Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tokyo Day 8- Shimokitazawa or bust!

I can't believe I've put off going to Shimokita for a week. Not because I don't love it, it's definitely one of my favorite neighborhoods. Before leaving the apartment as I was posting my last post, I felt things shaking in my apartment not enough to register immediately as earthquake, I thought "wow the wind is sure strong out today". The window usually shakes from the wind but I realized my desk and cup of tea were trembling. At that point my brain realized what was going on and I jumped up grabbed my cell phone, passport and wallet, threw on my coat and was running for the door. I was in a bad earthquake in Greece over ten years ago and it was terrifying. The one thing I learned standing in the doorway of an old building will probably get you hurt so get out of the building fast. I finally calmed down enough to realize that it was just a tremor ,but I quickly convinced myself that I freaked out for nothing and that it was probably the strong winds. When I posted my reaction on Facebook my good friend, John, informed me that there was in fact a very large earthquake in Honshu which is pretty far from Tokyo so we did feel a tremor. Panic for a second, take a breath, move on. I'm here for another 21 days so no sense in freaking out. I grabbed my cameras and bag and headed for the station. On the way to the station I walked down a block in my neighborhood that I hadn't seen yet and I met two long haired chiwas working in a store called Belage, and the older woman who's dogs they were was tickled that I love d her dogs. They were ridiculously adorable and friendly. I think the chiwa has become the official dog of Japan because they're everywhere!

Then I took the train to Shibuya and switched for the Keio Inokashira line, which was an insane transfer at Shibuya station, it showed me the magnitude of the size of Shibuya station. I arrived in Shimokitazawa and I had to make the very important decision of north exit or south. I went out the south then backtracked to the north. I walked around just wandering into different stores. First one one I went into was a Little Trip to Heaven an amazing vintage store, I've never seen such a huge fine collection of vintage clothing, everything looked new. There was beautiful stuff from the 60's and 70's. The place had loft ceilings so the clothing went up to the ceiling. I have to go back to this place. It's next to Lotty another vintage store that was closed today that I would like to visit.

More things I saw on my walk around. This store was all lacy pretty things.

Okay Marble Sud is one of my favorite Japanese brands and this is their store in Shimokita. They always have great prints.

The last time I was in Japan and I waked through Shimokita I fell in love with Marble Sud and this vintage housewares and furniture store, A.M.A Store. They have some of the best mid-century , 60's and 70's housewares, and at relatively decent prices. I really want to get the Seiko alarm clock in red or yellow for our bedroom. I wish I could bring a lamp back.

After all that shopping with my eyes, my belly started to grumble so I went in search of a cafe that I read about but it proved to be difficult to find in the twisty streets of Shimokitazawa. I got frustrated and gave up and settles on Deli and Baking, I decent enough self-serve cafe. The only self-service really is that you place your ordered at the counter and you bus your own table. I had an ice pink lemonade (they give you the option of hot pink lemonade, blech!) with a pesto chicken sandwich. As with all chicken in Japan it's always hit or miss, because they don't discriminate on the parts you are eating, so it was a little gamy.

After lunch I cleaned my palate and stuffed my face with a crepe filled with whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate!

After gorging myself on whipped cream I strolled into this market, kinda like a fleamarket, but with vintage, new,and zakka (handmade wares and crafting supplies).

The last store I went to is on the other side of the tracks and it's Bana Bana, they have a lot of housewares and zakka. I met a precious pomerian named Puddin' at the store, I had spied him while we were all crossing the tracks and his mom showed up at Bana Bana to my pleasant surprise and I got to talk to this little fuzz ball. Can you tell I miss my dogs.

On the way home I stopped at the transfer point in Shibuya to take a pic of the famous Shibuya crossing. Then home to relax before going off to my delicious yakitori dinner at Kushiwakamaru in Nakameguro.

Getting there:
Take the Odayu line or the Keio Inokashira line to Shimokitazawa station.

Marble Sud:
2-27-11 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0031
phone# 03-3481-6001

AMA Store:
3-34-2 Kitazawa Setagaya-ku.
phone# 03-3466-8530

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