Source : www.tourist-note.com
From fashion accessories to hand-knit garments, many Japanese love making their own handicrafts and there are a range of stores catering to all their needs. Some are dedicated to one specific product, while others are multi-level department stores with everything you could imagine when it comes to arts and crafts. Many feature textiles and paper with Japanese motifs and patterns, making them an interesting place for not only handicraft fans to shop, but also tourists looking for a unique souvenir.
So if you’re looking to get creative, here are five of Japan’s best handicraft stores to inspire you.
Yuzawaya is one of the largest craft and hobby chain stores in Japan, with its first store opening way back in 1955 in Kamata, Tokyo. It now boasts more than 60 branches nationwide, earning it the reputation that “if Yuzawaya doesn’t have it, you’re not going to find it anywhere”. There’s almost every imaginable handicraft and fabric item on sale here, together with stationery and art supplies such as calligraphy and paint brushes.
Yuzawaya is also famed for its iconic sheep clock which decorates the front of each store and plays music to welcome customers inside. They offer free classes (Japanese language only) in different craft activities, which work on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s a great way to learn new skills then have all of the materials available to purchase at your fingertips.
Address: EKIMISE Asakusa, 1 Chome-4-1 Hanakawado, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0033, Japan
Opening hours: 10am to 8pm daily
Set over seven floors and with around 500,000 items, Shinjuku’s Okadaya is the ultimate destination for haberdashery enthusiasts, with everything from buttons and beads to wigs, theatrical costumes, and cosmetics. You can stock up on knitting supplies or shop for traditional Japanese textiles, with the help of the store’s cosplay consultants.
Okadaya is a popular shopping destination for students from the nearby fashion design schools, while some of the city’s top designers can also sometimes be spotted in its aisles. In addition to the main Shinjuku branch, there’s also a second Okadaya store in Machida.
Address: 3 Chome-23-17 Shinjuku, 新宿区 Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0022, Japan
Opening hours: 10:30am to 8:30pm
Avanti is dedicated to high-quality, organic cotton products which are exclusively made in Japan (although the cotton itself is imported from Texas). They pride themselves on knowing where, when, and by whom their organic cotton is made and they guarantee that it is not genetically modified or supporting child labour, and no chemical agents are used in its production.
Their original cotton brand has been dubbed “Pristine” and is created without any harmful dyes, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. They produce both cotton yarns and more than 1,000 different kinds of organic cotton fabrics for customers to purchase and transform into their own organic cotton items. Sales are made through their website where you can have all your questions answered and request custom-designed products.
Address: Ninomiya building 4F, Daikyo-cho 31, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo prefecture
Opening hours: Shop online at https://avantijapan.co.jp/en/
Keito is the Japanese word for “knitting wool” and this shop in Asakusabahi is dedicated to all things “yarn”! It imports yarn from studios across the world, with a staggering range on hand offering some really special and unique kinds.
They sell both balls of knitting wool and a few ready-made items like scarves and beanies, with lots to inspire your next creation. Their staff are really experienced in keitoand have great knowledge about what is in-stock and perfect for your needs.
Address: 3-5-4-1F Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0053 JAPAN
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm (except Mondays)
Kiwa Seisakujo 貴和製作所
With ten shops in the Tokyo area and one in Osaka, Kiwa Seisakujo specializes in handmade accessories, as well as tool kits to help you make your own creations. Swarovski crystals and Czech-cut glass are among their most sought-after products, together with all the items you need to create beautiful accessories.
They have short training courses where you can learn the basics of making different accessories, although many of these fill up quickly so you should book in advance. If you’re looking for a Kiwa Seisakujo store, head to Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi or Lumine 2 shopping mall.
Address: 1 Chome-1-2 Oshiage, 墨田区 Tokyo 131-0045, Japan
Opening hours: 11am to 10pm