Saturday, December 27, 2008

100 yen stores

I had read about 100 yen stores on a few people's blogs, so when I came out of the subway and saw one just up the road I went exploring. (Look for the red logo - you'll come across them here and there.) The store was great. It sold very basic items from potato peelers to stationery, and everything in between.

I couldn't resist quite a few stackable plastic containers - the perfect size for storing threads and other sewing bits and pieces in my studio.

They weren't the most practical thing to bring home in a suitcase, but they made it safely - stashed with this colourful Japanese candy that is simply too pretty to eat.

I also found my way to Daiso - possibly the mother of all 100 yen stores - on Takeshita Dori in Harajuku. See Marceline's blog for excellent directions and details. It was very busy when I was there and I was already laden down with a few shopping bags; so I found it hard to make my way around the store. I did pick up some cute coloured paper packs, which I plan to use making some things out of a Japanese craft book I picked up on paper cutting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Last time I was in Tokyo I struggled to find Okadaya, despite good directions (this seemed to be a pattern with me). This time I was determined to find it, after reading good things about it.

I took a photo of the well signed store (how could I have missed it) so anyone else trying to locate it knows what to spot. This red sign is what to look for when you come out of the East Exit of Shinjuku station.

Okadaya is in two buildings - each of about 6 levels. One building contains fabric of all descriptions, the other contains all the extra bits you need to sew, knit, bead, and craft your little heart out with.

My favourite floor was the craft book floor (right at the top). I think it had the best craft book selection I'd seen anywhere, with multiple copies of each book. Sadly, there was a "no photos" sign up so I can't show you the proof.

For the knitters there was also a whole yarn floor.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Dressmaking patterns

Has anyone seen these patterns? I spied these at a few shops in Nippori's fabric street, including Tomato. The images and styling were very cute. The patterns were for fairly basic children's garments so would be ideal for beginners.

If anyone knows whether you can buy them online, please drop us a line at Japan Craft Journal? It would be a great resource to share. I think I recognised one of the images from a craft book. Maybe they are related.

Update: An anonymous blog reader has very kindly left a link to the site for these patterns. Thank you, whoever you are!


Yes, Tomato is that good. Thank you to all the bloggers who talked about this store. It proved well worth the visit. I've never seen so many women buying fabric. Home dressmaking is alive and well in Japan.

Nippori is easy too get to - just take the JR Yamanote line. This map is just outside the East exit of the station (head for the North exit first, then signs to the East exit will appear). If you click on this map you can see it in more detail.

Whether you are a dressmaker, a crafter or a quilter, you are bound to be happy with the selection on offer. My favourite floor was the 4th floor. The 5th floor was also interesting with great bag handles, braids and the like.

There was oodles of linen in all weights and colours. The 100 yen rack near the front door was very popular. It was a complete crush around that area and it was hard to get a close look at the fabric for all the women standing in front of it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Six floors of craft

Yesterday I sought out Yuzawaya, after reading Suzy's post on her blog Floating World Views. Yuzawaya is about 6 floors of craft supplies. It has some wonderful Japanese stationery on one of the floors, oodles of fabric, and everything else in between. I could have spent hours marvelling over the cupcake baking equipment but I had a twitchy husband with me (who hates craft stores).

The quilting fabric collection was very extensive, with all the Japanese lines I recognise from home. Their fat quarters were rather impressively displayed in little, orderly drawers.

See Suzy's very concise directions on how to find it. I didn't take them with me so wasted much time looking for a shop that was only labelled in Japanese characters. This is a great one stop shop for any crafting supplies you might need.