Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tokyo Day 9: Clothing, housewares, and Zakka, OH MY! Nakameguro & Shinjuku

I don't want to take away form the seriousness of the events happening in Japan so I struggled with this post. In light of all that I experienced the last couple of days while in Tokyo I felt that I should remind myself of how much I love Japan and not to think of it as the scary place that almost killed me. With that said my heart goes out to all those who have suffered tremendous loss and those who survived at the epicenter of the disasters who now have to carry on and start a new life with heavy hearts. So here's my last day full good day before the earthquake and all the wonderful things I experienced. I will have one more post about the last happy events before the quake too coming up.

I started my day with a trip to Shinjuku to Odakaya one of my favorite fabric and crafting stores. The store is super easy to get to because it's right outside of the East exit at Shinjuku Station, near the Studio Alta building. Odakaya has two buildings, one consisting of 5 floors of fabrics and the other 7 floors of all sorts of crafting supplies, from felting to knitting to pattern books.

After my excursion through a crafters fantasy land I picked up lunch from the 7 Eleven and headed home to drop off my finds and eat. When I was satisfied, I grabbed my cameras and set off to the other side of the Meguro river for some more Nakameguro exploring. I found a slew of tiny stores mostly vintage clothing and housewares and some zakka stores. The buildings and small stores hidden from the main roads were wonderful to photograph and some of the popular places were a also a delight.
Before crossing over the river there were just everyday scenes of Nakameguro in the back streets of my immediate neighborhood and the main commerce street.

This was a great restaurant near the train station.

After crossing the river I found this store which I had scene on google street view before traveling to Tokyo I originally thought it was a restaurant but it was a men's clothing boutique called, VASE, they also carried handmade jewelry and handpainted bags for women, plus all sorts of cute little housewares. There was also, Tokyo Lampoon, a women's vintage clothing store.

If you walk along the river towards the train tracks and pass under them you will come to this Izakaya, which I wanted to try but didn't get a chance because nature had other plans for me. Anywho, if you make a left on this street and walk until you reach another underpass you will see a large ugly red brick building in front of you, this houses a few vintage stores and a cute Zakka store. Here you'll find, Attic Antiques, SIIGE, USA Sundance, Loop, and a few other places,one of the vintage stores had only wares associated with airlines and travel, plus they had a super cute dog working there.

After checking out the stores I came across I lovely cafe/bar called Square Hedges just past the underpass about two blocks. The proprietor, Marie, is a Japanese woman who speaks perfect English and her friend Chel from Arizona hangs out there all the time. They make a delicious Green Tea Latte. Upstairs she rents out to an Aussie, a New Yorker, and I think a guy from California and they have a bike shop/bar. They have total hipster bikes and at night it dubs as a bar.

Getting There: Take the Tokyu Toyoko line to Nakameguro, to cross the river- when coming out of the station cross the street to the opposite side of the station, then turn left and then make the first right and keep walking you will cross the river in about 5 mins.

VASE: 1-7-7 Kamimeguro, Meguro

More addresses to come.

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