Setagaya Shop Walk Part 2. Hidden gems!

3 years ago

Is the Setagaya area a hotbed of unique hidden shops?

Online shopping might be convenient but visiting brick and mortar stores can unveil and uncover hidden secrets and gems you would otherwise miss out on. Go Out helps to guide you around the best physical stores with our select tours.

The combination of Fridge’s Mr Kumazaka and Mr Yamane of FCE are continuing to guide us around the Shoita Shrine shopping district of Setagaya. Our first stop is a cozy little second hand book store that blends perfectly into the relaxed atmosphere of this shopping street.


【SHOP 3】nostos books

This second hand store mostly deals in books related to art and design. There are lots of rare books and hard to find hidden treasures giving it the feel of a select shop.

They both revealed that they are avid book fans and that’s what brought us to Nostos Books today. “I always stop by here whenever I’m in the area to check out their selection”.

It seems like this is Mr Yamane’s second time coming here. “Before I know it im always buying something, the used goods are really interesting”.

Sumio Kawakami『Alaska Story』  ¥16200

Mr Kumazaka paid attention to one book in particular, which is a collection of 70’s prints from artist Sumio Kawakami’s time spent in Alaska. The collection was limited to only 300 prints so it is truly a rare find.

“I’ve been getting really into prints lately. This is good news, as there is so much to choose from here”.

raregem×nostos books magazine bag ¥28080

Mr Yamane seemed very interested in the “movable bookshelf” concept magazine bag. Fitted with a short handle and another leather sub handle, you can freely move your book collection around the house. It’s also large enough to fit magazines and has the added convenience of a partition inside.

“I actually saw this item on instagram first and thought it looked interesting but this is my first time seeing it up close. I don’t really carry books around much but it seems a great fit for records too”.

“Introduction to the Science of Tools” was another book on Mr Kumazaka’s bucket list of books to purchase for today. It details the use of various tools throughout the ages from rudimentary traditional crafts to modern streetcars. The tea utensil handbook pictured also looks really useful and is in full color.

“I first got interested in tea ceremonies and tea culture because of the manga ‘Heugemono’ so I started collection various reference materials. This is perfect timing so I have to buy it!”

Mr Yamane who has also been a practicing musician for many years picked up a collection of poems by Bob Dylan with the orginal English text plus Japanese commentary included which was originally published in 1974.

“I love that this store has books like this available as well for casual reading when I’m travelling or on a plane”.

When going out shopping, it’s not only famous or clothing stores that can catch your attention but small boutiques selling generals wears and old books can lead you to interests and hobbies that you may not have realized you had. This is the joy of going to explore in real life rather than just shopping online.

After taking a short break out in front of the shop we moved onto our final destination on this tour to the Sakai area and the Nordisk Camp Supply Store by Route.


After a 15 minute car ride from the Shoin Shrine shopping district, we finally arrived at our last destination Nordisk Camp Supply Store by Route and outdoor goods shop in the Sakai district. Setagaya is a vast district of Tokyo and has many different flavors to sample so for the truest experience we recommend avoiding public transport and walking or cycling wherever possible.



This is actually an official concept store from the Nordic outdoor brand Nordisk and as such has a large selection of outdoor gear such as tents and other equipment. They also stock select brands from both Japan and overseas. The long awaited Kyoto store has also recently opened on the 31st of May 2019.

Mr Yamane is the owner of the store and Mr Kumazaka is a familiar face as he also lives in the local area. “I live close by so I often pop by to hang out. The gear available here is great but so is the coffee so I always end up staying longer than I originally planned!”.

Mr Kumazaka has recently started a family so Mr Yamane decided to introduce to him the best outdoor gear to enjoy summer family camping with his new young child.

Nordisk  Reisa 4

Among the recommended items is the Leisa 4 tent from key brand Nordisk which comes in a Japan only Coyote color.

“This tent is great for family camping trips. I have a family of 4 and it7s been great to use. It has 2 inner tents and also a living space so it’s really comfortable and convenient for family trips.

MOUNTAIN RESEARCH mesh parker ¥30240

Mr Kumazaka however seems to be drawn to a mesh parker from Mountain Research. It has the slogan embroidered on the bag and with a flower carry pocket. It excellently combines breathability and storage capacity.

“I actually bought this item for Fridge as well and it’s my favorite new item from this season. It might be a little out there in terms of style but I think it’s really cool”.

EAGLE PRODUCTS kettle 4L  ¥19440

“Seeing as I’m here I need to get myself some new outdoor camping gear” said Mr Kumazaka as he picked up a water kettle from Norwegian brand Eagle Products”.

“It’s got a simple design that really highlights its functionality. To be honest I don’t go camping all that often but I love outdoor equipment and cooking so I want to use it in my house.

BESTMADE Axe ¥54000〜¥62000

Moving on from the tent Mr Yamane next recommended the iconic long axe from New York based brand Best Made. A must have for all camping enthusiasts.

“They are all individually hand-made with small differences so it feels special owning your own. Many people just like to put them on display. Kuma, you spend a lot of time in Hokkaido these days so you could use a good axe right haha?”.


“Setagaya is a town you can find items you wouldn’t get anywhere else.”

As we drink a coffee on the terrace of Nordisk Camp Supply Store by Route we reflected back on some of the stores that we had visited.

“We visited Kamimachi, Shoin Shrine and Sakai but they all have a really different atmosphere don’t they? I’ve always thought of it as an easy to live place but there’s lots hidden gems to find too. There are so many unique and individual shops to find when you take the time to explore”. (Mr Kumazaka)

“I suppose if you don’t live in Setagaya then you probably wouldn’t walk around it much but today we visited so many cool places it was really a lot of fun. I definitely want to do another walking tour around Setagaya again”. (Mr Yamane)

On our tour of Setagaya we happened across some great outdoor stores but also unexpected treasures like the old book shop. It seems to have reaffirmed both of their love for the place they live and shows the benefits of taking time to explore the area you have lived for a long time.

Photo/Dai Yamamoto