S&T contributor Angela Salisbury recently co-authored Tokyo Craft Guide: A Collection of Japanese Craft Shopping Adventures. She tells us about the book, and why it’s meant to help you find craft gold among the side streets of Tokyo.
One of my favorite things about Tokyo is the abundance of specialty shops for the most serious of enthusiasts. For me it’s fabric, but for others it’s French wine, custom robots, toy trains, or even kaleidoscopes, where a shop owner graciously let me handle a ￥80,000 ($800) vintage kaleidoscope filled with glass marbles. I almost lost mine.
These shops are like secret gems in the vast metropolis that is Tokyo, where finding them, even with an address, is sometimes the largest hurdle.
That’s why we wrote Tokyo Craft Guide, a specialized shopping guide for people as excited about crafts and Japanese fabric as we are. Tokyo Craft Guide helps visitors — as well as Tokyo residents — navigate the city’s back streets through a collection of illustrated neighborhood guides and curated craft-shopping excursions. They are treasure maps, and X marks the spot for vintage Czech buttons or a perfectly sculpted fruit parfait. Tokyo Craft Guide presents an insider’s guide to the best craft shops the city has to offer, and provides a uniquely Tokyo experience — the hunt for small yet serious, specialized hobby shops.