I thought that I would come home with suitcases packed with yards (or meters!) of Japanese fabrics, notions and books, but I came home with very little evidence of my trip to Japan. I don't know why. I thought I had done the right research, but I either missed the crafting stores as a result of sensory overload or I was just too tired at the end of the day (which is when we usually had time for shopping) to really focus on looking for them.
I did a little research before going and printed out a map of Nippori's Sen-i-Gai (Fabric Town) in Tokyo from this site. I dragged Brian there after a day trip to Nikko. We arrived around 4:15 in the afternoon, which was not the best time to go shopping in this district, because most places seemed determined to close at 5:00. It seemed to be a wholesale district and I didn't see any cute stores, though we did happen upon a notions branch of Tomato.
Tomato was packed with young squealing girls who spent time salivating over adorable buttons and ribbons. This girl squealed at this display of zippers:
Lacey zippers! How fun are they? I should have grabbed a bunch in every color, but I only picked up one each in pink, red, and black. I'm not quite sure how to attach them, but I'll figure it out.
I didn't really find any other craft stores or fabric stores (though there was a nice section at Tokyu Hands), but I did happen upon these at a sock shop and I think I should only be allowed to wear them when sewing:
As for books, I spent a good hour perusing the sewing/craft section at Kinokuniya, but walked away without a thing. I finally found a good embroidery book at Narita Airport. I haven't translated the author's name yet, but the book is called "12 Stitches Idea" and it's pretty fabulous.
I really fell in love with this shirt. So adorable. They also suggest doing this on a piece of ribbon for your own homemade measuring tape.
I also really liked these coasters:
Maybe I'll have better luck next time. Brian has agreed to at least one more trip to Japan and only if we go see Kyoto. He also kept asking how far away Miyajima was from Tokyo, so I think we'll have to do a Kyoto-Hiroshima-Miyajima excursion someday.