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Shimo-Kitazawa

Shimo-Kitazawa Station (下北沢駅) is an interchange station on the Odakyu Odawara and the Keio Inokashira lines located in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward. The Odakyu section was opened on April 1, 1927, and the Keio section on August 1, 1933.

An unusual feature of Shimo-Kitazawa station is the use of a single ticket gate serving two independent lines and ticketing systems; this is a legacy of the Inokashira Line’s former ownership by Odakyu.

Shimokitazawa is a popular and fashionable area for people in their early twenties, and is particularly known for clothes shops, bars, and live theaters. The neighbourhood is tight-packed and almost impossible to navigate by car on crowded days due to the narrowness of the streets. By the North Exit of Shimokitazawa Station are the maze like alleys and shops of the Shyokuhin Ichiba which functioned as a black market post World War Two and for many years housed a wide range of stall-like eateries and bars. It is due to be demolished with the road improvement plans of Setagaya Ward.

Shimokitazawa Station is currently being renovated to bury the Odakyu Line tracks underground. This will help allieviate Shimokitazawa’s notorious train crossing congestion and allow for a second set of tracks. There are also plans to widen two of the streets in Shimokitazawa in order to improve congestion and plans to upgrade the station plaza to provide bus and better taxi access. Many residents and local businesses are against these ward proposals because they claim it will split Shimokitazawa in two and go against the general aesthetic of the area.