Buying fabrics is hardly on one’s mind when it comes to Japan, but if you’re into high quality and affordable Japanese cotton, Nippori’s the place you should head to.
It’s now a sunset industry, but once upon a time the textile sector in Japan flourished. Textile manufacturers in Japan were and in fact, are still noted as producers of high quality fabrics. My mum, for instance, has often sought for Japanese cotton.
Late last year, Reza brought us to Nippori, a self-proclaimed fabric town located in Tokyo. If Jalan TAR is known as the fabrics mecca of KL, then Nippori is it for Tokyo. Just like Jalan TAR, too, a long stretch hosts several departmental stores selling different kinds of fabrics. But unlike Jalan TAR, there aren’t a lot of people in Nippori, so you can shop peacefully.
Reza took the lead and assisted my mum whenever she needed help. As a person who has yet to appreciate cotton fabrics, I’m quite useless, so apart from giving opinion when asked to, I only sat at a corner… while scrolling my Instagram feed.
We went into several department stores including Tomato, which seemed like the biggest. One of the Tomato stores (there were a few) had different floors catering for different occasions, just like the ones in KL. The market in Japan is different from Malaysia though, so don’t count on finding different types of silk chiffon or intricate lace fabrics – keyword here is cotton.
Japanese cotton snobs can buy fabrics from well-known textile houses e.g. Liberty of Japan at a relatively cheaper price than KL. While bargain hunters, rejoice because large amounts of cotton fabrics sell for dead cheap – as low as ¥100 per meter (and that’s about RM3.40 right now!).
Mama managed to get print cotton fabrics for herself, Asna and my maid within a span of an hour and a half.
So, should you go to Nippori? I’d say yes, but only if you’re really into Japanese cotton – the variety is insane. Apart from that there isn’t much there… except for residential houses, graveyards and a small shrine.
Nippori textile town is located meters away from the East exit of Nippori station (for the exact location, depend on the map at the station, accessible via JR Yamanote Line and Keisei Line.