Are you a fan of all things crafty and creative? Then you're in luck because Japan is home to some of the most amazing craft and fabric stores in the world! Japan reopened its borders in October 2022 after two and a half years of tourists being unable to enter the country, and we know amongst those, are crafty travelers who want to fill their suitcases with fabulous Japanese fabrics!
Whether you're into sewing, knitting, embroidery (including Japanese sashiko embroidery, of course!), or any other type of crafting, you're sure to find something that catches your eye in one of these Japanese craft stores. With a rich cultural history of textile production and design, Japan is a treasure trove of unique and high-quality fabrics, yarns, and crafting tools. From traditional Japanese patterns to modern, cutting-edge designs, the variety of materials and supplies available is simply breathtaking.
As a Japanese fabric manufacturer, we’re thrilled that so many crafters love Japanese fabric and want to experience Japanese crafting culture on their trips to the country. To make your fabric shopping a little easier, we’ve put together this guide with maps to help you plan your crafty trip - enjoy!
Fabric and Craft Stores in Osaka
We’re starting our guide to fabric and craft stores in Japan with Osaka, the home of KOKKA, where we have been manufacturing fabrics and textile products for over 70 years. As such, Osaka is a must-visit destination for fans of our fabrics and Japanese textiles in general!
cocca sesse is KOKKA’s official store located on the 10th floor of the Hankyu Umeda department store. You can find a wide range of our designer collections like nani IRO and echino, as well as selected fabric lines from our in-house designed textiles.
Our fabric specialists working at cocca sesse will be more than happy to help you with all of your fabric needs and recommend textiles based on season, your personal taste, trends, and more! If you’re a fan of Japanese fabrics, then cocca sesse should be at the top of your list when visiting Osaka.
ATELIER to nani IRO
Around the corner from the hustle and bustle of Osaka’s financial district is ATELIER to nani IRO, a beautiful studio that acts as the creative hub for all things nani IRO. You can find the latest nani IRO prints, as well as beautiful archival prints at the nani IRO Museum.
The ATELIER updates their opening times every month, so make sure to check their blog before you plan a visit.
Semba Center Building
The Semba Center Building is a one-kilometer stretch of buildings that house a whole variety of textile wholesalers. Although many of the stores cater to those buying in bulk, many of the shops here sell to retail customers as well. The Semba Center Building has a rich history of Japanese fabric wholesaling, so we do recommend a visit just to take in the atmosphere!
Fabric and Craft Stores in Tokyo
Tokyo is a sprawling metropolis that is renowned for its seamless melding of the modern and traditional. As the world’s most populous city, it’s no wonder that you can find many of the world’s best fabric and craft supply stores in Japan’s capital, from the famous Nippori fabric district to the multi-floor chain stores.
Nippori Fabric Town
First up on any fabric-lover’s trip to Japan is the legendary Nippori Textile Town (also known as the Nippori Fabric Town) which is a short-walk from the Nippori JR Yamanote station.
This vibrant area is a fabric fiend’s paradise, with streets lined with textile shops, wholesale outlets, and charming boutiques. You'll find everything from traditional Japanese fabrics like kimono and yukata cottons to contemporary fabrics for fashion, home decor, and crafts. The best part? You don't have to break the bank to get high-quality fabrics here! Nippori is a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike, and you'll love exploring this lively neighborhood. A firm Nippori favorite is the legendary Tomato textile store that has five stores in Nippori!
You can find a map of Nippori Fabric Town here, marked with shops of interest.
If you're a craft enthusiast, you'll love Yuzawaya, the ultimate Japanese craft store! Similar to Joann in the US, Yuzawa is the biggest chain of craft stores in Japan. You can find everything you need for all manner of crafts in Yuzawaya, with a vast selection of fabrics, yarns, beads, notions, sewing machines, paper patterns, and much more. Yuzawaya also carries many KOKKA fabrics in their stores, however stock selection and availability differs from store to store.
The staff at Yuzawaya are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, making your shopping experience all the more enjoyable. With a welcoming atmosphere and endless crafting possibilities, Yuzawaya is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves all things creative!
