Tokyo: Craft shops.

So much knitting stuff is in Japanese that I just knew they were really into knitting.

After all, Clover Japan seems even bigger than Clover US. I do love Clover (either one) for all of their knitting gadgets (needles, markers, etc.)

The Japanese did not disappoint!! The yarn shop I went to (which was actually just a floor within a much larger crafting department store called Okadaya) did not disappoint. It was a knitter’s paradise.

I got the yarn and pattern for this little lovely and I’m hoping I’ll be able to figure it out even though it’s in Japanese… wish me luck. I loved all of the samples they had out–so inspiring.

On another floor of Okadaya, there was an endless supply of wigs. You know how into dressing up the Japanese are!

I tried to convince my grandfather that he might consider one for his bare head!

We also came across some nuns who were shopping for new cord to belt their habits. My grandfather talks to everyone!!

The nuns were actually from Mexico… and one of them had been living in Tokyo for a few years and the others were visiting her. We had previously bought some festive Japanese printed fabric for my Catholic mother-in-law… and being a good Protestant my grandfather thought it would be nice if we got the nuns to bless her gifts… and then promptly asked for a photo of us all together. So here we are! Another blessing of travel certainly is meeting new people from interesting places. And certainly if you’re as chatty as my grandfather you meet a lot more of them!

I’m sorry there aren’t more pictures of the craft and fabric stores I dragged the poor man to… most of them didn’t allow photography and the pictures above I “snuck.”  I relied heavily on the ‘Travel Kniter’s Guide to Tokyo.” LOVE her site!

If you only have time for one shop, Okadaya, which has a multi-story craft store across from a multi-story fabric store is your best bet. I really loved every square foot of that giant place! It’s very centrally located just a few steps from the East exit of Shinjuku station.

We also made our way out to the famous Nippori Town and Tomato. It was fabric overload quite frankly!! There were so many shops and Tomato was even bigger than Okadaya. I would recommend the trip really only if you’re an experienced sewer or if you have a specific project in mind. I stocked up on Liberty prints and some fun Japanese prints, too… that I will have to share in another post–once I have a plan for what to do with them that is!

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6 responses to “Tokyo: Craft shops.

  1. I so admire your grandfather’s ability to chat up strangers! My shyness or fear that they will think I’m annoying for talking to them (or hitting on them) usually prevents me from saying anything, but I love learning about other people and what brought us to be in the same place! And you never know when you’ll have a mutual friend or can help each other out down the line. Chris’s Meeteor co-founder did a blog post about chatting up people while traveling: http://meeteor.posterous.com/travelling-serendipity. I think I’ll make it a goal for this year!

    • Well I do think being of a certain age makes it a little easier to talk to anyone under the sun. Chris’s post was great…. and it’s a great goal for the New Year!

  2. How sweet to meet those nuns! I love all my fabric. Now that my Christmas ornaments are put away, hopefully I can make my plans with it all! Thanks for all you did!

  3. I love finding yarn shops when I travel. It is just so easy to pick up a skein and bring it home to knit it up into something delightful. Plus yarn is so easy to squeeze into a suitcase.

  4. Hi,
    Am now touring Japan and I found okadaya based on your recommendation. Loved the store. Liked it much more than yuzawaya….
    Thanks!!

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