Hatagaya is a laid-back neighborhood between Shinjuku and Shimokitazawa.
Despite being located between the big and chaotic Shinjuku and the vintage artsy town of Shimokitazawa, the small neighborhood of Hatagaya retains its own personality.
Let’s take a look at where to go and what to do in Hatagaya in one day.
Spend a Day in Hatagaya
The Hatagaya area revolves around 3 main traditional shopping streets, called “shotengai” in Japanese: Rokugo Dori on the north side, Hatagaya Shotengai closer to the station, and Nishihara Dori on the southern side that connects to the Yoyogi area.
Sunday Bake Shop
Credits: Photo by Author
From the station, start walking north in the direction of rokugo dori and stop at “Sunday bake shop”, a bakery open from 7.30 AM to early afternoon every day (except Mondays).
Sunday Bake Shop is a super versatile pastry shop with a selection ranging from scones, to pound cakes, brownies, and cheesecakes in all flavors and combinations you can think of. The menu varies day by day, so if you want to have an idea of the day’s offerings – even though everything is absolutely delicious – check the shop’s official Instagram page to start drooling before even arriving.
The shop also has some seating space outside which is perfect for enjoying some of the sunny days coming ahead in May.
A little further down the road towards Yoyogi, sit down in the rustic environment of Paddlers for a coffee or two and a hot dog. The menu and the range of food options available are perfect for a pit stop after walking around the shotengai and the long and green pedestrian area that runs parallel to the train line.
The interior may have seen some renovations in design, but still, the spaciousness and cleanliness have guaranteed a special place in the heart of the locals who visit this sento regularly.
The price to get into the sento is 400 yen but be aware that no shampoo or body soap is provided, so bring your own or grab some at the closest convenience store.
Peppermint, lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, rose, and chamomile: the weekly herbs-infused herbal baths are very popular.
Oomura An Soba
Craving something more traditional for lunch? Stop by “Oomura an soba”, a soba shop which was established around the 1950s! It is open from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm: the perfect spot for a quick but nourishing lunch. You can find the traditional soba options, from zaru soba (perfect in summer) to soba with tempura or hot broth.
The most fascinating part is the interior, which has remained almost unchanged and will bring you back to that authentic Showa atmosphere.
Credits: Ella Records
Located on the southern side of Hatagaya, Ella Records opened in July 2016. The shop’s focus is on rock, jazz, soul, and Japanese music, but a bit of all genres are waiting to be discovered, including vintage records and overseas imports. The store has two listening areas by the windows, and the quiet and welcoming interior creates the perfect space to relax and look for new records.
The interior of wineshop flow is minimalist, clean and simple, with a clear wooden countertop, a large communal table with stools, and an eye-catching wine cellar at the back, which is visible from the bar area.
The shop specializes in natural wine both imported from abroad as well of domestic production. The choice can be overwhelming, but refer to the daily recommendations and do not hesitate to ask for help from the very knowledgeable and passionate staff.
You won’t get too tipsy due to the selection of snacks and small “otsumami” made in-house that pair well with the wine.
If after a glass of wine you still feel like hanging out for an hour or two – or until the morning – visit Forestlimit, an underground small bar/club located on the B1 floor a couple of minutes away from the northern side of Hatagaya station.
The club is very small and is home to some experimental music events, focused on rock, ambient, noise, and darker explorations of techno music.
The interior is dark and the volume of the music is not really conversation friendly but it is the perfect place to discover new music and get in the zone.
Check out their Instagram account for upcoming events.
Spend a Day in Hatagaya
If you haven’t visited Hatagaya yet, this is your sign to go and explore this quiet yet interesting neighbourhood in Shibuya ward.
- Off the Beaten Track in Shibuya: Yoyogi-Uehara
- Get Thrifting With These Hidden Gems in Shibuya
- Sunday in Shimokitizawa – a fantastic place for an afternoon out
Featured photo credit: Canva