Shimokitazawa Thrift Shopping Guide
Thrift shopping in Tokyo has exploded in popularity in recent years. This means that now you can find hundreds of second hand shops across the city, but also that demand has also increased the prices for these pre-loved clothes. Considering fast fashion is one of the bigger strains on the environment, it is more important than ever to turn towards more environmentally friendly finds.
Thrift shopping is a great alternative to fast fashion, and it means you can have a completely unique wardrobe. For me personally, thrift shopping has always been a source of therapy and I love the creativity that is necessary to imagine how these pre-worn clothes can be used. It can be difficult though in Tokyo to find the balance between style and price.
Some of the best neighborhoods to find the top second hand stores include Shimokitazawa, Koenji, Kichijoji, and Harajuku’s backstreets. Since I am partial to Shimokitazawa due to the fact that it is my neighborhood, I am going to share some of my favorite spots that I usually hit up when looking for the perfect piece to add to my closet.
Considering there are well over 30 used clothing stores in Shimokitazawa, this could be quite the long list. Of course everyone’s personal style varies greatly, but the following list includes my absolute favorites, and where I think you get the best value for your money.
Treasure Factory has loads of locations across Japan, and actually two stores in Shimokitazawa alone. One of them is smaller and mostly designer, so I usually stick to the larger one. The trick to shopping at thrift stores in Japan is that the designer, expensive pieces are all on the bottom floor or at the front of the shop. Head to the back or go upstairs and all of the items instantly become more affordable.
Treasure Factory is the first thrift store I started shopping at in Japan because it really is quite cheap if you know how to browse. I have gotten most of my sweaters here, including a super rad cow and watermelon sweater, and none of them have been more than a thousand yen! Some of my staple pieces also have been a steal from TreFac, like a pleather trench for only 3000 yen.
There are also always sales at TreFac, so you can even get items for around 300 to 500 yen if you’re lucky. This is definitely not one to miss when you are looking to fill up your wardrobe with cheaper and sustainable pieces. TreFac has a lot of quality brands that you would usually pay top price for, but if you are still interested in fast fashion brands without directly contributing to them, they do also have Zara and H&M items.
Bonus: I always bring my unwanted clothes to TreFac to sell! Check out what type of items they are looking for here!
Stick Out really defies the whole “expensive thrift store” image Japan currently has by selling every item in the store for only 700 yen. There are currently three Stick Out locations across Shimokitazawa, and I believe all of them stand by this 700 yen principle except one of them has a few pieces that are a bit more expensive.
Stick Out is definitely not going to be carrying any modern brands, so if you are into vintage clothes this is the place for you. There are walls of colorful blouses, skirts and sweaters. This would really be the place if you were looking to add some more color or style to your typical professional wear. I love getting a crazy patterned blouse from here and pairing it with nice pants or a skirt. I think it definitely kicks up your outfit a notch!
Kinji is one of the more pricey shops that you can come across in Shimo. I do like it however, because it does have quality items. I usually only will pick up a dress here or a sweater if I really like it though, because most of the clothes are in the 3000 yen range. Also, most of the clothes here are also vintage finds. There is also cute, locally made jewelry and accessories that you can purchase here!
Chicago is a staple thrift shop of the trendy neighborhoods, and for good reason. It has loads of street wear pre-loved items. If you’re looking for a graphic shirt or sweater, hop on over here for the wildest selection. Again, you are going to be looking at prices of around 3000 yen and up, but it will definitely be items you are not going to find elsewhere.
Bazz Store actually has multiple locations across Shimokitazawa. I like Bazz Store because they have high quality brand products at much lower prices. I have found many pairs of pants that fit me perfectly and were a quarter of the price I would have paid buying them new. Also, the condition of the clothing here has always been top notch so I feel like it’s worth it.
Little Trip To Heaven
Little Trip to Heaven is my absolute favorite shop in Shimokitazawa. It sells exclusively vintage clothing, and its prices are steep to say the least. But it has by and far the cutest items. Also, it definitely going to be on par with the typical “Shimokitazawa style”. Lots of layered blouses, sweaters, and camisoles plus the cutest dresses. I usually save up and treat myself to a special item from here if I can’t stop thinking about it.
Second Street is a two floor shop in Shimokitazawa but it has lots of locations across Japan. This is one of my favorite second hand stores because it always has large amounts of product and it also is fairly priced if you head to the cheaper sections.
It is not strictly vintage pieces, but there are a few sections where you can buy them here. Also, I usually actually browse through the front of the store as well because I have found some pretty great deals on designer brands here.
New York Joe Exchange
New York Joe Exchange is definitely not one to leave off your list of Shimo spots. It screams trendy and unique as soon as you see it! I adore this shop, and usually don’t leave empty handed. It is a great place to find a one of a kind piece that your wardrobe needs. No one else is going to have anything else like it, I swear. It is also not going to come cheap, but I am a firm believer in having some eccentric articles in one’s closet.
Mode Off is from the “Off” store chain such as Hard Off, Book Off, etc., and it is usually known to be lesser quality and cheaper items, but truly the one in Shimokitazawa is pretty classy. It has to be, it’s in one of the trendiest parts of Tokyo!
Mode Off tends to be on the cheaper side of the thrift stores, but being in Shimokitazawa I find the prices higher here than the other ones. This also means the clothes are usually higher quality though, so it’s definitely worth a visit in my opinion!
Toyo Department is basically a warehouse full of 10+ little vintage, second hand and homemade accessory shops. It is the perfect place to stop at to find unusual and one of a kind gifts or items for yourself. A few of the shops are very reasonably priced, while some others have higher price tags. It is definitely worth it to check it out. It feels like you are walking through an art exhibit as well!
If you’re hungry and in Shimokitazawa, why not stop at Universal Bakes or Westside Cafe. They both have plenty of vegan options! Read about our recommendation for West Side Cafe here! What are your favorite spots to go thrift shopping at? Have you found Tokyo more or less expensive than other cities for second hand clothes?
Let us know in the comments below!
Happy shopping! Xoxo Jackie