teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Friday 10 June 2016

Exploring Japan - Tokyo's Nippori Textile Town

Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Any fabric lover visiting Japan will want to pay a visit to Nippori Textile Town, in Tokyo.

Nippori Textile Town is very easy to reach by train to any of three stations: Mikawashima Station on the JR Line; Uguisu Dani Station on the JR Line; and Nippori Station on the JR Line and Keisei Line.  I arrived via Nippori Station and when I got off the train I was greeted with this sign showing me the direction to walk to the fabric shops which are less than 5 minutes walk from the station.

Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Most shops have a map of the area available free of charge if you ask for one.  The map is regularly updated but here's a pdf copy I picked up when I visited.  

A fave shop for most people to visit is Tomato - there are numerous branches all on the same street - each shop sells a different type of fabric.  Here's a guide to what each Tomato store sells floor by floor - it's in Japanese but if you right click the 'Translate to English' option should appear.

Tomato Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Tomato Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Quilting weight fabric is sold in the main store pictured below.

Tomato Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Let's tour the main store together now, we'll start at the top floor and work our way down.

This floor sold US quilting fabrics so I didn't hang around here, I can get this stuff easily at home and the prices are more expensive than home too as they've been imported into Japan!

How crazy are the prices (hanging from the ceiling)? Everything is so cheap, when I was there $1 was approx ¥10 so you can see these fabrics were about $3.80 or £2.45/metre (1 metre is approx 1-1/8 yards).

Bag handles - I did purchase a few.

Japanese blue and white fabrics.

All those wonderful linen/cotton blends such as Echino and Kokka, etc.

I can't remember what this floor stocked, talk about fabric overload and I'd never before believed that could actually be a real thing!

We're finally back on the ground floor but there's still so much fabric to see.

That's my fabric being cut.

So with my shopping trip to Tomato over and my hands full of fabric filled shopping bags it was time to eat lunch.  Fancy a curry?

If you love curry as much as I do then here's the directions to get to a great hole in the wall curry house.
As you walk out of the main Tomato store that sells the quilting fabric you'll see this Tomato store on the corner of a street opposite.  Cross the road and walk up the street along the side of this other Tomato on your left.

Tomato Nippori Textile Town Tokyo Japan

Just a few steps along the road on your right is Mirmire - the curry house.

It's tiny - in the pic below I'm stood outside the curry house looking in and that's all of it in the pic - so tiny, so cute.

While I was in Tokyo I met up with one of my Manhattan quilting students, Aya, who had recently moved home to Tokyo again.  Aya came with me to Nippori and we also did another Tokyo shopping trip together that I'll share another day.  Here's Aya eating our fab lunch - curry, naan bread and a lassi drink for ¥100 - $10/£6.46!

Another shop I bought fabric in is this one - I don't know what it's called but it was immediately opposite the main Tomato store and had great quilting weight cotton.

I was little girl excited to spot this Bernina dealer on the main street too.

So I only stopped in at two stores - yes just two, hard to believe but I bought so much fabric in these two alone that it was hard to justify the money and time to continue shopping plus I was exhausted and couldn't carry any more!!!  If you've opened the pdf map I included earlier though you'll see there's many many shops and more streets than the main street I've taken you down.  You could spend so much time here if you luggage allowance and wallet allows!

Speaking of purchases here's what I bought.

And here's how I transported my fabric home to the States.  

I took an empty luggage case with me to Japan and filled it with fabric while we were staying in Tokyo during the first of my three weeks in the country.  At the end of the first week, I had the now full case shipped to our hotel at the airport where we would be spending our last night before our early morning flight home.  

This service is provided by hotels throughout Japan at a small charge and sending the case on ahead of us meant I didn't have to carry around that case heavily loaded with fabric as we started our two-week tour of other areas of the country.  Doing this was quite possibly the best thing I could have done, we were a bit uncertain about doing it but, as with everything in Japan, it worked - the service was amazing.

Permission granted by a staff member to take and blog all store photos.

Visiting Japan?  Read my previous Exploring posts by clicking the images below:

Exploring Japan - Tokyo's Ginza, Okachimachi and Ueno by www.madebyChrissieD.com Exploring Japan - Tokyo's Ginza, Okachimachi and Ueno by www.madebyChrissieD.com Exploring Japan - Tokyo's Ginza, Okachimachi and Ueno by www.madebyChrissieD.com Exploring Japan - Tokyo's Ginza, Okachimachi and Ueno by www.madebyChrissieD.com

Additional posts about Tokyo Shopping, Kurashiki and more coming soon!

For details of other fabric, yarn, trim and notion stores I've visited around the world along with the NYC stores I love, exhibitions and events I've attended and wonderful people I've been lucky to meet click the links below or on my sidebar :D


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  1. I'm very interested in the blue fabrics you mention in your post. Is this a store that sells online?

    1. Hi Linda the store's website is in Japanese with no obvious translate function. You can use the right click button on your mouse and Google's 'translate to English' option should be there. Tomato do have an online store - here's a link directly to the page on the website but I can't make head nor tail of it so I guess the short answer to international shipping is probably 'no' - Chris

  2. Wow ... It sounds like paradise ;-)

  3. Loved reading your story (I always enjoy reading about your travels) and what a great selection of fabrics you bought, especially seeing the Union Jack, also converting prices for us Brits :) Thanks Chrissie

  4. I recall the fabric overload very well. And the japanese indigo fabrics. Fortunately, shipping it home is relatively cheap compared to usa to japan rates. I think I managed four stores before my jetlag and arms gave out - from holding all my purchases.

  5. Most japanese use the 'suitcase' service to ship their luggage to the airport prior to travelling out of the country. Amazing service--I sent my two heaviest bags to my friends hone in kyoto so I didn't have to juggle luggage while touring tokyo prior to grabbing the shink train to kyoto for $17? Amazing.

  6. I LOVE this post. Takes me right back!!!

  7. what an amazing place ti visit and all those lovely fabrics! #TheRealCraftyLinkParty

  8. Those fabrics look awesome, I so envy you right now...

  9. Thank you for this information! I'm going to Tokyo next week and I'm happy I found your blog. I really must go to visit Nippori town, it looks great place. You also got a new reader :)


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Chris Dodsley

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