Blackcabbit's World

Bit by bit, the Blackcabbit crafts its nest of DIY handmade art and illustrates a kingdom of doodle critters to beautify the world she lives in.

Craft Stores in Japan – Tokyo (Nippori)

My hubby is so sweet! Early this week, he gave me some cash, offered to babysit our “Akuma no ni-sai” (terrible twos), so that I could spend the entire day (and evening) shopping for fabrics & crafts in TOKYO as part of my birthday gift. It has been a while since I was unleashed (without a clinging baby) to indulge in a carefree craft-buying excursion in another city.

For this trip, I went to a few of Tokyo’s leading craft stores, located in Nippori and Shinjuku. In this post, I will share about my way around Nippori Textile Town. Hopefully by next week, I will finish blogging about ones I visited in Shinjuku in the following post.
Here we go!

Nippori Textile Town (繊維街/Sen-i-gai)

When I arrived at Nippori Station (by JR Yamanote Line), I was at the run-down South Exit. Fortunately for me, before I start sounding my panic alarm, there were a couple of big direction sign boards to welcome me.Nippori Textile street

Actually, I was more familiar with the access to Textile Town via the North & EAST exits:Nippori North Exit
Once you reach ground floor, follow the red line: by passing through the (1) information map, (2) statue, (3) bus station, (4) police box to get to the main street. The purple line shows the alternative way from the south exit.Nippori Textile Town

The Official Map of Nippori Textile Town:

TomatoThis collectable map (保存版) in Japanese, is usually available next to the cashier in most stores. For those of you who wish to have it before going to Nippori, I have scanned and compiled it for your convenience (i.e. personal printing). Click here for the PDF file
Note: This map was printed on 2010.03

According to the map, there are a total of 86 participating stores. However, I visited only a handful of them. The main reason is that not all the stores have an inviting storefront or “consumer-friendly” interior. They appear more like offices or cluttered storehouses rather than a typical craft/fabric store. I tried to go into a few of them and felt so uncomfortable that I had to get out immediately despite of the store owners’ friendliness.

As mentioned above, the map I took from a store just this week is already two years old. So, there is likely to have some missing or incorrect information. You may wish to compare it with the online-version map (in English). There is also another link, which includes a list of the Sen-i-gai’s participating stores with their websites in Japanese. Hopefully, the online presence of the stores (if any picture available) may give you an idea whether to include them in your own list of must-visit places.

OH, before I forget:
Do remember to bring sufficient CASH with you. This is because almost ALL of these store do not accept other form of payment.

Okay, here are my two all-time favorites…

Tomato (トマト)

Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
(Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Their online store is also available now (in Japanese).

There isn’t any determined fabric hunter (when given a chance to set foot into Tokyo) will want to miss out on the reputable Tomato in Nippori. Skipping out on Tomato is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower. Tomato, with a total of five stores, dominates the fabric town.

Select / セレクト館: (1-2F) organic cotton, laces, YUWA, matkalippu, knit, linen, wool, fur, etc. (See map #33)
Interior / インテリア館: (1-2F) curtain materials and parts, blinds, etc. (See map #39)
Notion / ノーション館: sewing tools, notions, threads, ribbons, beads, buttons, felt, decoration, craft accessories, etc. (See map #46)
Arch / アーチ館: (1F) “1 meter-100 Yen” corner, fabric on sale, bags/shoes, zakka, etc. (2F) showroom, operations department. (See map #47)Tomato Main Building
Main building / Honkan (本館): (1F) “1 meter-100 Yen” corner, linings, cotton, various prints, etc. (2F) knit corner, fur, denim, madras, synthetic leather, etc. (3F) stage/party-related fabric, dress samples, spangle, sequins, etc. (4F) cotton house with a great variety of prints, pattern and designs, etc. (5F) pre-cut fabric for patchwork & quilting, cotton, jeans fabric, chirimen crepe, bag-making accessories, etc. (See map #48)

Mihama Cloth / Mihama Kurosu (ミハマクロス)

Opening hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
(Closed on Sundays & Public Holidays)
ミハマクロスMihama Cloth, with its pictures above, is the first store (located at map #44/ next to Tomato Notion). It’s second store (2号店) is just behind it (see map #45). I love this store because of the way they neatly packed the fabrics in clear plastic bags with price, material type, measurement all clearly printed. This makes it so much easier for the buyers. And of course, their pricing is really reasonable as well.

