Time to update my Tokyo Shopping Guide with some new shops I loved! I’ve visited the Yuzawaya branch in Shinjuku’s Takashimaya Times Square on a previous trip but it wasn’t very exciting compared to other fabric and craft stores in Tokyo. However, everyone raved about the Kichijoji branch and I finally made it over there.
Yuzawaya is situated over two massive floors of a shopping mall. The top floor is mostly fabric plus notions and supplies for sewing and knitting. Having done tons of fabric shopping on my last two trips I managed to restrain myself but they have a lot of amazing stuff, from Japanese kawaii characters to traditional patterns and indie designers. There’s also loads of remnants and quilting packs if you’re on a budget.
Downstairs is more general art and crafts with kits and supplies for everything you can imagine plus wallpaper, DIY and some home goods like towels and slippers. I spent ages here trying to decide what to buy and ended up with a bunny cross stitch pincushion kit, patterned fabric for sashiko, a tiny pompom maker and rubber stamp carving supplies.
If you’re crafty and not too constrained by time, a trip to Kichijoji is definitely worth adding to your itinerary. This branch is especially good for those of us that like to dabble in different crafts as you can pick up lots of fun things in one place.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to Kichijoji is the Keio Inokashira line from Shibuya, but it’s a private line so you can’t use your Japan Rail Pass or Suica card. The JR Chuo line from Shinjuku is the best general line.
Yuzawaya is in the Kirarina Keio mall attached to Kichijoji station so very handy, although slightly tricky to find. If you look for signs to the mall there’s an elevator there that will take you up and Yuzawaya is prominently displayed.
What else to see in Kichijoji?
Inokashira Park is lovely with swan boats on the lake and a zoo. There are some interesting independent shops and food stalls in that area too and bigger stores nearer the station. Marui 0101 has a big Muji with cafe and food store and a brand of ¥100 shop Seria.
The JR Chuo line continues on to Mitaka for the Ghibli Museum and also stops at Nakano, which is worth getting off at to see Nakano Broadway, a huge covered market. There’s an area for collectors with hundreds of displays of secondhand and collectible toys, games, figurines etc.
Last updated: 20 August 2016