Shopping in Japan

Shopping arcade in Kyoto
Japanese version of the dollar store

We did lots of shopping in a variety of venues. We went to a fabulous antique shop, a world class flea market. We hit lots of little stalls and stores, a few craft workshops, an entire street devoted to kitchenware, and a six story version of Home Depot and Michaels rolled into one.
We even hit the Japanese equivalent of the Dollar Store, and I had to prevent Dave from buying anything there.

In Japan, shopping is an activity in an of itself. The sounds, smells, colors all assault you. The crowds in the more popular market streets like the Tokyo fish market, give a new meaning to "close quarters"

The multi acre Tokyo fish market

I do like the way that the street markets take place on the grounds of shrines and temples. It is a wonderful to use the massive amount of open space that surrounds the Buddhist buildings. Contrasting a day when the market is open with one that is not is an exercise in understanding the power of space- both when it is empty and when it is filled up- both are extraordinary. When you add the noise, smells, and sounds to the space, they seem to be contained- since you can walk into the buildings and not hear a thing.

Billboards on a typical shopping street in Tokyo
We bought lots of gifts for family, but it was easy to zone out and get overwhelmed. The packaging is world class but after a while the senses become dulled. Mostly I hunted for fabric and found some beautiful indigo dyed pieces and a good variety of persimmon dyed fabrics. I was looking for aisome fabric which is hard to find, but I landed a few choice pieces. I showed amazing restraint as the fabrics are simply amazing. And if I was a size 2 or 4, I would have filled many shopping bags with the exquisite clothing. I have rarely seen such a sense of style. From pony tailed sequined teens to elderly ladies decked out for tea, the variety of fashion was a thing to behold. In my next life I want to come back as a wealthy Japanese size 2 lady.

Fabulous flea market on a temple ground in Kyoto. Only held once a year but has been held every month since the 12th century. No kidding!

Rice flour sweets from Kyoto. They look better than they taste! 

by JudyK