To finish up my gushy Japan posts (at least for a while), I have to feature some crafty goodness. Some of these items may turn into presents, so if you’re my mother-in-law, STOP READING NOW. Everyone else, enjoy!

Craft shops in Japan are a little harder to find than you might expect. But when you find them, watch out. The famous Yuzawaya in Kamata (southern Tokyo) is virtually its own town, comprised of 11 buildings and a giant Knitting Ram clock.


Every town should be so lucky.

I also discovered a new crafting store in Nagoya’s Sakae shopping district, which I imagine is like the Fifth Avenue of Cleveland, whatever that might be.

Now for some show-and-tell:


A set of adorable “Animal Complex” fabric – five sweet little swatches. Now is really the time to take up sewing.


Crafty, semi-evil-looking bunnies. Note the one full-bodied bunny in the bottom left corner. Score!


Giraffe, baby chick, and bullet train patches.


A nuigurumi kitty kit that I will make. Believe it or not, this will be my first felt toy. Hope I’m ready to make it in Japanese. Results soon, hopefully.

And my personal favorite:


This ribbon reminds us how proud we should be of our accomplishments in sitting. Of course, if most of my (non-English-speaking) Japanese friends were to tell you what this ribbon reads, it would be a different story entirely.

And now that it’s really springtime, I should probably go out and do something in New York.

5 thoughts on “Kurafuto

  1. Yay! I am so glad that you posted this. My brother is in the Navy in Japan right now stationed near Sasabo and he always has no idea what to bring back for me because he has no idea where to look for crafty things. Never having been to Japan, it’s hard for me to say “buy this and it’s located here,” but now I can direct him to Kamata and tell him to stock up. Do you know of any other crafty places?

    P.S. Those bunnies are kinda scary and remind me of this children’s book I read once in middle school about this albino vampire bunny named..Bunnicula I think. He drained the life from vegetables and…was evil somehow…but the main character was this talking dog who always tried to stop Bunnicula from…draining vegetables? I forgot how the plot went. It was much more exciting than I am letting on.

  2. Miki, your brother’s best bests are Yuzawaya, which is a chain, and, to a lesser extent, Tokyu Hands, which is a more general DIY store, but always has fun stuff and also has stores across Japan. Hope that helps!

    Coincidentally, my dad was also in the Navy and stationed in Japan for a while several decades ago.

    I vaguely remember that bunny story too….

  3. hey! that’s my neighborhood!
    seriously, my first job was at the mcdonalds across the rotary from yuzawaya.

  4. That is so funny. It seemed like an interesting neighborhood – lots of little old shops and arcades.

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