Koenji is an amazing place that full of vintage/retro shops, individual cafes and unique designed shops. Honohono Cafe is the one I went to last time. There are still so many cool cafes that you can choose. There at least 5 on my plan to visit list so far at Koenji.
I cannot say how much Japanese people like western style shop and interior design. Most of the cafes are using kind of western inspired design, but you can still find one that contains traditional sense. I remembered once I saw a TV show that interviewed people why they like Japan. One of the guys said because there aren't electrical cables hanging outside. I actually never pay attention of that before I saw the TV show. Maybe because I grew up in Shanghai, so that is not special. But now I thought about London, it actually doesn't have those cables. I like when you looking into the sky, those cables are connected with each other make sky becomes some random shapes, as well as when a group of birds standing on it.
If you are a thrift clothing lover, Koenji can be your heaven. There are around 70 vintage/retro shops located around that area. Some of them might be expensive compared to others, but there also couple chain vintage shops there which you can find some very good piece for a reasonable price. Mode off and the 2nd street are two of them. I got a very classic vintage scarf from an individual vintage shop that only cost me 150 yen, as well as an autumn dress for 525 yen, which is a good bargain for buying clothes in Japan.
Koenji area is very different as those popular spots for tourists, such as Shibuya, Shinjuku etc. All those places usually have tall buildings and modern shopping centers. If you want to try some different experience, Koenji can be a good place. I like how those individual shop owners decorate their shop base on the original house structure. It did not like Omotesando that has more modern buildings. I think that is one of the reasons why I like those shops in Koenji.
Outside of some shops, they will display a local information map, it contains local event, famous restaurant, and a general map of Koenji area. If you aim is to find some vintage clothes, I highly recommended get that map once you see it, otherwise, you will definitely get lost, sometimes maybe good, you will never know. :D
It is a little bit far from where I live in Tokyo, by the time we arrived, it is already afternoon. Also, the weather is getting colder and colder, the time of sunlight is shorter than summer, we only managed to explore the north part of Koenji before it turns totally dark. There are so many shops that I planned to go but didn't make it. I want to try all the individual cafe there, and write about them.