four special shops in tokyo

four special shops in tokyo

By Patricia Belyea

TOKYO JP  Exploring, not shopping, beckons me to Japan. Yet when I discover an exceptional store, I admire all the facets of the experience—the place, the products, and the people. Here are four shops in Tokyo worthy of your attention.

Blue & White

2-9-2 Azabu Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo
You go up an outdoor escalator to access the shop
Open every day, 11am to 6pm
Closest station: Azabu-Juban
Website: blueandwhitetokyo.com

Owned by the champion of Japanese arts and crafts Amy Katoh, Blue & White presents a curated collection of delectable products. Look for contemporary chusen-dyed tenugui (90 cm pieces of light cotton) if you like to cut up fabrics—plus artisan ceramics, designer clothing, traditional textiles, fun jewelry, collectibles, and gifts. You'll be sure to find a worthy memento of Japan in every price range.


Quilt Party

272-0034 Active Ichikawa 2F, 1-23-2 Ichikawa, Ichikawa City
You walk up a set of stairs to access the shop
Open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Closest station: Ichikawa

Look for an inobtrusive sidewalk sign signaling that you have arrived at your destination. Although not in Tokyo proper, Quilt Party in Ichikawa City is a short half-hour trek out of the city. Or should I say pilgrimage! Renowned owner and sensei Yoko Saito reigns as the Queen of Taupe with her detailed and meticulous quilt compositions. In her shop, you’ll find low-volume fabrics, most designed by sensei Saito; kits and more kits (no photos allowed); books and periodicals; notions; and small gifts.


Pigment

Terrada Harbor One Building, 1F, 2-5-5 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
The shop is on an island surrounded by canals
Open 11:30am to 7pm, closed on Mondays and Thursdays
Closest station: Tennoz Isle
Website: pigment.tokyo

The artist in you will die and go to heaven when you step into the chic Pigment store. Beyond impeccably displayed paints, canvases, papers, inks, and brushes, Pigments offers the elemental essence of color—pigments! A lab and museum takes Pigment beyond the retail realm into a comprehensive facility for creativity.


Ozu Washi

OzuHonkan Building, 3-6-2 Nihombashihoncho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 

This business has stood at the same site for over 350 years
Open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm
Closest station: Shin-Nihombashi
Website: ozuwashi.net 

The word "washi” comes from wa meaning Japanese, and shi meaning paper. Ozu Washi takes the spirit of paper to great heights with the finest of Japanese papers. In the store you’ll find papers, brushes, stationery, gifts, writing implements, and more remarkable papers! A cultural studio shares the first-floor retail space while upstairs a gallery exhibits artwork made with handmade paper, and a museum holds archives from the history of Ozu Washi.

Is there a shop in Tokyo that you love to visit? Please include it in the Comment section below. Thank you!


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12 comments


  • Patricia Belyea
    Kerry—Thanks for following along. PB

  • Patricia Belyea
    Elizabeth—Was it Blue & White or Quilt Party? Am I close? PB

  • Patricia Belyea
    Laura—Thank you. I enjoy the Asakusa neighborhood and often visit the Amuse Museum there. I’ll check this out. PB

  • Patricia Belyea
    Jennie—There is so much to see in Japan that you can always go back and experience more. I am putting together textiles tours for Japan in January 2020. I’ll send you info once the itinerary and pricing are complete, in case you are interested. Best, PB

  • Elizabeth Baker
    Many, many, thanks. Only one I knew of.

  • Jennie Gibson
    Hi Patricia

    Love your posts and how you are willing to share your knowledge of Japan.
    I met you there last year on a not so informative trip. Came away disappointed but you are making me want to go back.
    Thank you and kind regards Jennie Gibson
    From Australia


  • Laura Huckabee
    Asakusa is one of my favorite areas for washi and there is a fun traditional dye shop “SomenoAnbo”: http://hanayome.biz/wa/detail/anboo.html

  • Patricia Belyea
    Reid—You bought an inspirational amount in the Okan Arts online shop! We’ll ship your fabric as soon as we get back. Enjoy! PB

  • Kerry
    Hi Patricia,

    I’ve really been enjoying your adventures in Japan. I really appreciate your insights, and directions to locations that are of great interest to me.


  • Reid Barnhart
    thank you for sharing your trip. I have just spent 2 hours at your online shop and blog… Am coming away with some blue and white… ummm what will it be.

  • Patricia Belyea
    Mary—I’m enjoying non-January traveling where the days are like summer and the cherry blossoms are delightful. Your excuse for coming back is to experience a new season! PB

  • Mary DeRay
    Memories of our trip to Tokyo Quilt show in 2016… Your reviews make me want to go back even more!

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