hand stores.

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kind of a funny-sounding name, huh?

kind of a funny-sounding name, huh?

I really love the bikes everywhere

I really love the bikes everywhere

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getting ready for the holidays

getting ready for the holidays

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a smurf

a smurf

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a yarn shop. this discovery made my day.

a yarn shop. this discovery made my day.

he was singing a children's song in English. I recognized it but I don't remember how it goes...something about a bear...

he was singing a children's song in English. I recognized it but I don't remember how it goes...something about a bear.

this "garage" was full of cool little shops - portland saturday market/seattle street fair kind of stuff

this "garage" was full of cool little shops and a lot of street market kind of stuff

inside the garage

inside the garage

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Starbucks: ok, I feel the need to explain myself about this one, because (in seattle at least) I don’t particularly like Starbucks. Not that I have A LOT against it, I would just prefer to go to an independent shop or roaster – I think the coffee and the vibe are usually better at those places – and I LOVE going out for coffee in Seattle. But doing so is very different in Japan. Of course there are cool, off-beat looking cafes here and there, but in Japan, the language  and mannerisms used with customers are extremely polite (now matter how cool the place looks), which to me gives the atmosphere a sort of sterile or cold feeling. Get what I’m saying? Starbucks (and Tully’s), however, aside from the language, recreate EXACTLY the atmosphere at a starbucks in Seattle (well, I guess, anywhere in the world – ah globalization there you are again!). So the place has become, rather unexpectedly, my cure for homesickness. It’s the only place I’ve been to in Japan (other than costco, I guess!) that really feels like America. haha. go figure. So I sat in there for a while and read a couple of short stories by Murakami. It was a bit lonely but maybe one of the best days I have had in Japan. : )

10 responses to “下北沢 * Shimokitazawa

  1. A very cute neighborhood. I regret not discovering it early. Now if only the second hand shops’ goods were reasonably priced…

  2. I’m pretty sure it’s just the name of the album. I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason behind. I’d be confident in saying Dylan was high at the time. :)

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  4. You said you were excited to find the “puppy” yarn shop. Do you knit? I do not, but I ‘m interested in a craft that I understand originated in Japan. It’s called needle felting. Do you know of such a craft? People make animals, etc. with yarn that they punch, punch, punch with a needle to make it firm and add shape.

  5. Hi Kathy,
    I knit all the time! But my skills are limited to simple hats and scarves, hehe. I think I saw what you are talking about on tv the other day but I don’t know anything about it. Do you do needle felting? I’ve seen a few things in shops that are pretty cute.

  6. I ordered a couple of books online so I can hopefully learn to do needle felted animals. We’ll see how far I get with it but I LOVE it!

  7. I felt the same way about Starbucks while I was there…
    it was like my second home!
    But some people from local coffee shops here were like “Starbucks is bad!!!”

    My host sister always took me to cute little coffee shops. I love them!

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