Going down… to Nippori Fabric Town

Today I headed down to Nippori Fabric Town in search of sequins.  I’ve been to one or two of the shops in Fabric Town before but not shopped the whole strip, mainly because I have no need of fabric in my life.

I walked there the long way from Nishi Nippori, mostly because I had a private lesson to teach there and also I wanted to meander around the back streets.  I found this cafe and could not resist the super cute crochet squares.  My Nan used to make blankets like this – we have heaps of them at home – so had to go in.

When I walked in, I got looks like “WTF is this gaijin doing here.”  It was a tiny cafe with just a few seats at the counter so I felt very uncomfortable at first.  Then I got chatting.  One of the other customers had living in Brisbane on a homestay.  And we all wanted to go to Okinawa for the summer.

The counter seating is a great idea in a cafe.  Mostly here I’ve either been to cafes where it’s all keep to yourself or bars/ramen shops etc with counters.  It was nice to have some girlie chat even if it was just small talk.

Lunch – vegetable tamagoyaki.  I’d call it frittata myself but either way it tasted good and was full of vegies.  I never get to eat enough vegies here.

I’m not really a black coffee drinker but this was good.  Before I left, the owner gave me and the other customers a free orange juice since it was such a hot day.  I wish I’d got a photo of her – she was wearing the cutest red polka dot shirt.

After a lot of wandering, I got to Fabric Town.  The mission for sequins started badly.  I searched up one side of the street and halfway down the other one… saw some sequinned fabric but no free-range sequins!

I was beginning to wonder if the sequin shortage was caused by this:

And maybe no one else in Japan can have sequins because they are all commandeered by Johnnys Entertainment.  Then I realised it is much more important to actually see my idols dressed in sequins at the concert than to bling up my bag to take to the concert.

Yes, that is my project – blinging up my Arashi bag.  It’s a very important part of the concert going experience, mostly because my sister has blinged up hers and it looks really cute so my bag has to look better.  Also bling = awesome!

Fabric Town is a great place to go shopping – such an eclectic mix of people.  Nannas and Mums mix it up with funky young guys (I love that guys aren’t embarrassed to be out shopping for fabric) and lots of young girls from daggy to goth to cutesy.

Years ago, I used to make fake fur handbags and sell (well try to sell) them at markets.  They were cute and looked like muppets.  When I saw the fake fur, I knew I had to back away fast.  Not going down that road again.

About halfway, my camera battery went flat so you are spared from any more fabric photos but luckily it stayed alive until after I saw this:

Rice vending machine.  This is the third wacky vending machine I’ve seen (the first one was a battery vending machine, the second was an egg vending machine).  Before I first came to Japan, I thought the streets would be crawling with wacky vending machines selling all manner of wacky shit but it’s pretty rare to see them an they are usually relics from the Showa era or something.

So anyway, finally found a shop with sequins.  Yippee!  Then realised I prolly should work out my design before buying a shitload of sequins to bling it.  At least I know where to go now.

The best bit of Fabric Town is that a lot of the shops specialise.  That’s why it took a while to find the sequins.  There is one shop just selling belt making stuff, a few selling leather.  

Best of all are the button shops.  When I lived in Melbourne, I bought a Cotton On cardi and was going to do it over with awesome buttons but I went to the usual places – Spotlight, Lincraft etc and all the buttons were boring.  The buttons in Nippori Fabric Town are NOT boring.  I am very excited about the buttons.  I know I have this cool facade of a person who does not get excited over buttons but the mask is slipping, folks…

Anyway, if you want a fun afternoon out, I highly recommend Nippori Fabric Town.  It will give you lots of material for a blog post.  Oh yeah, I went there….