If you are looking for that unique “made in Japan” gift or personal item than Sou-Sou Boutique in Aoyama is a great option. Walking into Sou-Sou I, immediately became happier from the fabric patterns that are vibrant and full of energy. I was amazed how Sou-Sou designers have used the traditional fabric on products ranging from Tabi (Japanese shoes), baby clothes to wall hangings to adult outerwear. They even have stationary and phone covers in the patterns. I purchased a book of their prints to use in my craftwork, and a small purse! I will return again for holiday gifts. Sou-Sou is a Kyoto-based traditional Japanese fabric design and production company with six stores in Kyoto, but only one in Tokyo. They do have one overseas store in San Francisco (Japan Town). If you like Sou-Sou, you will also like Madu and Blue & White.
Sou-Sou Boutique, Aoyama
The fabric is called Ise-momen (a Mie prefecture designated traditional craft product). Ise-momen is a cotton fabric produced the same way since the 1600s. The cloth is made with threads that have been startched so as not to break in the fine weaving process. Therefore, when you first buy the fabric or item made from the fabric it feels slightly stiff, but the more you wash, the softer, fluffier and non-wrinkle it becomes. The fabric will shrink a little less than 5% after washing. There is only one manufacturer of Ise-momen remaining in Japan (Usui-Shokufu) which is the supplier to Sou-Sou.
The Minami Aoyama boutique also has a Japanese tea shop where you can enjoy traditional Japanese Matcha (tea) with a Japanese sweet. If you are looking for a traditional Japanese tea break during your shopping Sou-Sou offers a unique experience.
They also have a Japan website that ships within Japan, and an US website (in English) that ships from the Sou-Sou San Francisco store if you want to ship directly to people in the US.
I hope you enjoy the Sou-Sou Boutique as much as I did!
Sou-Sou Boutique Details
Address: 5-4-24 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Boutique everyday 11:00-20:00; Cafe everyday 13:00-19:00
Website: Japan website: http://www.sousou.co.jp (in Japanese)
US website: http://www.sousouus.com
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