It was almost time for my 60-day visa to expire and I had to leave China to renew it. So off we went to Tokyo. My first priority was yarn. I googled yarn stores in Tokyo and several blogs had recommendations. I made my list and went in search of yarn.
My first attempt was a fail. We took a long circuitous route in search of Mother Earth supposedly located at 3-3-39 Minamiazabu Minato-ku. We strolled through some very interesting neighborhoods, but no Mother Earth.
The second attempt was also a fail. I was in search of Avril, which is known as Habu Textiles in the USA. From examining a Tokyo Metro map, the stop was somewhat off the grid. Given that I had some lovely yarn from Habu Textiles in my stash already, I decided to forego Avril.
Attempt #3 was a home run. We took the Tokyo Metro from the Roppongi Station to the Shinjuku Station. According to Wikipedia, “the station was used by an average of 3.64 million people per day in 2007, making it … the world’s busiest transport hub.” I believe it.
Finding the yarn store required navigating the streets with our smart phone map. It isn’t too far from the station, but it is tucked away on a busy pedestrian street. Okadaya is an arts and crafts store. Different floors house sewing supplies, buttons, ribbons, wigs, and yarn. Photos are not allowed but just imagine yarn nirvana. There was Noro, of course, but I selected Japanese brands that I had not seen in the United States.
First I found Sonomono in this natural color. Each ball is 40 grams, 64 meters of 40% Alpaca, 30% Wool and 30% Linen.
After my husband checked on me to make sure I had not suffocated in a crate of yarn (I guess I was up there a long time), I picked up two of these cotton cupcakes by Nicotto. Each cupcake is 30 grams, 50 meters of 100% Cotton.
We also took some time to visit a couple of museums. The Tokyo National Museum was a highlight with its display of beautiful kimonos from the Edo Period (17c-19c). The garments were in glass display cases so the photos may have reflections.
25 thoughts on “Of Yarn and Kimonos”
Reblogged this on Amanda's Words / starfire8me and commented:
Those are really nice.
I’d like to thank you for stopping by my blog and also to say that your blog is wonderful. I am amazed that you traveled all those places by web. I’m not brave when traveling to go off the beaten path like that.
I was also surprised that you could not photograph inside of the store. Here in Hawaii the Japanese visitors pretty much have their cameras sewn to their hands. I just can imagine how unique and exquisite it must have looked in there. I have found the Japanese to be so inventive and creative. I always admire how they dress when visiting the museum where I am a docent.
I look forward to your post and photos. Aloha from Hawaii
Everyone was dressed very nicely, the men and women!
You are having such an interesting time. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to explore the cultures of Japan and China.
It has certainly been an experience. Sometimes I really do miss American food though.
Ha ha I’m not surprised!
Great pictures as ever. I’m so enjoying the armchair tour of the east. The kimono’s are amazing!
The material was so fine. I loved the embroidery. There were even men and women wearing kimonos walking around.
I love the cupcake skeins of yarn! Thanks for posting the photos of the kimonos!
Glad you liked them. I wish I could have tried them on!
I love kimonos! Thank you for the inspiring pictures!
You can see where some of them are worn. They are very old.
The kimonos are beautiful. I love the yarn cupcakes too!
I could not resist the yarn cupcakes.
I thought those kimonos were stunning too.
Glad you managed to find a yarn shop on your third try.
Reblogged this on Egg in the Middle and commented:
These kimonos are unbelievable as is this beautiful blog!!!
Thanks for stopping by. I loved the kimonos. The material was so fine.
I’m glad you made it to Okadaya. The cupcake yarn is gorgeous; I’m such a sucker for good packaging design!
Thanks for the directions on your blog! I think that Mother Earth must no longer exist. Or my iPhone map really led us astray. It was a great walk though and we found some peaceful shrines.
If you’re still in Tokyo you must go to Yuzawaya in Shinjuku, it’s yarn heaven!! And get a member card on the spot for very good discounts 🙂
Hopefully I’ll get an opportunity to go again and I will definitely look for it. Thanks for the tip!
Thank you for the very interesting “tour” you took us all on. I love the cupcake yarns, so unique! 😉
Aren’t those great?! I couldn’t resist taking a couple.
Those cupcakes are supercute! I went to Tokyo but didn’t think about looking for yarn shops there. Doh!