Fancy exploring the Shimokitazawa bars scene? If you’re into indie, chill, and laid-back vibes, Shimokitazawa will swiftly become your go-to Tokyo neighbourhood. In this blog post, we list down the top underground bars and nightlife spots for a night out in Shimokitazawa.

Just a hop away from both Shibuya and Shinjuku, Shimokita (as it’s affectionately known to its hipster followers) truly has it all. From trendy cafes to cosy music bars, vintage clothing shops to record stores, music venues to theatres, and even shisha cafes, Shimokita offers a diverse array of options alongside its undeniable charm.

Whether you’re drawn to Shimokita for its art, fashion, food, or music, the district’s unique atmosphere never fails to impress, so don’t hesitate to venture a little deeper into its narrow streets. Join the hip local crowd for a cup of Joe or a few glasses of quality liquor. Day or night, Shimokita is a wellspring of surprises and creative inspiration.

Before you get lost in the streets of Shimokitazawa, check out our recommendations below!

Find out more about the different Japanese drinks, Japanese beers, the special strong zero you can get in Japan and how to prepare for a night out in Tokyo. Want to check out more bar recommendations in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Akihabara, Asakusa, Nakano, Shimokitazawa and Koenji.

One of the best ways to explore Tokyo is to visit the local areas and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you want to explore local areas, we have created scavenger hunt adventures personalised to your interests, filled with fun facts, clues and puzzles. If you’re curious, you can check out the games here!

Check out the Flip Japan Games here!

Shimokitazawa Bars You Really Must Check Out

Good Vibes Bar

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Shimokitazawa Good Vibes Bar

Good Vibes Bar stands out when it comes to enjoying drinks in Shimokitazawa. Bars aren’t just spots to sip and while away time; we head to them seeking entertainment—or to snag a cool pic for Instagram! This bar delivers on both counts with its quirky decor. Despite DC and Marvel being rival companies, they team up here to fashion a neon wonderland of action figures and pop culture goodies. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill drinking spot!

Knock On Wood

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Shimokitazawa Knock On Wood
Photo by KNOCK ON WOOD from Tabelog

Tucked away on the second floor, this snug and unpretentious bar awaits. The owner, a genial elderly gentleman, is more than happy to whip up any drink from their extensive menu. With top-notch drinks and an intimate atmosphere, you can settle in here for the long haul—whether alone or with a small group!

A Sign Bar 

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Shimokitazawa A Sign Bar

You might be puzzled by the sign outside declaring the bar authorised for U.S. forces. Since the end of WWII, U.S. armed forces have been stationed on Japanese soil, and in the past, servicemen could only patronise establishments with such signs. A Sign Bar was one of them.

Given that most U.S. forces in Japan are in Okinawa, the bar appropriately carries an Okinawa theme. Seashells and other oceanic props adorn the place, and most importantly, they serve the delicious and potent Okinawan liquor, awamori, stored in traditional Japanese jars lined up on the bar, each displaying the liquor’s age and alcohol content. Dip into this little slice of paradise!

Sosanji Bar

Top 5 unique & underground bars to drink in Shimokitazawa Sosanji Bar
Photo by Bar Sosanji from Facebook

Open since 2012, Sosanji offers a modern twist on the traditional “bar”—boasting an impressive alcohol selection, chic interior, and relaxed vibe, it gives you the best of both worlds. If you’re into the classy and sophisticated side of Shimokitazawa nightlife, this is your spot.

Expect top-notch customer service akin to more high-end bars; the owner is well-versed in what he’s serving and ensures the music matches the night’s vibe! Oh, and if you’re a G&T fan, you absolutely must give this place a go!

Navigating Shimokitazawa’s Eclectic Bar Landscape

In Shimokitazawa, the bar scene offers a diverse array of experiences, from quirky and vibrant to cosy and intimate. Each establishment brings its own unique flavour to the table, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in the eclectic atmosphere of this bustling neighbourhood. Whether you’re seeking entertainment, a quiet corner to unwind, or a taste of local culture, Shimokitazawa bars have something for everyone.

So, grab your friends and explore the vibrant tapestry of Shimokitazawa nightlife—it’s sure to leave you with memories to cherish and stories to share for years to come. Cheers to good times and unforgettable experiences in Shimokitazawa!

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