Setagaya (世田谷) is in western Tokyo, and is the largest of the city's 23 wards.
Setagaya has a reputation as an upscale residential district, and features many areas of greenery. The funky shopping and nightlife area of Shimokitazawa (下北沢), which is popular with students and young adults, is also located in Setagaya. The Sangenjaya (三軒茶屋) shopping district is also in Setagaya.
Shimokitazawa is on the Odakyu and Keio Inokashira train lines, just a quick hop from Shinjuku and Shibuya respectively. Most of the action is around the South Exit.
Sangenjaya is on the Tokyu Den-en-Toshi train line from Shibuya.
Komazawa-Daigaku is on the Tokyu Den-en-Toshi train line and near Sangenjaya. Komazawa University is a few minutes from the station.
The main train lines serving Setagaya are the Odakyu from Shinjuku to Odawara and the Keio Inokashira, Tokyu Toyoko, and Tokyu Denentoshi, all originating in Shibuya. Since all of these lines run generally westward from hubs on the Yamanote line, it can be somewhat difficult to travel north-south without going in to a hub and back out.
The Tokyu Setagaya line between Sangenjaya and Shimo-takaido is one of only two remaining streetcar lines in Tokyo.
- Carrot Tower (キャロットタワー). This is the tallest building in Setagaya and contains a free observation deck on the 26th floor.
- Gotokuji Temple (豪徳寺), (take Odakya line to Gotokuji station or Setagaya line to Miyanozaka station). The origin of the maneki-neko or beckoning-cat statuettes that bring good fortune to Japanese merchants the world over.
- Kinuta Koen (砧公園）). A public park with a museum of modern art.
- Komazawa Olympic Koen, (about a 15-minute walk from Komazawa-Daigaku station on the Tokyu Den-en-Toshi train line). A large public park, built for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
- Setagaya Art Museum, (17-minute walk from Yoga Station on the Den-en Toshi Line). Houses works by artists from the Primitivist School, such as Henri Rousseau.
- Tamagawa Daishi (玉川大師), (get off at Futako-Tamagawa on the Tokyu Den-en-Toshi Line (from Shibuya), and walk 10 minutes along the highway from Takashimaya department store). A Buddhist temple, and a branch of Kawasaki Daishi. It isn't very large and the location is in a nondescript residential area, but its curious attraction is hidden: an underground passageway that snakes its way under the building. There are statues and altars with lighting at various points, but much of the tunnel is in absolute darkness. It symbolizes a passage through the intestines of the Buddha (better not to dwell too much on the symbolism!) while the 88 Buddha statues in one of the chambers also symbolize the famous 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Shikoku.
- Todoroki Keikoku, (take Tokyu Ooimachi line to Todoroki station). A natural canyon nestled in urban surroundings. With a small river and lush vegetation, it offers a pleasant natural environment.
- Setagaya Koen, Ikejiri 1-5-27. A public park with a pool, tennis courts, baseball grounds and so on. There is a mini steam train and a retired full-size steam locomotive for children to play on.
- Tollywood, Daizawa 5-32-5 2F (Three minutes from Shimokitazawa south exit), ☎ 03-3414-0433, . This small theater (46 seats) specializes in independent short films, mostly Japanese. The films aren't dubbed or subtitled of course, but they're so offbeat and often bizarre that you're sure to have a good time anyway.
- Okuraland, Sakura 3-24-1 (5 minutes from Kamimachi station of Tokyu-Setagaya line), ☎ 03-3420-0271. Here you can go bowling or practice your golf swing. There are also batting cages.
- Shimokitazawa. Has many quirky shops.
- Ex. Sells artistic designed stuff like photo stands, postcards, clocks, accessories and so on.
- Yellow Pop. Carries an eclectic and well-stocked inventory of vinyl including punk, reggae, electronic, and hip-hop.
- Setagaya Boro-Ichi (世田谷ボロ市), (take the Setagaya line to Setagaya or Kamimachi and follow the crowds). A flea market that's held on the 15th and 16th of December and January each year. It's been drawing shoppers from all over Tokyo since it started in 1578. The main attraction is used clothing (such as kimonos) and antiques.
- Dept. A good spot for used men's and women's clothes.
- Haight & Ashbury, kitazawa2-37-2, ☎ 03-5453-4690, . Vintage clothes for girls. The interior decorations are very cute.
