When I first started planning my trip to Japan for 2018, I knew that this time around I wanted to check out a local fabric shop or two. I knew that with the upcoming season for Atlantic Fashion Week, I wanted to incorporate some traditional Japanese silks/fabrics into my designs should I be accepted.
I went on my computer to do a Google search of nearby fabric shops that might be close to my hotel, and was pleasantly surprised to not just find a fabric shop but an entire street dedicated to silks, threads, fabrics, zippers, appliques, and every other notion one may need! This street is called Nippori Fabric Town, and it is basically the length of our Main Street in Moncton, with shops on either side of the road.
A fashion designers dream!!! :D
A week into our Tokyo trip, I decided to take a walk to Nippori to browse the many shops. Unfortunately, I didn't bother to check the weather for the day and we ended up walking the 30mins to the fabric district in the pouring rain. lol OOPS!!!! :P
To make things even more difficult for us, we only noticed the metro station after walking 45mins from our hotel to the textile street. lol
Anyways, when you exit the Nippori Station you can pick up a map of the fabric town to easily navigate yourself to the shops you want to see.
Upon arrival to the fabric district, I noticed that the main store chain was called Tomato. There are actually a number of Tomato shops on the street but the main shop featured five floors of fabric and embellishments. Luckily there is a elevator and trolleys provided to help me on my fabric adventure.
Now I have to mention, most of the fabric shops that aren't owned by Tomato have their own hours of operation. Some open as early at 8am, others at noon. But, every shop in the fabric district all close at the exact same time every day 6pm.
Strange eh? :)
To carry on with my fabric shopping, I knew I had in mind a particular pattern with koi fish. I researched months prior to our trip to Japan, and instantly fell in love with all the beautiful koi fish fabrics I found from other bloggers, and vloggers on YouTube, etc. So when I got the Nippori I was on a mad hunt for these fabrics. lol I thought about making our signature shift dress in the material. :)
My first purchase was a pretty black/gold koi fish fabric. :D Which I had made into a shift dress for AFW! :)
Tomato had so many amazing fabrics, some traditional, cotton, silks, even animated/cartoon printed fabrics. I could easily have spent MANY hours just going through one single floor of fabric.
Not too far from Tomato was another shop that was pretty much a house of buttons. :) I have never seen so many buttons in my life! 0_0 lol There was so much I wanted to get, but had no idea if I'd actually use in the future. lol :P I tend to shop on impulse. lol
Our second trip to Nippori was actually the day before we left. That's when I did most of my shopping. :) The first trip was just to get the lowdown of the area; which shops I'd be returning to, prices, etc.
Every other shop that wasn't connected to Tomato specialized in different products. For example, one shop sold nothing but threads, another sold only appliques, one sold only leather fabrics, etc. You get the idea. :) It isn't like our own fabric shops back home where everything is located in one shop, but that's the fun of it. :P
I think my most favorite shop was the store that sold authentic silks used for making traditional kimonos. :D They were heavy, rich silks and so very expensive! 0_0 lol I could have easily blown my entire fabric budget one 1 small piece of silk from this shop. lol
There were several shops that didn't allow photos to be taken, and we totally respected that. Before I even took any images I asked permission. :) Every shop I entered, we were greeted with the most respect, and in return we showed our respect. Bowing politely as we entered a shop, and bowing again thanking the clerks for our purchases. :)
There were even a couple shops with super cute cat fabrics that I wished I picked up when I saw them. :D lol
After spending a ridiculous amount of money, we heading back to our hotel. The day we spent at Nippori was the day before we left for Canada. But, I still managed to spend several hours in the textile district. Many shops didn't have air conditioning, so my husband waited outside for me while I browsed. :P I didn't mind me the heat. lol I tend to get chilled very easily, which is one of the reasons why you'll see me wearing a large hoodie in the summer. :P
That's all for this blog. :D
I will be doing one final Japan blog of just our random travels, and exploring throughout Tokyo. :)
Side note - Look at how tiny that Starbucks is! :D LOL