I spent three days in Tokyo in November 2009. I couldn’t tell you a lick about the megalopolis’ sights and tastes, but I can tell you where to buy loads and loads of supplies for the book and paper arts, fiber arts, and sewing arts, from large department stores to independent retailers.
On that trip, I visited the flagship store of Tokyu Hands, a Japanese chain of hardware, home goods, and DIY stores, in Shibuya. Its seven floors are seventh heaven for doers/crafters/DIYers (Gardening tools! Washi tape! Leathercrafting tools!) and it is the first place I will return to if I ever visit Tokyo again.
I also visited Tokyu Hands’ branches in Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. Yes, all in three days. Priorities, people.
o o o o o
Earlier this year Tokyu Hands opened a store at Westgate Mall in Jurong East and I finally made my way there to check it out. Unfortunately, the branch is tiny and stocks mostly Tokyu Hands’ selection of “lifestyle” products—crockery, cooking utensils, stationery, gadgets, luggage, and cookware—and very few items from the chain’s vast and impressive collection of art or craft supplies. Oh well! Another branch is set to open in Orchard Central later this month; I have little hope that it will be any different.