- Warszawa Records, 2-33-11 Kitazawa, Nozaki Building 2F (http://www.warszawa.jp/shopinfo/index.html), ☎ 03-3467-1997, . 13:00 to 22:00. For the best in deep underground/minimal wave/heavy vibes/freak folk goodness, check out Warszawa Records, possibly Tokyo's best underground record store. Stocking Night People, Sacred Bones, Mexican Summer, NNF and much much more.
Shimokitazawa is your best option for restaurants and bars.
- Buon Sangue (世田谷区太子堂), 4-20-7 B1F, ☎ +81 03-3411-7776. Excellent italian traditional restaurant, with several different type of pasta, meat, fish. Wood-oven made pizza is available on the ground floor.
- BOTERO, Komazawa 1-17-17, ☎ +81 03-3410-5922. Regular holiday is Tuesday.
- Cheese Cake Factory, Yo-ga 4-28-18, ☎ +81 03-5716-5401. 10AM-8PM. Just what it says: it's a cheese cake shop.
- Dining cafe Tsunami, 〒154-0012 Komazawa 1-3-1 (a few minutes from Komazawa station), ☎ +81 03-3424-0273. 11:30AM-1PM lunch only. Hawaiian food restaurant near Komazawa Station.
- KURA, at Yutenji, with others at Gotanda, Shibuya, Nakameguro, and Yotsuka-ichi-shi. This is an Italian restaurant - pasta, risotto, pizza, etc. All menu items are very inexpensive.
- La Befana, 5-31-3 Daita (30 second walk from Shimokitazawa West Exit), ☎ +81 03-3411-9500. Daily noon-2PM, 5:30PM-10:30PM. Good pizza from wood-fired stone oven, something you will be missing if you are staying for a long time in Japan. The lunch menu is excellent.
- Mother, Daizawa 5-36-14 (3 min from Shimokitazawa South Exit, on the corner just before Gyoza-no-Osho), ☎ +81 03-3421-9519. Multi-ethnic food and an interesting selection of imported beers, in a cave-like, Gaudi-inspired setting. Make sure you have time to kill, as the kitchen works at a rather leisurely pace.
- Patisserie NAOKI, Komazawa 1-4-12 1F, ☎ +81 03-3422-3167.
- Setagaya, Nozawa 2-1-2 1F, ☎ +81 03-3418-6938. 11AM-2:30PM and 6PM-3AM (closed Th). A famous ramen restaurant.
- Sunday Brunch, Kitazawa 2-29-2 2F, ☎ +81 03-5453-3366, . The French toast is very tasty.
- Trocadero, Kitazawa 3-30-3 (North exit), ☎ +81 03-3476-1991. Trocadero is an authentic French bistro. How authentic? The entire store was brought over from France.
- 31 Ice Cream - Baskin Robbins. Ice cream shop that has many flavors. Discounts on the 31st of each month.
- Mois Cafe, Kitazawa 2-21-26, ☎ +81 03-3421-1844, . A seasonal menu, and very tasty.
- Village Vanguard, Asagayakita 2-13-4, . 11:30AM-2AM. Hamburger shop that has many kind of very delicious hamburgers. ¥660.
- Kura Kura (蔵くら), 2-20-19 Kitazawa (One minute walk from Shimokitazawa station south exit), ☎ +81 03-5433-2323, . Tu-F 5PM-11:30PM, Sa-Su 4PM-11:30PM, closed M. Kura Kura has an excellent selection of beers from Japanese microbreweries served on tap, such as Swan Lake in Niigata and Sanktgallen in Kanagawa. They also have a wide selection of bottled beers, such as offerings from Baird Brewing Company in Shizuoka and Fuji Sakura Kogen in Yamanashi. Some food is also served - try the sausage and beer sampler set for ¥1000.
- Ushi-Tora, 2-9-3 Kitazawa, ☎ +81 03-3485-9090, . Daily 5PM-4AM. Seemingly in direct competition to Kura Kura, Ushi-Tora also offers a wide selection of Japanese and U.S. microbrews on tap.
- The B Sangenjaya, 2-17-9 Taishido (Two minute walk from Sangenjaya station North Exit A on Tokyu Denentoshi Line, two minute walk from Sangenjaya station on Tokyu Setagaya Line), ☎ +81 03-3795-0505 ([email protected], fax: +81 03-3419-0690), . A business style hotel convenient to transport.