Spring is always the best time to see flowers and trees blossom, but in Japan, the sight is incomparable to any as the cherry blossom trees spring out in full bloom.
Like everywhere in Japan, spring in Tokyo means sakura (cherry) blossoms. This is an obvious reason to visit, but by no means the only one. There are also traditional festivals, sumo, seasonal delicacies and a whole lot more in bloom in the city’s parks and gardens.
Like someone took a paintbrush to the city, large swathes of Tokyo go from grey to blush pink come cherry-blossom season. Parks like Yoyogi-Koen and Ueno-Koen are famous for sake–drenched cherry-blossom-viewing parties called hanami. Waterside promenades, such as the one alongside Naka-Meguro’s canal erupt with canopies of blossoms.
While enjoying the beauty of flowers, one can do a little fashion shopping too. Here are few spots to check out to get the best fabric from Japan
Shinjuku Okadaya has a fine selection of pre-cut and discounted fabrics among its regular wares. It is an excellent shopping spot for those who enjoy a little guidance in their practice, as there are helpful tips and themed projects located across the store. Okadaya also has another branch for sewing accessories, which stores everything you need for that finishing touch. Aside from currently trending patterns, they also sell more traditional fabric for kimono, as well as a plethora of specialty craft textiles.
Is the largest concentration of fabric stores in Tokyo is in Nippori Town, north-east of the city center. There are over 80 stores, and most are clustered on Nippori Chuo Dori and the cross-streets. The stores range from dark and chaotic to very high end.
is a no-miss store – in fact, it’s 5 stores all next to each other! On the ground floor there are lots of novelty cotton and linen prints. On the other floors there are knits (including a wide range of terry and sweater knits), silks and novelty fabrics, and Japanese designers like Nani Iro and Kokka.
La Musee Buttons
is a very cute vintage button store, modeled on a Parisian boutique. It’s a no-miss if you like unusual and cute buttons.
Bunka Fashion College
is Japan’s leading fashion school, and it has several stores and a museum which are open to the public. It’s located near Shinjuku station. There are all kinds of fantastic things to buy, from high quality menswear wools to the famous Bunka mannequins and rulers. It’s also fun to watch the fashion students!
is a super cool button store hidden on a side street near Yutenji station. It’s pretty hipster, and features thousands of really unusual buttons, some made in-house and some imported. They’re famous for their five-holed buttons which can be attached in a star formation, as an anchor, and many other ways! They also have antique-effect zips, cords and more.
is a small, curated store predominantly focused on very high end yarn (mostly merino), with a few bolts of selected linen fabrics. They also sell a small range of ready-to-wear clothes in the loose linen Japanese style. It’s located on Gokomachi Dori, between Oike Dori and Aneyakoji Dori. Look for the wooden sign and head up the stairs.