Here is my list of some fabric shops I visited and liked or heard about in Tokyo. I hope that it will be useful for those who like to shop for fabrics when traveliing (as I sure do). Most of the stores are located in central Tokyo. For bookstores with a good sewing/knitting book selection, see this post.
Not coming to Japan anytime soon? please visit sew Tokyo for my small collection of sewing goods/books from Japan^^
Summary of my findings:
Large selection of fabrics: Tomato / Odakaya
Good selection with convenient location from central Tokyo: Odakaya/Yuzawaya
Good sewing book collection: Yuzawaya
All under one roof when you have no time: Yuzawaya
SHIBUYA AREA /GINZA AREA / SHINJUKU AREA / SLIGHTLY FURTHER FABRIC DESTINATIONS IN TOKYO
1-19-3 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo / T: 03 6463 3351
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- location is on a smaller street but near Parco department store (less than 10 minutes walk from Shibuya Station). Closest landmark would be the Miu Miu store corner (it is across the street from Miu Miu)
- very reasonable prices (I bought 3m of cotton satin for less than USD$20).
- there is a large area with specials from 90 JPY (~1.00 USD) per meter which makes it cheaper than muslin.
- the disadvantage is that the tags giving information on the fabric is not available on all fabrics so with some fabrics you do not know what is the composition (especially for the ones on special)
- no cute prints/Liberty fabrics or fashion prints. However, if you are looking for classic wool, cotton with no print, silks, etc. then this place has the classics at good prices.
7th Fl., Seibu Department Store Shibuya Building A, 21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya / T: 03 3462 0111
Hours: M – Sa: 10:00 am – 9:00 pm / Su & holidays: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- The La Drougerie shop is a small one compared to their freestanding ones, but nevertheless the button and ribbon selection is amazing!
- 100 Idees is basically the craft section of Seibu Dept. Store in Shibuya – it is very nice and there is quite a good collection of Liberty print cuts! Also, they have a small section featuring crafts books including sewing books (recently published ones only).
- It is more of a craft store than a fabric store (though you can find Liberty prints and some fabrics, there is less selection than in a regular fabric shop
12-8 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo / t: 03 5489 5111
Hours: 10:00 am – 20:30
- Sewing materials is on Floor 6B
- Limited selection of fabrics, modest selection of sewing-related knic-knacs but if you are also on the look for other crafty stuff than this 7-storey DIY and cute-stuff (ie. stationary) galore is the perfect destination.
5-7-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo / T: 03 3573 4141
Hours: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Comprehensive store with fabrics, sewing notions and sewing books
- Good Liberty print selection as well as Yuwa print selection
- Prices are not so bad. One thing to note is that if you are looking for “Clove1” products, they do not carry Clover products but carry the equivalent in another brand
- I love coming here especially to look at their sewing books – they generously have a rack where they let people browse through – and it is not only newly published ones but all the great classics like “Drape Drape” etc. Of course, if you like it you can buy a copy there. This is where I fell in love with and bought many Japanese sewing books.
3-23-17 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo / T: 03 3352 5411
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:30 pm
- 2 buildings: 1 is all crafts related goods, the other is all fabrics (5 levels)
- The selection is very extensive. I enjoy browsing at the new Liberty collection there – there selection is quite good!
- Many print fabrics but if you are looking specifically for a Japanese brand (ie. Yuwa, Kokka), you may be disappointed. They carry a little (very little and Yuwa not labeled as Yuwa for some reason…)
- Less than 5 minute walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit (towards Kabukicho area)
Hobbyra Hobbyre @ Isetan Shinjuku Department Store
3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo / T: 03 3358 0881
Hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- The branch I have been to is actually not the same one but this is the closest one to the city center and according to the website offers a wider selection of Liberty print
- “Boutique” crafts store with selected fabrics (a great Liberty collection) as well as other sewing and craft knic-knacs
FURTHER FABRIC DESTINATIONS
Cottonfield in Kichijoji CLOSED AS OF 07/15/2013
2-2-7 Kichijyoji Honmachi, Musashino-shi, Tokyo / T: : 0422 21 1406
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:30 pm
- When I asked a seamstress who has been sewing for decades what her favorite fabric shop in Tokyo is, she answered that it is Cottonfield, with no hesitations. I have not been there yet, but I hope to check it out soon. Actually, Kichijoji also houses another “Hobbyra Hobbyre” branch, so it could be a very fulfilling fabric shopping destination.
- Kichijoji is 12 minutes by express train from JR Shinjuku Station. Roughly around the same area though a little further is the famed Ghibli Museum.
Tomato @ Nippori fabric town
6-44-6 Higashi Nippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
- This is in the famed fabric town in Tokyo, Nippori, a whole street of fabric stores! This famed store itself is 5 floors of fabrics, and on the same street, all belonging to Tomato, are separate stores for interior fabrics, sewing notions, “selected fabrics”, etc.
- One can probably spend hours there – there is so much choice!! I think it is an amazing destination for Japanese prints. However, as it takes quite a long time to get to Nippori (around 40 min. from downtown Tokyo) , if you cannot fit it into your schedule, I think for most fabric needs, you will satisfied with Odakaya in Shinjuku. However, if you decide to make it to this area, then if you would like to combine some city exploration (and still have energy after the fabric town experience:) you may enjoy the Yanesen area nearby (it is olden day Tokyo with many cute small shops). I love exploring this area for a change from the busy modern city landscape.I personally like to come here only when I want to buy silks and other more expensive fabrics because it is cheaper than in the shops in Tokyo. Other than that I do not need so much choice.
3-39-11-202 Matsuo, Suginami-ku, Tokyo / T: 03 3331 7518
Hours: 12:00 pm – 7:00 pm
- Small select shop of fabrics opened by Machiko Kayaki, author of several famous dressmaking books such as Simple Chic, Simple Dress Style, etc.
- I have never been but according to the website the shop carries vintage fabrics, fabrics designed especially for making the dresses in the books, etc.
- This is located closest to JR Nishi Ogikubo Station which is one station away from Kichijoji (where you will find Cottonfield and Hobbyra Hobbyre Kichijoji branch)