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Discover something with craftsmanship! 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN



2020.11.05 (Thu)

By Charlotte, long-term Tokyo resident & history-loving traveler

Have you ever felt that the things sold in Tokyo are all too novel, and lack a sense of craftsmanship? Well you are a little off! Today I would like to talk to you about 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN, which is located under an elevated railway bridge between Akihabara Station and Okachimachi Station.

The 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN is a collection of shops that specialize in "monozukuri" (the art of making things). There are about 50 shops that sell a variety of items, ranging from wooden crafts to ceramics, glasses, and coffee beans. The idea for 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN came from the fact that the Okachimachi area was once a town of traditional craftsmen who inherited the culture of the Edo period.
The space under the elevated railroad between the Akihara and Okachimachi stations is lined with a variety of shops, and I felt like it was more like a small shopping district than a single facility!
Here are a few shops that I thought would offered great souvenir options for Tokyo.

・Nippon Hyakkaten
This store has a great selection of things from all over Japan. There were a ton of products, ranging from food, traditional goods, traditional tableware, and Japanese accessories. Some of the products had explanations on the shelves with them in Japanese and English explaining their origins and how to use them, so it was fun to just look around.

・Hinomoto Hanpu
This brand's workshop is located in Yamagata Prefecture. It offers simple and therefore durable and long-lasting products such as bags, casual jackets, hats, and wallets.

This shop sells products dyed using 100% natural plant and tree dyes. The dyes used include cherry blossom, yakusugi cedar, indigo, and many others. The dyes are collected from mountains, grown in the fields, or things that would have been discarded, and then dyed by hand at two workshops in Tokyo and Fukuoka. Many of the colorful products such as knitwear, scarves, socks, and towels are beautiful.

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