Shopping

3 Best Places to Shop for Fabric in Tokyo

18 August 2016

I have been obsessed with sewing for a while, and it’s finally starting to recede with the lack of space in the house – having to haul a 13kg machine along with all my boxes of sewing tools in and out of cupboards is seriously no fun at all.

Before my steam runs out, let me share my top 3 picks on where to shop for fabric in Tokyo!

1. Nippori Textile Town / Nippori Fabric Town

If you only time for one stop, Nippori Textile Town is the place to go!

Seriously, this place is like a freakin’ fabric wonderland, with many, many shops clustered together, carrying everything you need for sewing, from fabric to notions.

Look at the sheer number of stores!

Download: PDF of map and shop list
Saved from nippori-senigai.com

Of all the shops available, my absolute favorite shop is Tomato.

To be more accurate, it should be shops, as Tomato has several different stores in Nippori, each carrying different items.

I like it so much that I felt I had to show you exactly how to get there!

1. From JR Nippori station, head to the South exit (North also works, but usually I go from the South)

2. Exit the station and turn right:

Follow the blue arrow

3. Walk towards the stairs. Follow arrows and make a right turn at the corner:

4. Cross the street and walk in the direction of the traffic:

5. From here it’s straight all the way (with one or two traffic crossings)

6. You’ll start to see fabric shops:

Almost there now…

7. AND WE’RE HERE!

The main building is the real deal, with over 5 floors of crafty goodness, but Arch carries some fabrics that the main building doesn’t, like fleece and denim. Check them both out if you have time! Enjoy!

In the meantime, here’s some eye candy. Don’t drool!

Part of the first floor

There’s a 100 yen corner – yes, that’s $1 for 1 meter! – on both the first and second floors, so pop by to see if you find a good deal! I don’t have use for 90% of the fabric they usually have on sale, but I’ve scored some pretty awesome fabric before! They do state that they don’t entertain questions about fabric in the sale corner though.

 

I love love LOVE fabric with gold accents!!!

Traditional Japanese prints

Anything you want, you probably can find here:

Swimsuit fabric…

Half a floor of satin and lace…

Silvery space-inspired pleather…

… and even lace to make a wedding gown, which by the way, was the most expensive fabric I spotted in the store!

There are carts for you to transport the bolts of fabric to the cutting counter, so be sure to use them! Previously, I didn’t realize they had them and struggled with 4 heavy bolts all the way to the counter -_-

It says not to use them items that are too long (synthetic leather, etc) as it’s dangerous

Helpful notes:

The minimum amount you have to purchase is 1 meter (unless otherwise stated on the fabric), and in 10 cm increments thereafter.

Credit cards are accepted (Mastercard, Visa).

Store is closed on Sundays + PH and at 6pm on all other days. Check the store calendar to make sure you don’t make a wasted trip (like I did once)!

Not related to fabric, but if you’re in Nippori, do pop by Yanaka! It’s an interesting neighborhood located on the side of the West exit :)

Tomato store list: Japanese | Google-translated

Map to Tomato’s main building:

 

2. Yuzawaya

When I just want to pick up a small amount of fabric, I turn to Yuzawaya because it is more convenient than Nippori. There are many outlets sprinkled around town!

The outlet I frequent the most is the one in Shinjuku. It’s on the 11th floor inside Takashimaya Times Square building, which is like 1 minute away from Shinjuku station; very easy to locate!

Edit: The Shinjuku branch has closed down on 6 November 2016.

There are also many branches all around Tokyo (and Japan!) so you should be able to find one near you.

The fabric selection at Yuzawaya is not as plentiful as Tomato, but still pretty decent.

They also sell other crafting goods like notions, yarn, resin, beads, etc. too!

I’m a member so prices are pretty good, as I basically get 20% off non-sale items all the time. If you’re a tourist but can read and write Japanese, you probably can manage filling out the form. Membership is 500 yen a year and you get 20% off on the same day you join!

Helpful notes:

Unlike Tomato, the minimum amount you have to purchase at Yuzawaya is just 10 cm! (Sometimes there is a special price if you purchase a minimum of 1 meter. It’s usually labeled on the tag)

Credit cards are accepted.

Yuzawaya is basically open almost every day.

Yuzawaya store list: Japanese | Google-translated

Shinjuku branch
Nearest station: JR Shinjuku, New South exit (1 min)

3. Okadaya

If you’re in Shinjuku, you can visit not only Yuzawaya above, but Okadaya as well!

Okadaya in Shinjuku has 2 buildings. The one in the picture above is where notions and other crafting goods are housed.

As for the fabric building?

It’s hidden to the side here!

There are 6 floors of fabric goodness here! Although admittedly, I shop at Okadaya the least because it’s the most expensive of all the shops listed in this post. But I purchased from Okadaya on several occasions when the fabric I wanted couldn’t be found elsewhere.

Okadaya store list: Japanese | Google-translated

Shinjuku branch
Nearest station: JR Shinjuku, East exit, exit B13 (1 min)

 

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And these are my top picks for purchasing fabric in Tokyo, two of which I frequent a lot! I hope this post was useful :)

6 Comments

  • Reply Justine 21 August 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Those are my three favorites as well! Japan is pretty much fabric heaven lol

    • Reply Rin 22 August 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Agreed! :D

  • Reply Lani 26 November 2016 at 2:32 am

    *nose bleed*

  • Reply Linda Leung 10 December 2016 at 9:18 am

    Hi Rin,

    Came across your site and its awesome!!! So informative. Great stuff for my upcoming visit to Japan. I would to visit Tomato but don’t know any Japanese and the google translate tool cant read the price tags. Would you be so kind as to explain the information on the tag? I think the last number is the cost – Is that for 1 meter of fabric or 10cm? Thank you so much and I totally bookmarked your page

    • Reply Rin 10 December 2016 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Linda,
      The price you see on the tag is for 1m of fabric :) You’ll need to add 8% sales tax to the price displayed on the tag for the final price. Hope it helps! Enjoy the shopping! :D

  • Reply C 17 January 2017 at 6:46 am

    Ah I never saw this before my trip to Tokyo last year! Will definitely check out the 100Y stall next time :)

    Also random question but I’m planning to travel round a circle from Nagoya to Matsumoto round the Niigata area and move west , conquer the peninsula, end up at Fukui and back to Nagoya. Do you have any recs for pretty cloth/marble or wooden plates and utensils/trinkets which will look nice for photography among those places :)?

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