Thrift shopping is my favorite kind of shopping so you can imagine how excited I was when I read about Shimokitazawa.
If you didn’t already know, Shimokitazawa is pretty much a treasure trove for all things vintage and second hand. Hippie vibes are everywhere. From suede blazers to bell-bottom jeans from the 60’s, this place is the place to be if you’re looking for something that’s one of a kind.
Step into Toyo Hyakkaten (also known as Oriental Department Store) and you’ll already be reaching for your wallet. Located in a container-like structure, this place is a bit of an organized mess – you can straight away see when you enter that the bright colors, patterns and floral prints are all thrown together, creating something magical. You’ll see customers rummaging through the racks of clothes or looking up and down the stalls to find something that is meant for them. Speaking from experience, it is such a good feeling when you find something you love that actually fits you because after all, there is only one of whatever you’re holding in the entire stall.
Not all things here are second hand. You can also find unique hand-made jewellery, phone accessories and bags here. From delicate necklaces to chunky statement pieces, this place is just filled with trinkets of all sorts.
Just when you think that this place only has clothes and accessories for girls, let me tell you that that’s not true. Toyo Hyakatten also caters for its male shoppers and has stalls that sell things like band t-shirts to second hand Doc Martens boots.
Unlike some of the other thrift stores in Shimokitazawa, one of the best things about Toyo Hyakkaten is that the prices are reasonable. I bought myself a floral chiffon blouse with pearl-like buttons and I have to say, it’s possibly one of the prettiest blouses I now own – and for such a reasonable price!
Inside Toyo Hyakatten are 22 independent stalls. It’s about a six minute walk away from Shimokitazawa Station so drop by if you’re looking for that quirky special gift for yourself or for anyone you know because I truly think there’s something here for everyone.