Buying Guide Japanese Fabrics

Fabric Shopping in Tokyo – Nippori Fabric Town

December 24, 2015


Christmas is around the corner and very soon it will be the New Year! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. Being busy with the baby has made me lose count of days (and nights) and it’s no wonder how fast the days flew by. I think this will be the last post for the year, since I would really like to spend Christmas spending more time with the family during this festive period. Next year will be a really challenging one for me so I have to make the best of the last bit of the school holidays as well!

Since it’s the last post of the year, what better way to recap the year than to finally get around to posting the pictures from my unforgettable trip to Nippori Fabric/Textile Town. I posted some when I was there on myย Instagramย account, but not everyone follows me on that so bear with me if you have seen some of these pictures before. I thought about taking a video/series of pictures to show you how to get there, but there are already many many blogs on this topic, so I didn’t. In any case, it was not difficult to locate despite the fact it was my first time there. So here are just a few key points to remember.

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Get on the Yamanote Line towards Ueno & Ikebukuro and head for Nippori station. I got on from Tokyo station and it was only 6 stops away. If you have not been to Japan before, you will be pleased to know that the subway announcements are in English & Japanese, so you won’t miss your stop! If you are travelling with a hubby/guy/man who prefers NOT to be shopping for fabrics but loves his tech gadgets, you can even drop him off at Akihabara which is 2 stops away from Tokyo station and along the way to Nippori. You can compete to see who who will take the longer time to finish shopping. ๐Ÿ˜›

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I took the South exit which brought be across this Momiji Bridge. ย Just follow the signs that are everywhere, starting from the exit of the subway station.

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Keep going….

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Very soon you will start seeing these flags along the street.

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and then of course the fabric shops.

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I didn’t go into this one because it was across the street and I didn’t have time, but it is a fabric store specializing in Costumes and Stage fabrics.

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A shop selling pieces of leather for sewing

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and of course the very famous Tomato Fabric shop. This is just ONE of their many branches on the same street. Each branch stocks different fabrics. ย Ask any staff if you are looking for something in particular, they will whip out a map of Nippori Fabric Town and show you which building to look for.

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Across the street (from the building above), is a Tomato branch full of discounted fabrics! 100yen per m!

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In one of the Tomato shops, on the 4th (or was it 5th?) floor, I found the naniIRO fabrics. Most of the other design fabrics are on the same floor as well. Kayo Horaguchi, Echino, as well as all the cute character prints, panel prints, laminates. Well, all my favourites. I skipped lunch to shop this floor.

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While I was fabric shopping, my SO found this little supermarket and bought this melon at like 400yen! Which is a great deal if you know how much melons cost in Japan.

I did not have time or manage to finish the whole street. I pretty much shopped in Tomato first, because everyone says it is a must go. By the time I ended, everyone else was tired (but me) and it was starting to get dark and baby was getting fussy. So that was pretty much it. I still returned with a heavy bag of fabrics though. One whole duffel bag full. Here’s what I got.

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Laminates, and the last Hanauta one is a nylon fabric.

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The quilted fabrics (actually the top two are from Pandora house)

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My 100 yen fabrics. Should have bought more ๐Ÿ™‚

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These took up the bulk of my purchase. Knits! It’s so hard to find nice knits here. Even plain simple ones like polka dots, which will be great for making basics like skirts/shorts for the kids.

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and some cute ones like this – I think these are llamas? This has already been made into a cute tshirt for my boy ๐Ÿ™‚

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I find it really hard to resist panda prints.

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Here’s one on skis! This is a double gauze, and I must think of something to make with it that will go well with skiing? Any ideas?

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More soft double gauze that I will use to make the baby some shirts with.

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and I have a soft spot for Puti de pome fabric. It was hard narrowing it down to these two choices.

notions

Oh, and I almost forgot to share with you all the notions I bought. This loot is from both Tomato and Pandora house, and they were mainly Zips, acrylic color tape for making bags, knit bias tape (which wasn’t cheap but it’s hard to find these here). I stocked up on lots of combination/free style zips which allows me to mix and match the different zips and zipper pulls. I used up the last batch and found them really useful for making jackets and bags.

It doesn’t look like much, but with a minimum of 1m per design, it came up to quite a heavy load. I brought a big foldable travel duffel along and it was filled up! Despite not being able to visit all the shops, I still had a great time in Nippori fabric town and now I’m plotting how to go back next year, or sometime soon! I will definitely bring something larger, and preferably with wheels, to carry my purchases.

Well, that’s the end of my little report on my trip. I’ll be signing off for this year, so here’s wishing everyone a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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5 Comments

  • Reply EmSewCrazy December 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Merry Christmas to you too! I hope you have a lovely time with your family. Thanks for posting about Nippori! Someday I must go there!

  • Reply Alison April 9, 2016 at 4:01 am

    was that 100Y blue fabric at the Tomato store?

  • Reply Noelene Hales December 2, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for clear directions and photo guides. I don’t speak or read Japanese. Had a great time, backpack heavy with fabric.

  • Reply Stella August 30, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Hi there! I wonder about the price of all the fabrics that you bought. Are they all cost 100 yen per meter? By the way, the fabrics look so good.

    • Reply Japanese Sewing Books September 21, 2017 at 9:20 am

      Not all of course, there are some shops that sell discounted fabric, and this was one section of Tomato fabric store which was selling selected colors and probably older designs at 100yen. There are the regular priced fabrics too of course.

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