Want a funky and inexpensive evening of bar hopping and live music? Shimo-kitazawa is my favorite place to find decent food, eccentric bars, excellent craft beer, and awesome music in places so small, you’ll feel like you’re part of the performance
But first, let’s go to the bunny café. For about ¥1000, we can go into the back room where all kinds of rabbits are roaming freely, and pet them as much as we like. They’re surprisingly friendly (especially compared to the aloof denizens of the various Tokyo cat cafés). Afterwards, let’s return to the restaurant area to enjoy the coffee/tea included in our visit.
After we wander around looking into all the fun shops, we’ll be ready for some food-bevs and entertainment. There are sidewalk signs pointing the way up to bars and eateries on the upper floors along all the streets and alleys. Unlike the tiny bars in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai, in Shimo-kita the places without live music usually don’t have a cover charge. Plus, they’re more relaxed about welcoming non-Japanese as well as locals. It’s unlikely you’ll find anyone who speaks English, but it’s not really necessary – eating, drinking & merrymaking are a universal language.
Read a novel set in Tokyo