Well my friends, it is high time I shared some pictures of the fabric haul I brought back from my trip to Japan!

This is going to be a pic-heavy post!!

Firstly, I went to Nippori in Tokyo – twice! I went back a second time because I only had about 2 hours on each trip. And for a place like Nippori, even if you’ve been there before, two hours is barely enough.

On the first trip I mostly just hit the secondhand kimono stores. I picked up a few of those, but I’ll save them for a future post.

On the second trip I went back to my favourite store, Nagato, where I picked up three pieces of fabric. The first was a remnant from the bin in front of the store for ¥800. This is a slightly fuzzy jersey, perfect for a winter pullover or cardigan.

The next was an animal-print interlock which was ¥1600/m.

And then while I was in the queue for the counter, I spotted these amazing panel prints – this is a jersey as well, probably a cotton-lycra blend. I got two panels for ¥2400.

After Nagato I wandered into the button store which I missed on my last trip. It was bonkers. So much kawaii!! I managed to restrain myself and came away with a couple of packs of buttons, and these pieces of cat print cotton.

You can never have too much cat print, that’s what I say. I particularly love the skeleton candy skull print. It has skeleton fish.

Then I ventured into one of the Tomato stores – there’s about 3 shop fronts but it’s all the same shop. I’d missed this section last time, too; that time, there was a massive queue out the front of the store so I  gave it a miss. Well, this time I got in there and it was pretty hard to make any decisions, there being so much cool stuff available. But in the end I settled on this heavy cotton pineapple print, which I’m intending on making into a bag of some sort.

And this adorable polar bear cotton canvas. Both of these  were ¥2820.

But I wasn’t done with Nippori yet! I also managed to pick up some laminated fabric for the bargain price of ¥650 each for pieces 50cm wide by 110cm long.

And finally I hit the shop that only does pre-cut 2m pieces of cotton fabric – each of these was around ¥1000.

The Fuji-san print is a bit full-on, but the navy and gold print I think will make a nice button-down shirt.

Now, where I was staying in Tokyo was Kamata, and Kamata boasts a 5-storey Yuzawaya:

Okay, so I couldn’t read the sign either, but basically it is five levels and three shopfronts of crafter’s heaven. It has an amazing leather and bagmaking section which I was drooling over:

Those aren’t reels of ribbon – they are leather cords and webbing for belts and bag handles. But, knowing that I just don’t make as many bags as I would really like to, I held back. I did buy this cute piece of quilting cotton, I think it was ¥600 or thereabouts.

On the advice of another blogger’s post about their adventures in Japan, I went looking for the Bunka Fashion College and the alleged shop they have at the college. I found the college but after 40 minutes of wandering around the college campus I gave up looking for the shop. I did find a cool display of the work of the fashion students, though.

Some really interesting and diverse pieces on display!

I had a couple of days in Kyoto, and although I wanted to do some sightseeing as well, I managed to fit in a visit to Nomura Tailor.

Unfortunately, due to a day of sightseeing, and a flat battery on my phone, I only found the shop about 40 minutes before they closed, so I didn’t have a lot of time to peruse the fabulous array of goods they had on display. I did manage to bring home a gorgeous piece of navy blue heavy linen, but I can’t remember how much it was because the tax desk at the airport took my receipt 🙂

As well as that I grabbed a remnant of what I think might be a Liberty print – they had a massive counter of remnants and I wish I’d had more time to have a proper rummage.

And the other thing I grabbed while there is an issue of “Cotton Friend” – a Japanese pattern magazine.

It has a pile of great, simple yet elegant clothing patterns and several bag patterns as well. Yes, it is all in Japanese characters which I can’t read, but the diagrams are very clear and as most of the pieces are quite simple I’m sure I’ll be able to figure it out.

But this wouldn’t be a post about Japan in spring if I didn’t give you some sakura!* This picture was taken on Miyajima Island, near Hiroshima.

I’m not the world’s best photographer, but it’s pretty hard to take a bad picture of cherry blossom trees. The one below was taken near Nanzenji Shrine in Kyoto.

I hope you enjoyed my little fabric holiday. I would love to know about other textile-related holiday destinations – where have you been that had interesting fabric or craft-related areas?


*Cherry Blossoms. At this time of year, in Japan everything is sakura-themed.