Sunday, April 29, 2012

In the shops... Japanese Eye Candy

I have some shopping - or at least window shopping - to share with you:

First.... what do you see in this photo?

I know - bolts of fabric, right?  That's what I thought, too.  But these are actually folded stacks of washi - PAPER!  This small store, tucked away in an almost impossible-to-find place, carries a generous variety of washi paper.  My friend is going to show me how to cover tea boxes with this paper, decoupage style.  Can't wait!  It was hard to narrow my selections down to just a few papers!

Last week, my great friend Alyson visited from the states and one day we ventured to the small town where she used to live and where her first child was born - Gotemba, at the foot of Mt. Fuji.  It was a mostly rainy day but the cherry blossoms were beautiful.

When we first arrived, we started walking towards Alyson's old house, and it really began to pour rain.  We were in a fairly "out in the middle of nowhere" part of town, and begged umbrellas from the very first store we encountered... here it is - the "Healthy Life From Good Sleep" store - no kidding!  Looked to us like they sold bedding, slippers, etc.

Later, when we returned the loaner umbrellas, we went to the back of the store and to our delight saw that they also sell fabric and lovely crafts.  We had a nice chat and purchased a few small handmade items, made by the shopkeeper's sister.  The prices were high, but not Tokyo-high.

I love this little cat!!  Couldn't afford whatever he was attached to, though.

The Japanese are really, really into making bags.  This was beautiful... with a high price tag too. 
Serendipity on a rainy day!

A day later, on a day trip to Kamakura with another friend, we stumbled across a little fabric shop.

I wasn't in shopping mode, but now looking back at these photos, I wish I'd picked up some of these silk remnants:

And on an unrelated note.... on the way home from Kamakura... sometimes standing on a crowded train is just totally worth it, for the general cuteness of Japanese school children!