The need of navigating less crowded “dori” (avenue/streets) in Japan is something that your mind and body requires after those Saturday spent trying to be part of the “in-crowd” at the streets of Harajuku or endlessly photographing temples after temples with a heavy DSLRs hooked on your neck. So, I decided to make a little mission of exploring “less touristy” places in the city while still experiencing a new thing or two.
First stop is Nippori Textile Town.
Located within the popular loop of JR Yamanote line, as the name suggest, Nippori Textile Town is a mile long street that caters for the need of fashion students, mom’s who prefer to create their own curtains than those sold at IKEA or anyone who has a knack for creating dresses.
If there is a local version of “Project Runway”, for sure Nippori Textile Town is the place where designers will purchase everything they need to create a winning look. Here you can buy every shapes and colors of buttons, local/export fabric, varieties of threads and with the brand “Tomato” dominating the streets. Shopping at the textile town is not only for the fashionably inclined, you can see parents tagging along their kids and asking them to choose if they want the Pokemon, One Piece or Disney designs for their bed cover.
If you are like me who cannot turn a yard of cloth into something wearable, you can still pay a visit and settle for RTWs. The price here is factory retail, obviously cheaper, though there are limited options. For example, a souvenir shirt with a Japanese letter character cost around 700 Yen in Nippori but roughly cost 1,500 Yen on other Tokyo district. I recommend the shop “Lemon” for babies/kids ready to wear and other stuff like toys, stationery, and bags.
No wonder why street fashion in Japan is something that grabs the world attention and often inspires international designer. With a place like Nippori Textile Town, a talent and ingenuity can go along way.