Artisanal Shopping in Tokyo
Tokyo is renowned for its artisan culture and strong independent retail, but knowing what to buy, and navigating where to go can be daunting, even for frequent jet-setters. Here’s a handpicked selection of workshops, ateliers and studios offering unique, made-in-Japan shopportunity.
More gallery than shop, this stately, streamlined store sells divine handmade stationery. The collection covers all your paper needs from wedding and special occasions, to business cars, seasonal greetings and bespoke: the contemporary, customisable prints are on cotton or washi paper. The animal motifs (series 700) are the epitome of Japanese kawaii, while the botanical 631 series has a distinct Asian flair.
4-5-4 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku +81 3 5785 0719. winged-wheel.co.jp
Located in swish retailvarna Aoyama, Morita shelves some beautiful modern dyed textiles, but what it is chiefly famous for is its incredible stash of antique textiles, kimonos, rare costumes and fabric fragments like furoshiki (squarish pieces of cloth traditionally used for gift wrap). Worthy of a gander even if you aren’t looking to buy.
5-12-2 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, +81 3 3407 4466. morita-antiques.com
Calligraphy artists Shimizu and Miyamura’s exquisite ink works adorn several of the city’s most sophisticated hotels and homes; you too can snap up a collectible masterpiece. Hotfoot it to the modish salon in Shibuya and choose from several styles, with the option to frame; they also stock a range of ink paintings. Great for gifting.
8F 5-16-12-20 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, +81 3 5766 7120. facebook.com/carremoji
Designer Hajime Sonoda can craft a pair of vintage-inspired shoes designed specifically for your tootsies, but you'll need to plan well ahead; this in-demand shoesmith takes up to six months to craft a pair of bespoke beauties. If you don’t manage to secure a fitting appointment at the Yanaka shop in advance (or simply can’t wait that long), there’s a small selection of ready-to-wear to boot.
2-18-6 Yanaka, Taito-ku, +81 3 6904 1312. sonomitsu.com
A truly lovely studio space repping nothing but heady, hand-blended perfumes as incense sticks. The collection spans 150 scents from the forest to the sea, plus some novel flavours like smoked bourbon. For more traditional incense, follow your nose to next door Shoyeido which also stocks kneaded pellets used in tea ceremonies and pretty pressed in-koh shapes.
2F 5-47-13 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, +81 3 5469 5006. lisn.co.jp
Kamata Knife Shop
Sharpen your yanagi skills among the beautiful blades of this fourth-generation knife maker. From petite paring to almighty sushi swords, English-speaking staff will guide you through the finest slicers n' dicers, which can be engraved or fashioned into a gift set. Wanting more? Book ahead for one of their knife-sharpening workshops with stone and towel provided.
2-12-6 Matsugaya, Taito-ku, +81 3 3841 4205. kap-kam.com
Together with InterContinental Hotels and Resorts, LUXE City Guides has created a series of co-branded guides exclusively for InterContinental Ambassadors and Club InterContinental guests.
Planning a shopping spree in Japan? Book Club InterContinental at ANA InterContinental Tokyo or InterContinental Tokyo Bay and the dedicated Club InterContinental team are on hand to offer more shopping tips and intel 24/7. Plus you can enjoy exclusive access to the Club InterContinental lounge and complimentary dining options throughout your stay.
For more top tips and insights, nab a copy of the LUXE Tokyo guide...
American freelance writer and editor Jessica has been Tokyo-based since 2004, when a gap year turned into something rather more permanent.
- Jessica LOVES... Reading, running a monthly book club for other Tokyo bibliophiles.
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