Monday, December 21, 2009

come home. this japanese magazine is so lovely. lovely. now that i am back in japan for a month holiday i bought the latest copy. and fell in love with the magazine all over again. it's full of great home decorating inspiration. and good ideas for decorating your crafty nooks. there's quite a building furniture projects. some wooden ones. and some made out of pipes. very clever. i'm anxious for h-kun to give these a this issue comes with a really nice notebook designed by orne de feuilles. there is also a couple of pages about nippori textile town in tokyo with a cute little map. and there is a section on how to remake a men:s white dress shirt. with a few great ideas.

if you are interested in seeing more photos or purchasing this magazine, please click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Just our thing

Jennifer over at Moving Hands has just posted about a book she picked up at her local library in Tokyo.

The book is a guide to all the crafty stores to be found around Tokyo. What a lovely idea. It looks like it's all in Japanese, which might not help most of us, but the pictures look enticing nonetheless.

Now I'd love a local library where Japanese craft books were available in abundance to borrow.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Japanese craft shopping in Bangkok

I was recently in Bangkok and stumbled across several stores selling Japanese goodies. I thought I would share my sources, if you find yourself in that neck of the woods.

Bangkok has two Kinokuniya book stores. But only the branch inside the Isetan department store sells Japanese craft books and Magazines. This has taken me two trips to find this out. So don't bother checking out the branch in the Siam paragon unless your after english titles. The prices are higher than the Yen jacket prices . But still quite reasonable and nothing beats flicking through these gorgeous books in person. 

Kinokuniya (Inside Isetan)
2nd floor, Central world plaza
Bangkok (nearest BTS - chidlom)

Another great shop is Loft. This japanese store can be found in many cities across the globe. Lots of cute stationary and kawaii items. You will also find Blythe dolls and holga cameras here. 

3rd floor, Siam Discovery Center
Bangkok (nearest BTS - Siam)


You will find a Muji concept store within the Zen department store. Beautiful clothes and homewares with a simple, natural aesthetic. 

Inside the Zen department store, Central world plaza 
Bangkok (closest BTS chidlom)

Only the linen in the image below is Japanese. But the cottons which are manufactured in Thailand are lovely too. You will find a good selection of fabrics at the Fabric house. I stumbled onto this store when exiting Kinokuniya. The prices are extremely reasonable and the quality is superb. Cottons 85baht a metre and linen ranges from 375-295baht a metre.

The fabric house
2nd floor, Central world plaza
Bangkok (nearest BTS chidlom)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

i will be closing down my little shop of japanese goodness. next tuesday. because i am leaving japan. moving back to canada. with my japanese fella. i will miss country. and culture. immensely. if you are interested in a bit of japanese culture ... wander over to my blog: . i have been posting about things i love and will miss from japan. from a to z.  

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Kobe Shops

i was in kobe on the weekend. just for a few hours. but i made the most of it. i got out that book from the last post. and found some shops to visit. my favorites being a pair of sister shops. they are both small. full of charcter. and styled just perfectly. just what i like.

the first is called rollo stock. and is the kind of shop i would love to own. they have a good mix of imported (and some japanese) fabric, trim and buttons. oh, i am in love. everything is just perfect. it was hard to stop spending my money.

here is the tape section. mostly imported from europe. oh, i am in love with all of it.

the second shop is around the corner. and was opened after the first shop got too busy. this shop is called rollo. and this shop has mostly antique buttons and beads. my gosh.

h-kun and i had a wonderful time looking at all the little treasures. in this busy little shop. and i found a few to bring home. well, a few more than a few. i hope to get back there again someday.

if you ever get down to kobe. make sure you stop by these shops. you will not be disappointed. to get there take the JR train to the motomachi station. you can find a map of how to get there on their website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

come home magazines are one of the best things at the book shops over here in japan. they're full of so much inspiration. and the design is so natural. so simple. and so inviting. well, they put out a shop and cafe guide book for japan. and there are so many great finds in there. hidden gems.

the first half of the book is focused on tokyo. full of pictures. and maps. since most visitors to japan spend a bit of time in tokyo ... i scanned some of those pages and put them on flickr. see the flickr button to the right. everything is in japanese. but if you see something you like then just ask the hotel staff. or your friends over here. and they can point you in the right direction. i hope. there are also some shops in kyoto, kobe, fukuoka, and the tokai area. if you'd like your own copy of the book, just let me know. i can hook you up. quite easily.

and this is the come home magazine. that inspired the shop and cafe book.

these magazines are lovely. lovely. full of so many ideas for your home. for your clothing style. mixed with a bit of crafting. and cooking. i love them. and so do many others.

*** since some of you are interested in getting come home magazines. and others might be. here is my email address. . if you email me then i will get back to you with prices and such. **

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.