Issue Index

Features
  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
Jobfinder
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Features
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Travelogue
  Art
  Artifacts
  Fashion
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Buyline
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person
  Concerts
  Clubbing

 

 BUYLINE
Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.
 PAST ISSUES
ADVERTISERS:
Ash 03-3770-3755
Biodanza
Boots
Clinique TCA
Club Boy Beau
Crunch 03-5459-123-
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Hugo BOSS
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
03-3405-7216
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Sin Den
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tamariba.inc.
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773

IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
381
379
377
375
373
371
368
367
366
364
362
360
357
355
351
349
347
345
343
341
338
336

Arts and crafts movement

Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.

Many tourists and expatriates in Tokyo quickly identify one or two shops, like Oriental Bazaar in Omotesando, as their favorite places to pick up Japanese-style souvenirs, gifts or interior decorations. Often it’s guidebooks that help them choose these stores based on how easy they are to access, the range of goods displayed, and foreigner “friendliness.”

But Tokyo has many other crafts shops just waiting to be discovered. And as recent media reports suggest, the country has become a “cultural dynamo”—a creative powerhouse of artists, fashion designers, animators and avant-garde architects. This means that us lucky residents get to choose from even more intriguing, groovy, and satisfying handmade and traditional goods. Read on for five places to start your search.

 

Corazón and Corazón
A short walk from Oriental Bazaar is this small, funky store attached to the Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry. It’s a must-visit for anyone wanting to take home a wearable reminder of the exuberance and color to be found in Harajuku, the heart of Tokyo’s fashion experience. The college offers the only jewelry education program in Japan, and is recommended by the likes of De Beers, Platinum Guild International and the World Gold Council.

Corazón and Corazón stocks all manner of contemporary jewelry and “wearable art” designed by students. Items include rings, pendants, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, hairpins, hatpins and brooches. You’ll find delicate rings made from antique kimono fabric, knitted wire necklaces with a Harajuku twist, sinister Gothic-looking brass knuckles, and even plastic rings with what appears to be the sketch of a diamond ring etched into them. Those on a pilgrimage to find the ultimate gift should jump in before an undiscovered talent becomes an overnight sensation. Many graduates go on to have their own studio and gallery exhibitions. Most items are priced within the ¥3,000 to ¥20,000 range.

5-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3499-0300. Open Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 11am-5pm, closed Sun and hols. Nearest stn: Harajuku (opposite Freshness Burger on Cat Street).

 

Minami Aoyama 291 (Fu-Ku-I)
A short walk in the opposite direction, behind the well-known Spiral building, is Minami Aoyama 291. In a city known for its intense, crowded shopping experience, this shop will help slow your pace to a relaxed heartbeat. Whether it’s the spaciousness, the delicate presentation of products, or the warm glow of paper lanterns, this attractive space radiates harmony.

Minami Aoyama 291 is in fact a business support center for the promotion, exhibition and sale of artistic and cultural talent from the Fukui region (which gives rise to the pun in the shop’s name). Items on offer include traditional products, including Wakasa agate handiwork and Echizen lacquerware, beautiful collections of bowls, plates, hashi, and hashi-oki for those wanting something different. Shoppers can also find stunning examples of traditional paper, knives and china. Other interesting items include frames for glasses, umbrellas, sake and sweets.

The strength, dignity and superb craftsmanship in all the pieces make Minami Aoyama 291 well worth a visit. Most items are between ¥300 and ¥20,000.

5-4-41 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel 03-5778-0291. Open Wed-Mon 10am-8pm, closed Tue. Nearest stn: Omotesando, exit B3.

 

Bingoya Folk Craft Shop
Bingoya lies further afield—past Shinjuku on the Oedo subway line—but if you’re looking for the quintessential Japanese gift, it’s the most impressive, enjoyable store for traditional crafts in all of Tokyo. All six floors pay homage to the simple, handmade things at the heart of Japanese culture and everyday life: pottery, dyed and woven fabrics, bamboo and woodwork, lacquerware, straw items, metalwork, paper and glassware, dolls, folk toys and folk art furniture. It’s hard to know where to look first.

As a result, everybody will enjoy this store. Children will love the toy floor, while ceramics enthusiasts can head to the pottery level to enjoy shapes and patterns seen only here. Cultural explorers will go for the eclectic mix of items on the top floor, and interior decorators will revel in a host of fabrics, cushions and curtains.

Bingoya selects the best traditional handicrafts from all over Japan. It’s a must-see for those who appreciate mingei (the people’s art) and Japanese aesthetics. A trip to this store will revitalize an appreciation not only for old Japan but for new Japan—did you know that fashion designer Issey Miyake receives inspiration for his designs from mingei?

Bingoya ships items overseas and credit cards are accepted.

10-6 Wakamatsu-cho, Shinjuku-ku. Tel: 03-3202-8778. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm, closed Mon. Nearest stn: Oedo line, Wakamatsu-Kawada stn.

 

Tsuchi No Hana
Near Minami Aoyama 291, towards Aoyama Gakuin and behind an all-glass faÁade that makes it instantly recognizable, is this gallery and shop, whose name means “flower of the earth.” A great place to find exquisite, Zen-like ceramics, Tsuchi No Hana has a front window displaying beautiful ceramics on giant slabs of wood. Inside, shoppers will find pure white sake vessels wrapped in delicate glazes, elegant sushi platters, porcelain bowls, plates, dishes, cups and vases. Upstairs is a gallery exhibition space. The shop’s two floors pay attention to “quiet” ceramic forms that might get lost in any other store but this one.

Terrace Minami-Aoyama, 5-11-22 Minami-Aoyama. Tel: 03-3400-1013. Open Mon-Sat noon-7pm, closed Sun and hols. Nearest stn: Omotesando (on Aogakukaikan, the street running off Aoyama Dori beside Aoyama Gakuin).

 

Yamada Heiando Lacquerware
Located in fashionable Daikanyama, Yamada Heiando Lacquerware is a retailer famous for having served Japan’s imperial family.

In the past, Japanese lacquerware was purchased as gifts for weddings and other social occasions. The range of items was fairly limited and traditional. Standard prices fell between ¥3,000 and ¥5,000. Recently, though, designers have developed lacquerware for a wider range of uses, and their work has taken on more contemporary forms while utilizing modern techniques. In turn, price ranges have broadened. Yamada Heiando sells the very best examples of bowls, cups, plates, spoons, boxes, trays, and utensils from the lacquer centers of Wajima, Echizen, Yamanaka and Takaoka. Yamada Heiando’s items make excellent corporate gifts.

1F G Block, Hillside Terrace, Daikanyama. Tel. 03-3464-5541. Open daily 10:30am-6:30pm. Nearest stn: Daikanyama.

Credits:Courtesy of Corazón and Corazón/Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry

top