Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nippori Textile Town

Nippori is a suburb of Tokyo which has a street dedicated to fabric and sewing supplies at reasonable prices. The Nippori station is on the Yamanote line.
As soon as you exit the station, there are many signs which point you in the right direction.

I love visiting these more working class parts of Tokyo. We seemed to be the only foreigners about. I think you get a real snapshot of what daily life is like when you venture away from the central parts of Tokyo.

Good food is never far away in Japan.

 There were many shops selling clothes and everyday items at very low prices.

 So we found shop after shop selling amazing fabrics and notions. Some shops specialise in particular items, such as buttons and buckles, or leather. I wisely took along my small wheelie suitcase to carry back all my fabric purchases.
The most popular store was Tomato, which consists of four separate shops, each specialising in a particular fabric or notion. The fabric shop was packed with women frantically buying fabric - it was really difficult to move around in this store, and a little hard to browse due to limited space. But even so, shop attendants still came to my rescue and carried my bolts of fabric up to the counter for me. And even though the queues were long, they seemed to process each order quite quickly. There was a huge variety of fabrics to choose from, with each floor carrying a different type of fabric.
 Here's a little of what I bought.

 My daughter and I want to make fake red leather handbags from this vinyl.

I do recommend Nippori as a fabric shopping destination. However, if you have limited time, you could really do all your fabric shopping in Shinjuku and Shibuya. I was shopping with 2 kids tagging along, and although my son was very patient, there is only so much fabric shopping a boy can take. I was able to bribe him with lunch at Mos Burger, which was near Nippori station. So, maybe head out to Nippori if you have half a day to yourself, with time to leisurely browse each shop - it really is a fun town to explore and see daily Japanese life in action.
Have a look at this website, for some awsome photos of Nippori - http://tokyofashion.com/nippori-fabric-town-pictures-video/

Next post: Asakusabashi Bead Town.


  1. I can't imagine how much stuff you squeeze into your suitcases on your way home from Tokyo...hahaha. Really nice fabric! I love all of the pictures that you post.

  2. Beautiful material!