Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tokyo - Shimokitazawa

Was initially going to go to Kyoto today. But we missed the 10am subway plus I've managed to catch some kind of cold. So not feeling that great. So ended up going somewhere a bit closer in the afternoon.

Read a blurb on Shimokitazawa in the free 'Tokyo Pocket Guide Spring 2005' and it sounded interesting. It read: "This trendy artistic area has a maze of small shops and restaurants. It's a popular hub for young people and creative types. The station is only 1 express stop from Shibuya (Inokashira line) and 2 express stops from Shinjuku (Odakyu line).

So we managed to catch the express train. We got out and had a look around. Very market stall feel, almost Paddy's market style for a lot of it. It was on a much more intimate scale, rather than the mega storey department stores in the Ginza district etc. So there were a couple of blocks of this.

But only came across a couple of designy type shops. But then waited to cross a railway crossing and then we hit the 'design' shops. That part was pretty cool!! Kind of a mixture of Paddington, Newtown and Glebe. Some really cool innovative designy tshirts, cool arty illustration cards, modern architecture, cafes, jazz clubs, custom leather handbag shops, and some vintage clothing shops, collectable toy shops and more. It seemed to extend for a few blocks. Only had time to go down a couple of streets then got sidetracked round somewhere else, then somehow made our way to another exit of the station. Feeling pretty tired by this time and cough getting worse again. So decided to head back to Aoyama.

Was initially going to try to make it to Daikanyama as well which is meant to be an up-and-coming fashion area. But ran out of time. Keen to check out the emerging Japanese design scene over here if we get a chance. Seen bits of it so far.

Got a few boxes of: veggie curry and rice, chicken katsu pieces, and some vegie noodles ready to zap in the microwave and share.

Watched 'SWAT' last night on dvd. Some action, some jokes. Predictable but moved at at a good pace.