Shimokitazawa Station 下北沢駅
Shimokitazawa Station in Setagaya ward, Tokyo, serves two intersecting lines: the overland Keio Inokashira Line connecting to Shibuya Station, and the underground Odakyu Odawara Line connecting to Shinjuku Station and to the Chiyoda Subway Line.
Shimokitazawa, which the station serves, is a colorful, pedestrian-friendly alley-lined area of mainly vintage clothing stores, cafes, stage theaters and live music venues, home to an alternative counterculture vibe.
Shimokitazawa Station is one of Tokyo's messiest stations, littered with prefabricated structures and temporary passageways - the result of ongoing construction work in the immediate vicinity for what will eventually be a highway extension running through the Shimokitazawa area.
Shimokitazawa Station dates from 1927, with the opening of the Odakyu Line. It became a station on what is now called the Inokashira Line five years later, in 1933.
In 2013, the stretch of the Odakyu Odawara Line between the stations either side of Shimokitazawa Station was put underground.
Odakyu Odawara Line
The Odakyu Odawara Line runs underground at Shimokitazawa Station and is three levels down, accessible by escalators and elevators.
Although Shimokitazawa Station is the seventh station on the Odakyu Odawara Line starting from Shinjuku Station, for most of the day most trains that stop here are express trains - at least 10 every hour - making Shimokitazawa just two stops (8 minutes) from Shinjuku Station. Even a local train from Shinjuku to Shimokitazawa takes only 10 minutes.
The Odakyu Odawara Line also joins to the Chiyoda Subway Line at Yoyogi-Uehara Station (two stations from Shimokitazawa in the Shinjuku direction), connecting Shimokitazawa directly to areas such as big beautiful Yoyogi Park (Yoyogi-koen Station), funky fashionable Harajuku and and the big, forested Meiji Shrine (Meiji-jingumae Station), and Japan's center of power, the National Diet Building (Kokkai-gijido-mae Station), to name a few.
In the other direction, the Odawara Line runs all the way west to its namesake city of Odawara with its big Odawara Castle.
Trains going in the Shinjuku direction start at about 5am, with the last train at about half past midnight. Trains going in the Odawara direction start at 5:10am, with the last train at about 1am.
Keio Inokashira Line
The Keio Inokashira Line runs east-west above ground through Shimokitazawa Station, dividing Shimokitazawa into north and south halves, and making a bottleneck of the station for getting from one half to the other.
The Keio Inokashira Line starts at Shibuya Station, 3km east. Shimokitazawa Station is four stations on from Shibuya Station, just a 3-minute ride on an express train leaving from platform 1 or 2 of Keio Shibuya Station, on the second floor of the Shibuya Mark City commercial building. Cost of journey: 130 yen (or 124 yen with a prepaid IC smartcard).
The final stop west on the Keio Inokashira Line is Kichijoji with its big Inokashira Park after which the line is named.
Trains going in the Shibuya direction start at 4:49am, with the last train at 32 minutes past midnight. Trains going in the Kichijoji direction start at 5:06am, with the last train departing Shimokitazawa at 51 minutes past midnight.