Saturday, July 8, 2017

Tokyo in 40: Kichijoji Zakka Hunt

Hopping on the bus after visiting Ghibli Museum, soon I was back to the busy streets of Kichijoji. I did my research in advance and made out my itinerary for a mini zakka hunt in the afternoon before dinner time. There are so many interesting shops in this area that I could easily spend a few days going through them one by one, but with only a few hours to spare, I got to be a bit selective.

My first stop was a pottery shop called Puku Puku, which has two branches along Nakamichi-dori. The shop specializes in Japanese antique pottery, ranging from middle Edo period (around 1700s) to the pre-war era. The fun about antique-hunting was that no two pieces were identical and you had no idea what would catch your eyes. I was on the look-out for an old kutaniyaki piece, known for its use of colourful overglaze, but this time I couldn’t find any that I liked and in good, usable condition. But instead I did end up with a much more recent piece, a lidded porcelain bowl made during the Taisho period in the early 20th century, which made a good pair to a similar one I already have at home though they were made a century apart.

I almost missed Cinq, a shop with no sign outside except the small letter 5 at the door. Despite the French name, Cinq curated a selection of houseware goods and design products from all over the world, including some by local designers. A few items caught my attention, including the canvas tote bag and backpack by Tembea, a Tokyo-based design studio. A couple blocks away on the second floor of a house was Saml.Waltz, the Cinq’s sister store, with a more “masculine” collection of goods and open only on Fridays and weekends.

If one could only make one stop to shop for zakka, I would say Free Design on Nakamichi-dori is a good choice, with a selection of both Scandinavian and local designs. On one of the side streets was an outlet store called Artifex Gallery, selling beautiful minoyaki porcelain pieces at steep discount – I couldn’t say I wasn’t tempted to buy a few home just for everyday use.

And on Arte shopping mall right above Kichijoji train station, there’s the whole floor of little shops dedicated to zakka... I could easily go on and on with this as there were way too many interesting stores to explore, but I guess I shall leave the rest of them for your own exploration.

More resources: Kichijjoji Zakka Map

The rest of my Tokyo weekend:

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