Sharing our top 10 Tokyo shops for Japanese gifts! If you are looking for that something special for friends in town or overseas? Some of my favourite gifts to bring overseas are hanging fabrics (tengui), calendars, chopsticks, items made from metal or washi paper. Local gift favorites are pottery, glass and bamboo. The ten stores are our go-to stops for special gifts from Japan. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Happy Shopping. Lauren and Sandra
Top 10 Tokyo Shops for Japanese Gifts
1. Blue & White Store, Azabu – ***update January 7, 2017 *** The Blue & White store is temporarily closed while they move to a new spot in the neighborhood. The store is planning to reopen in Spring 2017.
Amy Katoh opened the Blue & White Store over 35 years ago promoting Japanese crafts and lifestyle of years past. Besides the Blue & White Store, she has written many books that long-time expats cherish for ideas when they visit Japanese craft stores and flea markets. Indigo and sashiko, yukata and tenugui are carefully chosen to highlight the beauty of the blue and white tradition of Japan. For more details and address click here.
2. Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square, Aoyama – This store’s differentiation is that they sell crafts and art of all mediums and from regions across Japan. I recently was shopping for gifts to send abroad with my first son (I have three) for the family he was visiting. In less than one hour, I had purchases a variety of handcrafted presents from silver drinking cups, lacquer trays, chopstick sets and scarves. Not only beautiful, high-quality products but everything is meticulously gift-wrapped. For more details and address click here
3. d47 Design Travel Store, Shibuya – d47 Design Travel Store is a beautiful store to view and shop Japanese crafts and food from the 47 prefectures of Japan. The selection has been beautifully curated and displayed to represent the best of Japan. It is centrally located in the Shibuya Hikari building’s 8th floor, which also has a lovely cafe and some other galleries. If you want to see Shibuya from a higher perspective, this is a good option. For more details and address click here.
4. Sou-Sou Boutique, Aoyama – If you are looking for that unique “made in Japan” gift or personal item than Sou-Sou Boutique in Minami 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. For more details and address click here.
5. Asa no Ha Shop, Azabu – One of the many things I love about Japan are the seasons, with each season come unique changes in nature, food and celebrations. A great way to capture the ever-changing seasons is to place a simple but beautiful tenugui in a prominent place in your house. An easy gift to transport on the plane. Asa no Ha Shop, Azabu has a beautiful selection. For more details and address click here.
6. 2K540 Aki-Oka – Japanese Artisan Stores, Akihabara – Okachi-machi is know by most as the wholesale area for clothing and food however, there is a hidden jewel of 2K540 Aki-Oka. 2K540 Aki-Oka Japanese artisan stores and studios are under the elevated train tracks if you walk along the line towards Akihabara. In December 2010 over 25 Japanese artisans gathered in the space called “2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan”. The theme of Aki-Oka is “making things,” and Aki-Oka artisans display and sell their goods across all mediums of leather, wood, ceramic, metals and fabrics. There are also a few galleries and cafes as well to enjoy your time. For more details and address click here.
7. Madu, Aoyama – If you are a collector of Japanese housewares or looking for a unique gift Madu is a great spot. Madu has beautiful collections of ceramics from Japanese artisans. Each collection has a brief outline of the artist, and the shop staff can give you more details. For more details and address click here.
8. Rin 8890, Akihabara – Rin 8890 is one of my favourite Japanese craft boutiques in Tokyo. If you are looking for utilitarian items with great style, this is a one-stop store. Although the store’s space is small, you are sure to find something that you “must” have. Rin, also, has a beautiful new website that is quite convenient if you can not get to the Kanda/Akihabara area. Many people may remember Rin from their store in Aoyama/Omotesando which they just closed two years ago. For more details and address click here.
9. Takumi Craft Store, Ginza – I have been a customer of Takumi craft store (たくみ）for over 25 years! Seemed like a long time, but when I recently went in to visit and asked how long they have been in business the answer was 80 years. Takumi it seems may be the longest surviving Japanese craft store in Japan. Takumi craft store offers an elegant selection of traditional folk crafts, including textiles, artwork and ceramics from around Japan. Prices of product start at 1,000 yen. The first floor is primarily pottery from famous kiln villages such as Mashiko (Tochigi-ken), Tanba (Hyogo-ken) and Onta (Oita-ken). The second floor has beautiful textiles, baskets and small furniture. For more details and address click here.
10. Take-no-megumi, Azabu – The Japanese bamboo crafts at Take-no-Megumi in Moto Azabu are simple but so beautiful. This wonderful little shop in Moto Azabu that has been in business for over 40 years. The founding family of Take-no-Megumi shop were originally manufacturers and wholesalers of bamboo products before opening their shop originally in Aoyama, and then moving it to Moto Azabu a few years ago. The most popular items are the bamboo cooking utensils from chopsticks to spoons, and the bamboo sake cups. Megumi does a great job of merchandising seasonal products from moon viewing wall hangings, to New Year figurines (2016 year of the monkey). For more details and address click here.
Top 10 Tokyo Shops for Japanese Gifts
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