Besides going on a massive hunt for kitkats while we were in Tokyo, I also wanted to shop for some Japanese fabrics and crafts. Tokyo, home to HelloKitty and Pikachu, is like a candy store full of all sorts of “kawaii” (“cute” in Japanese) things. I dragged my poor husband all around Tokyo, which might I add, is like the biggest megatropolis in the world, looking for cool things to add to my craft/fabric supplies. (Don’t worry, we also went to Akihabara to look at electronics and geeky gadgets for him.) In case you are ever in Tokyo and want to go on shopping spree, here is a list of stores we hit up!
1. Tokyo Hands. Tokyo Hands is like the ultimate craft store, imagine Michaels and Hobby Lobby combined into a large sprawling multi-level department store. I was giddy with excitement when I rode up the escalators and saw 4 levels full of stationary, art supplies, cooking supplies, etc. There are many locations throughout Japan (see all locations here). We hit up the Ginza location but the Shibuya location is even bigger – it’s famous for having a whole cat petting area on the floor above it!
If you are looking for gocco supplies, which have been discontinued by the manufacturer Riso, you can still find them at Tokyo Hands! I was tempted to buy a ton of stuff, but the exchange rate is sooo bad right now, I just walked away with a few things, like these mini cookie cutters and silicone cupcake liners:
I am also obsessed with Japanese washi masking tape. At Tokyo Hands, where one entire floor is dedicated to stationary, I bought a few roles of washi tape from there and a few from a bookstore in Taiwan:
If you don’t want to go all the way to Japan for washi tape, you can buy some online here. The exact same rolls are actually cheaper online than when I bought them in Japan!! Darn exchange rate!
2. Yuzawaya – I was on a hunt for Japanese fabrics and online recommendations led me to Yuzawaya (multiple locations, see list of locations here). I’m not talking about traditional silk kimono fabric, which I saw sold at a lot of touristy shops, but the thick cotton printed fabric that I am a huge fan of. Japanese cotton prints are always SO cute and pretty!! And the fabric is thick and a great quality – like a sturdier linen. Japanese prints are pretty pricey in the States so I wanted to find it cheaper there. Unfortunately, like all things in Japan, I was disappointed to find that Japanese fabric was just as expensive in Japan!! Too bad, because Yuzawaya was a huge store stocked with all sorts of cute fabrics!
At Yuzawaya, my math skills were seriously tested as I was trying to do all the math conversions in my head (cm -> inches, yen -> dollars), I found that some of the fabric was even pricier!!! So I allowed myself to buy only 50 cm each (about 1.5 feet) of these 2 cute fabrics:
At 680 yen for 50 cm, these fabrics turned out to be about $16.60/ yard. I’ve seen the pink hedgehog fabric sold in the US for a similar price. That’s ok though, I ended up buying a lot of Japanese fabric in Taiwan which I will blog about tomorrow!
3. MUJI- I’ve been to the Muji store in NYC and the one in Taipei and I heard they have locations all over Europe, but the Muji store in Ginza in Tokyo is the largest one I have seen. ( See Tokyo locations here. ) It spans 2 floors and even has a restaurant inside! It’s like a Japanese Ikea!! This shop is full of cookware, bedding, decor and all sorts of cool things all in the sleek, minimalist Japanese style. I love the simple design of everything! This Muji store had a huge baking section:
I bought these silicone baking molds and Jeff wanted to try out their green tea latte mix:
4. LoFT – LoFT stores are actually really similar to Tokyo Hands in merchandise and actually typically located pretty close to Tokyo Hands so you can hit up both at once. Its full of Japanese stationary, beauty products, cookware and cool well designed products. Its just so fun to walk through and look at everything. The LoFT store in Shibuya is the biggest with 6 floors! The Tokyo Hands in Shibuya is right near by at 7 floors! If you go to the LoFT in Ginza, the Muji store is right upstairs. I have no pictures because I didn’t buy anything neat except gel shoe inserts for my poor feet which were starting to hurt by now.
5. Kappabashi – We actually didn’t make it to Kappabashi, probably because I was too busy hunting for KitKats and Jeff was too busy stuffing himself with food, but I didn’t think this list would be complete unless I mentioned it. Kappabashi, also known as Kitchen Town, is street in Tokyo where they sell lots of kitchenware, cooking supplies and plastic foods for really cheap. I really wanted to go but we ran out of time. That’s ok though, while we were waiting 2 hrs at the Tsujiri fish market for our sushi breakfast at Daiwa Sushi, I wandered around the markets and found a cute little raku pottery shop. I have a huge appreciation of Japanese raku pottery! I think the colorful glazes and imperfections are so beautiful! I actually took a raku pottery class in college where I specialized in churning out lumpy volcanoes on the pottery wheel. These dishes were much better:
Anyways, I hope this list is helpful to someone out there! Does anyone have any other tips where to buy fabrics and craft supplies in Tokyo?