Monday, February 4, 2019

Japan: favorite shops

Oh Japan, how I miss you. Another thing that I wanted to write about was the shops: OMG, Japan was like a giant candy shop, everything -everything- was either cute, or pretty or delicious. Too bad that they do also have a taste for luxury and so many things had quite the high price tag.

Anyhow, I thought I'd make a list of my favorite places to shop in Japan.

 -Tokyu Hands. How do I begin. If you like baking, painting, crafting, papershops, home and kitchen goods... this place is where you will go bankrupt. It is a giant shop. 7 floors dedicated to all the things you did not know you wanted. If you are looking for utensils to make cute little Bento boxes this is where you will find them. Everything from moulds for rice or eggs in the form of dogs, cats or bears to insulated steel containers, little bags and printed muslin cloths.

And if you draw or paint you will find all your art supplies. If washi tape and origami paper is what you are looking for, this is the place. For those that are into disguises and cosplay there is also a selection of clothes and party goods. If sewing or even working with wood or leather is your thing, there is also a whole floor dedicated to fabrics and materials. On top of that they had a nice selection of purses, earrings and other fashion items.This place was so amazing, I just did not want to leave. You will find a list to all their shops here.

-Ippuya in Kyoto. Last summer my dear friend Marcia organized activities centered around teaching the kids countries of the world and their traditions. One of the days was dedicated to Japan.Tomomi, the friend who showed us her culture, brought her sweet kids dressed in these super cute kimono-like sets of matching shorts and shirts in cute modern prints. I had my mind set on finding them. As I learnt these sets are called Jinbei.

 I thought we would see them  everywhere. I first looked in the childrens' section of big department stores, with no luck. It was only when we went to Kyoto, on our way up to Kiyomizyu-dera temple that we found Ippuya. It is a small shop owned by the sweetest lady who actually crafts all her goods (purses, blouses...) from scraps of kimono fabric, so all her material is beautiful, high quality printed cotton. It is also a great place to have traditional Japanese tea at their adjacent cafe. (540-15 Gojōbashihigashi 6-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi)

-Graniph. I really wanted to go shopping for skirts and dresses in Japan, they have a very sweet and modest yet modern and edgy style. I was not able to find anything on our budget at department stores, however I was happy to discover Graniph. They specialize in graphic t-shirts and often do collaborations with illustrators like Taro Gomi, Eric Carle, Kayako Nishimaki. It is the ideal place to get a t-shirt, but they also have dresses, skirts and sweaters in very thick, warm cotton. We got a long-sleeved t-shirt dress for my daughter based on the classic Japanese children story: "My dress" or -Watashi no wanpisu- and it is her absolute favorite.  I wish the book had been translated to Spanish, but so far I haven't been able to track it.*

As an extra note -for all your practical and daily life needs:

-If you are looking for a supermarket Life is a very good option with lots of variety. But if you really want a magic experience, go to Tamade, a supermarket that opens 24 hours and looks like a discotheque, with its neon lights and fun decorations.

And for a snack, coffee and emergency needs (like basic toiletries) look for the Family Mart and Lawson's. And have an onigiri!

Oh and let's not forget about bookshops, also paradise, often with many, many floors. Crayon House, Maruzen, Kinokinuya, find all about them in this other post.

*The book tells the story of a white rabbit without clothes who's hopping across a meadow when a piece of white cloth comes falling out of the sky. "I think I'll make myself a dress," she says, and sets to work on her foot-treadle sewing machine. When it's done, she dons the triangular white dress and starts across a flower garden. "Oh, my!" she realizes. "My dress is now a floral print! I wonder if I look good in flowers." She continues on her way and it begins to rain. The pattern on her dress changes to water droplets. As she walks on, she comes to a field of golden wild grasses, and the dress transforms again to match their gently waving seed heads. Birds flock to her dress, wanting to eat the seeds, and the rabbit's outfit changes yet again to a pattern of birds. When she takes off into the sky with the birds, the pattern on her dress turns into a rainbow; when the rainbow gives way to a sunset, she starts to grow sleepy. Soon she is flying through the night with her eyes closed in a dress covered with stars, and then it is morning again and she wakes up back in the meadow. Simple lines and soft colors dominate the illustrations. The dress itself is a plain triangle; its constantly changing patterns and the rhythmical language lend the story its magic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments, let's talk .

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...