A magical world of light and color awaits shoppers at Kaleidoscope Mukashikan. The small
specialist store seems to be permanently packed with potential customers
"ooh"ing and "aah"ing over the plethora of kaleidoscopes on display.
Large bulky tabletop scopes made of thick stained glass are around JY127,000, while their
smaller hand-held cousins can be bought for JY39,700. Novelty scopes made from old
Budweiser bottles (JY15,200) are sandwiched between the ornate handmade scopes with metal
fretwork and multiple dials that dazzle the eye. At the cheaper end of the spectrum are
the wooden scopes (from JY7000) filled with colored oils-like a ' flashback-and the
dragonfly eyepieces (from JY2500) that produce multiple refractions of whatever you look
at. The larger scopes make great objets d'art or accent pieces, while the smaller scopes
or make-your-own kits (JY2000) are perfect for topping up someone's stocking come
2-13-8 Azabujuban, Minato-ku, Tel: 03-3453-4415; Ikspiari 1-4 Maihama, Tel:
Fans of Lilliputian literature should hot-foot it to this great little find in Jingumae.
The appropriately small store is packed with diminutive tomes that range in size from the
palm-sized down to the world's smallest book - a 1mm2 version of "Old King
Cole". Many of the collectors' items on sale are 19th century curios, handmade
originals or German imprints. A leather bound antique version of "The Arabian
Nights" will set you back JY34,500, while a 13x9mm volume of "The Ten
Commandments" costs JY12,500. Polyglots and polymaths will be pleased by the wide
range of languages and subjects available in miniature form - for the amorous among them
there is even the micro-book "I Love You" with the three words in many languages
(JY12,500). At the lower end of the price range are a set of five elementary school texts
at JY500 and some German cookery books at JY300 each. Perfect for bibliophiles bound by
Tokyo's space restrictions.
1F Softown Aoyama, 3-1-24 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tel: 03-3470-2020.
Part of the ongoing redevelopment of Ginza's Matsuya department store includes the opening
of SOHO'S ROOM, a stylish boutique featuring the best of global design. Stating that their
concept is to provide "freedom and individuality for modern adults," SOHO'S ROOM
has collected a fine array of clothes and lifestyle items from designers and brands that
include Allesandro Dell'acqua, Samsonite and Ludwig Reiter. Seiji Kuroki's fuchsia dress
shirt (JY18,000) is teamed with his take on a classic tweed jacket (JY68,000), and Reiter
completes the look with black sneakers trimmed with pink (JY19,800). Add a quirky twist to
the old "come up for coffee" routine with Erik Jan Kwakkel's double cup (JY4900)
or a brandy from the delightfully simple glasses by Ton Haas (JY1900).
5F Matsuya, 3-6-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tel: 03-3567-1211. www.j-plaza.or.jp/matsuya/