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Friday, January 27, 2012

Japan Trip Fabric Hunting - Day 1

Dear crafters/bloggers/customers

I am sorry if I haven’t replied your emails. Managed to clear all of them today and some will be very disappointed with my answers since I do not have the time to sew the bags and also cut the fabric or even sell them.

The reason I am updating the blog today is to share with you the experience of fabric hunting in Japan. This plan started in 2010 when I was all out into bags and fabric part time business apart from my 9-5 job.

It was my colleague who has been to Japan twice suggested the idea that I should go to Japan myself and visit the fabric town. Of which I was reluctant in the beginning since my husband was away working in Dubai. She has been to the fabric town in her last trip, unfortunately it was on a Sunday so there weren’t that many shops opened.

It all happened when Air Asia X had an offer to Japan sometime back in Nov 2010. I got the nod from hubby to leave the kids for 4 days and my parents agreed to look after them. I was feeling guilty actually to leave the kids with my parents since every time I went to Dubai, my parents are the ones that have to sacrifice their time to be with my kids. These include sending them to school, prepare their meals and etc. But my mom was adamant that I should go since she knew that I love fabric.

We almost shelved our trip when there was a tsunami in March. Only after raya, we started preparing our itineraries.  Submitted our visa application a week after raya. Booked our hotel and hostels at the same time too. Please bear in mind that the two of us will be on our own. Therefore both of us has to be fit and fully prepared to walk.

Fabric shops that we planned to visit :

1. Tomato, located in Nippori Fabric Town, the largest shop in fabric town with a few outlets on the street.

2. Yuzawaya, they have many branches in Tokyo as well as in Japan

3. Okadaya, located at Shinjuku.

4. Marunan, located at Shibuya.

5. Uniqlo, an apparel store like the one we have in KLCC.

On 29th September we took the 2:30pm flight and arrived in Haneda Airport at 10:45pm. Took the free shuttle from the airport to Toyoko Inn and spent a night there. The next morning took the same shuttle again to Haneda airport with our huge luggage (thinking that we shop like crazy hehehe). From the airport we took the subway into Tokyo. The ride took us about 50 minutes.

We arrived at the Kuramae station around 11am and took a minute walk to our hostel at K’s Hostel. You can check the link here. Paid the hostel fees for two nights and left our luggage there. Check in time was 3pm and we have ample time to go to Nippori Fabric Town.

From Kuramae station we took the Asakusa line to Asakusa. From Asakusa we took the Ginza line to Ueno. From Ueno we took the Yamanote Line to Nippori. From the Nippori station we walk for 500 meters to reach the Nippori Town. You can follow the metro lines route from the link below.


or You can read more about the way to Nippori Fabric Town from here.  Or you can just google for Nippori, Tomato fabric town, you will find endless information on them.

Since I was too excited with too many shops to visit, I forgot to take pictures.  You can view the pictures from the link above or just google images for Nippori Town . In Tomato, one can find everything under one roof. Each floor housed different types of fabric. The fabric ranges from cotton, lycra, wool, knitted cotton, jersey, oil-cloth, linen and etc. One will be spoilt with choices.

We spent about 3 hours there and left the place with some fabric in hand. I wasn’t my usual self (which is shop like there is no tomorrow) like I was when I shopped in Dubai, mainly because the price was way to high for my budget. Had to stop my urge of buying more fabrics as I still have lots of them from my recent shopping spree in Dubai last March.

Reached the hostel at 3:10pm, we checked-in, washed up and performed our prayers. We unpacked our bags and took an hour rest before we left again for beads shopping nearby Kuramae. Couldn’t find anything that pleased our pockets as most of the beads were way too expensive. Had dinner of Maggi mee in the hostel. The free wifi connection was super duper fast. I continued with my Nora Elena series from tonton.com after chatting with kids and hubby.