Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Adventure 26/50: Nippori Fabric Town, Tokyo

I love fabric shopping ... Wil, not so much. So I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have loved to spend in Nippori Textile Town, but I squeezed a lot of browsing into those two hours on our last day in Tokyo!

Just a few steps away from Nippori station, Nippori Textile Town / Fabric Town / Fabric Street is less than a mile long, but somehow contains nearly 100 stores that specialize in textiles and trims.

My number one destination was "Tomato" ... but there are multiple locations scattered on both sides of the street! I popped in at the first location --"Tomato Select" and poked around for a while, admiring the range of fabrics as well as the trims. I made my first purchase there -- these cute skull embroidered pieces. One is destined for a bag, the other for the back of a shirt.

While there I asked the staff for where I would find sashiko stitching materials. At first they thought I was looking for fabric that looked like sashiko, until I mimed stitching and they said, "Ahh, kit!" Even then they were a little puzzled -- this was really a place for fabric and trims, not stitchery, it seemed. But they pointed to the Tomato Notions location, a little farther along and across the street.

It was a little overwhelming -- so many patches and buttons and trims! But toward the back I did find a nice selection of sashiko threads and kits... so I stocked up. Bless Wil, he said, "Buy as much as you want -- you won't be able to get things as easily at home!"

In addition to the kits, panels, and thread, I also picked up some beautiful ribbon in classic washi prints, and some vintage kimono pieces. Nope, I have no idea what I'll do with them (shoelaces? bra straps?) but they were too beautiful to pass up. I've already started on the sashiko bag, though I haven't made huge progress yet.

Then we headed into the main Tomato location, Tomato Honkan. Five stories packed with fabric of all types!

(See the other Tomato location RIGHT NEXT DOOR? It's like that in Nippori Textile Town!)

I really didn't need any fabric -- I know, does anyone ever NEED fabric? -- but I did pick up some cute Japanese themed prints. Again, no real idea what do to with either, though maybe the Fuji print would be a good liner for my sashiko bag.

We had already spent nearly 2 hours there, and had lots of other things we wanted to do that day, so I carefully chose one last store to visit: On-travelling, which was described as carrying "badges, handicraft kit, buttons".

I walked in and the place took my breath away. Talk about an "Aladdin's Cave"!

Look at how she merchandises her ribbons:

I spent a very long time in there, again, not needing or really looking for anything in particular. I loved that she had patches, and some weird little kits, so picked up a couple of things more as souvenirs than as supplies.

I could imagine spending an entire day in the shops and coming home with more than I could carry -- maybe next time.


  1. Wow! Aladdin's cave is right! Did you ever find out why/how they came to call the other shops Tomato? Your hubby's a keeper for sure. :-)

  2. Never found out why the stores are called Tomato, apart from that English words are popular in Japan!