One of the main reasons I've always wanted to go to Tokyo is to check out the amazing fabric shops. I wasn't disappointed. I'm not sure why, but sewing seems to be a lot more popular there. There is a place called 'Fabric Street' in 'Fabric Town' where the whole street is filled with just about every kind of fabric shop you could imagine. It's in Nippori which is about a half hour train ride from Tokyo Station. My favourite shop in Nippori was called Tomato. It was massive - I'm talking multiple buildings, each several stories high. I think it's kind of like our spotlight… except awesome and with stuff you'd actually want to buy. People were crowding out the front waiting for Tomato to open (though maybe this has something to do with the fact that shops in Japan open pretty late at 10am). When it finally did open the store was abuzz with shoppers. I was struck by how many trendy looking young men there were (both working and shopping) - it would appear that sewing isn't so divided on gender lines in Japan.
I also went fabric shopping in Shibuya at a shop called Marunan. It is a pretty awesome shop and right in the heart of Shibuya (across the road from the train station) which is a big entertainment and shopping district. It's multi storey (about 6 levels if I remember correctly) - with lots of fabric treasure to be found. I found some gems in their clearance bins for some pretty awesome prices.
I really wanted to go to Okadaya in Shinjuku, as I've heard it is amazing, but the Mr. really wasn't up for enduring another fabric shopping trip. It will have to wait for next time!
Here are some of the treasures I brought home with me… (keep in mind I was on a tight budget seeing as we are about to build our house - it was VERY hard to be restrained!!)