It's hard to escape designer labels in Japan. I was very keen to seek out the shopping districts that were distinctly Japanese, with little shops selling Zakka style wares rather than French or Italian handbags.
Some good advice in the Tokyo Luxe guide was to make Concierge your best friend. Good advice indeed. The Japanese are so divinely helpful and will go out of their way to give you the information you need. After chatting to our hotel's concierge on several occasions, showing them pictures in craft books and explaining what I was seeking, they directed me to the area of Ebisu (and Daikanyama).
Ebisu is just two stops from Rappongi on the Hibiya Line and the cute shops start just near the station.
Many of the shops had little seats or potted plants outside - it made them look so inviting. As well as little independent shops selling French inspired wares and clothing, there were some well known brands in this area - Cath Kidston and Caramel Baby & Child to name but two.
There were also many cafes and restaurants that looked like good places to rest the feet and grab a quick bite.
I only discovered this neighbourhood on my last afternoon in Tokyo. I got the sense there was a lot more there to discover but, alas, I ran out of time. If you go exploring there, let me know what you find.
You can see more images of stores in this area at our flickr group, "Japan Craft Shops".