I usually don't prefer to travel during the mid year school holidays due to the fact that it will be hard to book flights and lodging to most destinations. As during the mid year holiday the kids will still have school activities like camps and CCA (Co-Curricular Activities). This year my eldest will be taking 'O' Level so she will need to be back to school for supplementary classes, rather disruptive making any holiday plans.
Fortunately my mom was able to help out while I tagged along to travel out for a few days. It was a mad rush because it was a rather last minute decision. In two days, logistics, travel plan was made. Frantically, finding ideas of where and what I should do in the two days there. I managed to narrow down to two major locations I will like to be at. Shinjuku and Nippori.
The flight was almost full on both sectors but was fortunate enough to get a seat up and an empty space in between me and the other passenger on the same row with me.
Me getting cosy at the bulkhead. Love the extra leg room to stretch.
I was staying nearby the JR station, Shinagawa 品川. We got onto the Yamanote line (green line) towards the Ueno which will cost about 210 Yen per adult one way if you get the normal train ticket. In about 12 stops and estimated 2-3min per station stops you will reach Nippori within 30 min during the off peak (we took the train around 1030am)
We reached Nippori station around 1100am where most of the shops opens. Took the nearest EAST exit we saw. Later I found out the SOUTH exit will be more straight forward. Either way, you will have no problem finding the directions to the fabric town.
As I am entering the to the beginning of the town, I was greeted small individual fabrics stores on both sides of the street. I was so excited and I think I let out a little squeal of joy heading walking, probably skipped a little behind these ladies.
It's a long stretch of textiles and leather craft stores. There is a major brand, Tomato Fabrics which have multiple branches along the streets selling slightly different kind of fabrics. I dropped by the first one I saw and bought some beautiful cotton and natural linen for my skirt making. Prices are slightly higher than other branches but definitely worth the buy there compared to Singapore. I was delighted to find high quality material there.
The store is hard to miss, they have their tomato logo out at their stores. I walked further towards the mid of the town and finally found their 5 level store. Oh boy, I didn't want to leave. You will know as it will be one crowded with shoppers. They have many local Japanese designed fabrics, those you might see on their kimonos or yukata. I would love to make them into haori.
Then they also have another branch nearby that sells 100 yen per meter and it was bustling with customers.
It was rather quiet during the weekdays so we really enjoyed taking our time to look around the area, strolling in the cool weather.
There are a lot of variety in these individual stores where they stocked other products for crafts and leather materials. I almost left my husband in one because he was obsessed with leather. Their prices are also very reasonable.
The only obstacle for us was communication with the local owners there as they don't speak English, having a google translation might help.
Feel free to grab a physical map in the store or online. I would recommend searching online if you know what you have in mind, especially when you are short of time shopping there.
(via screenshot source from https://www.nippori-senigai.com/en/map/)
You can also find information on local restaurants for a nice break in between your fabric shopping as well.
If you are like me who like to sew or crafts, do drop by Nippori Fabric store and like a kid in a candy store, you will not be disappointed. Oh, don't forget to bring your own reusable bags for your shopping!