Okadaya is most famous for their Shinjuku location, which features two separate buildings, one solely for fabric, and one for clothing and accessories. The fabric building is separated into six floors, meaning that you will certainly get lost in a world of beautiful Japanese fabrics! The clothing and accessory building of Okadaya also has crafting materials and books to dig through if you venture up the higher floors of the building.
The displays on each floor are rotated every month and are designed by the creative and knowledgeable staff of Okadaya, meaning that even if you don’t choose to purchase any fabrics from the store, you are sure to get inspiration just by visiting!
Fabric and Craft Stores in Kyoto
Kyoto is a popular tourist destination and the ancient capital of Japan, and natives of the prefecture are dedicated to keeping traditional Japanese craftsmanship alive in the modern age. This means that Kyoto is a great place to stock up on traditional Japanese textiles, however the city also has a number of boutique fabric and craft stores that are not to miss on your trip.
Nestled amidst the historic streets of Kyoto, Nomura Tailor has three stories full of fabric, notions, embroidery goods, knitting yarn, and much more! The store is also located very close to the famous Nishiki Market, which is Kyoto’s largest food market, making it an easy stop-off on your Kyoto travels!
Chicago Kyoto Store
When you hear the name “Chicago”, your first thought may not be “kimono”, but this vintage store located in Teramachi-dori actually has over 6,000 kimonos to browse through! You can find many small shops throughout Kyoto selling off-cuts of kimono fabric, but we also recommend Chicago for those who want to stock up on traditional Japanese fabrics without breaking the bank. Alongside their vast collection of antique and vintage kimonos, you can find a variety of kimono accessories like obi belts and obi-jime that you can incorporate into your crafts.
Mina Perhonen is a designer textile and fashion brand founded in 1995 by Japanese artist Akira Minagawa. Known for their intricate lacework and embroidered pieces, Mina Perhonen fabrics are coveted by many Japanese fabric-lovers. Their Kyoto store is a piece of art in itself, with a door with a clover-shaped window welcoming in customers. With its stunning one-of-a-kind fabric selection, the Mina Perhonen store is a must for any craft enthusiast visiting Kyoto.
Avril is a specialty yarn store that first opened its doors in Japan’s ancient capital over 30 years ago in 1992. The store produces its own designer yarn with its own unique aesthetic which is instantly recognizable as Avril fibers. Avril has a team of craftsmen who design, spin, and dye the yarn by hand meaning that no two lots are the same! The store carries not only yarn, but felting, weaving, and punch needle materials.
Linnet is a linen-speciality fabric and craft store that is run by a husband and wife designer duo. Alongside their linen fabrics, the small fabric shop also carries other fabrics made from natural fibers, as well a selection of designer yarn,antique lace, and craft-related trinkets.
Fabric and Craft Items at Japanese 100 yen Shops
While on your fabric shopping trip around Japan, make sure to take a peek inside one of the many 100 yen shop chains in Japan. The 100 yen shops Daiso and Seria are two very popular chains that carry a wide variety of materials and notions for a huge variety of crafts. So whether you sew, knit, crochet, or even make resin jewelry, a trip to one of Japan’s many 100 yen shops is not to be missed!
Note: Some items may be more than 100 yen, but are always clearly marked, however we recommend to always double check prices before adding to your shopping basket!
Japan is an absolute haven for crafters, artists, and fabric enthusiasts alike. From the vibrant streets of Tokyo to the quaint corners of Kyoto and the bustling Semba district in Osaka, you'll find a multitude of unique and inspiring craft and fabric shops to explore. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Japanese fabrics, discover traditional techniques passed down through generations, and embrace the boundless creativity that awaits you. Whether you're seeking Japanese fabrics, specialist tools, or a taste of Japan's rich craft heritage, these shops will leave you inspired and eager to embark on your next creative endeavor.
If you still want to stock up on Japanese fabrics when you come home from your trip, then look no further than Kokka Fabrics! We stock a range of Japanese fabric lines like nani IRO and echino, as well as many of our original prints by our in-house designers.