Other Noteworthy Stores

Tsukiyasu Hiroshi Shouten (月安博司商店)
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Location: map #37

Yamayo (やまよ)
Opening hours: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
(Closed on 1-3 January annually)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Location: map #20 (Branch) / map #72 (Main)

ZakZak (ザクザク)
Opening hours:
10:00 am – 7:00 pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
11:00 am – 6:00 pm (on Sundays)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Location: map #40 (Chuo-Dori) / map #64 (Main)

For those of you who wish to check out leather, fur, bag-making materials/parts or related, do check out these stores too:

Maki Ito Kegawa (マキ・いとう毛皮)
Opening hours: 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Location: map #31

And Leather (革のAnd Leather) – Main & Annex
Opening hours:
9:30 am – 6:30 pm (Mondays to Saturdays)
9:30 am – 5:30 pm (on Sundays & Public Holidays)
(Closed on 1-3 January annually)
Check their website for more details (in Japanese).
Location: map #42 (Annex) / map #63 (Main)

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10 comments on “Craft Stores in Japan – Tokyo (Nippori)

  1. Vivian
    August 12, 2013

    Hi Blackcabbit,

    Thanks for the information you shared. Did you get to see any stores that sells the leather tools and gadgets? I am learning to make leather handbags so will be needing many different types of handbag accessories like locks and buckles. It would be great if you could let me know any of those shops that sell them. Thanks

    • blackcabbit
      August 12, 2013

      You are most welcome, Vivian.
      To be honest, I was paying more attention to fabrics and general craft material when I was in Nippori the couple of times. So I am not sure if I can advise you confidently.

      Nonetheless, having said that, I know the store – “And Leather (革のAnd Leather)” – Main & Annex, is a store with leather goods and bag-related stuffs, so maybe you may want check it out (the store info is above). Anyway, here is the website in Japanese: http://www14.plala.or.jp/kutuya/nippori/nippori.htm

      I also remember seeing leather related stuffs in Tomato. Hope this help, sorry for not being able to help more. Happy creating, Cheers ^_^Y

  2. Angela
    November 6, 2012

    Thanks Blackcabbit for the clear guidance… I will be going to Japan next week. And Nippori Textile Town is a MUST to go place….

    • blackcabbit
      November 6, 2012

      Dearest Angela, Glad you find it useful. May your trip in Nippori Textile Town (and Japan on the whole) be a super fruitful, fun and inspiring one! Do share with me, if you stumble onto any thing new & interesting. ^_^Y

  3. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012

    Thanks for your generosity! As we talked, I linked your Nippori page to my blog post about Nippori. Please take a look when you have time. http://myhomesewingcafe.blogspot.jp/2012/06/fabric-shopping-in-nippori-fabric-town.html

    • blackcabbit
      June 29, 2012

      You are most welcome! Well-written blog and good advice you have there! ^_^b

  4. blackgodzilla
    March 4, 2012

    I agree with Alan, your guide was very thorough. I have been on the Yamanote Line plenty of time on my trips to Tokyo, but never knew Nippori was so interesting. Sewing and crafting is also a hobby of hers, I’m going take my wife there next time. One hobby that we both share is our love for home gardening; do you know if this is a district in Tokyo like Nippori, but for gardening or fishing (for me)?

    • blackcabbit
      March 5, 2012

      Thank you so much for your heartwarming comment, Blackgodzilla. So sweet of you to want to take your wife there. I’m sure she will have a great time there.

      I’m very squeamish with insects especially the evil spiders. And I’m totally NOT green-finger. Every green plant will turn brown & dried up on me, even with my best intentions. However, I do know of a great store good for gardening hobby. Have you been to Joyful Honda? (I think i’ll eventually blog about this place soon too). They have stores in Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tochigi & Gunma. Here is the link for more info: http://www.joyfulhonda.com (Japanese website).

      Sadly, I know nothing about fishing. But i love seafood, SUSHI! :P

  5. Alan Zulch
    March 3, 2012

    Wow, such comprehensive guidance you offer! Of course, I’m not surprised, being a long-time visitor and admirer of your blog. But I’m duly impressed, nonetheless, that you have such unflagging energy and creativity, especially given your “Akuma-no-nisai”!

    How is it, I wonder, that I continue to get such a kick out of reading a blog about, well, crafts and textiles? I subscribe to probably one or two other blogs in total, so this one clearly passes some hurdle. Must be the fact that you are an exemplary “bridge” providing super-clear visibility, in English, about the subtleties of a beloved culture (clearly beloved to both of us).

    Great gratitude to you from overseas, as always, for making such a heartfelt effort. It is very much appreciated by me, and I’m sure many who don’t take the time to write.

    • blackcabbit
      March 3, 2012

      Thank you Alan, my favorite comment of the day! Sure make a great & jolly day for me. Now i can only blog in-between the brief moments whenever my little boy ignored me (i.e. 5 mins per hour?!) Frankly, I’m waiting for my Akuma-no-nisai to enroll into his kindergarten next year. Then my creativity will be UNSTOPPABLE… Who can stop me then Wah ha ha ha (it will be like conquering the ART-CRAFT world!) ^_^Y

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