Kuramae is not far from Asakusa and a kind of “emerging artisanal area” as lots of craft shops lined up along the street. Some of them are century-old shops and some are new comers including trendy cafes. There is a good mixture of old and new.
1. Kimura Yoshikazu Kite & Toys Shop
One of the old shops is Kimura Yoshikazu Shop who sells kites and traditional toys. (Note: I think it reads “Yoshikazu” but I am not sure. So just in case, the Chinese characters of the shop is 木村由一.) This shop opened in 1914. They have many kinds of kites some of them are made by the owner of the shop.
In addition to the kites, they sell traditional fans, dolls, coloured folding paper Origami, spinning tops, Tenugui towels with traditional patterns, etc.
Address: 4-3 Kuramae 2-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs: 9am – 5:30pm Closed on 2nd & 3rd Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays
2. Mizuki-ya Baba Store, the Hand-Made Baskets Shop
Another old shop is Mizuki-ya Baba Store. This is a wholesaler of hand-made baskets but they also sell at retail. The material for the baskets include wisteria, bamboo, willow, crimson glory vine, etc. The prices are incredibly reasonable.
Address: 6-7 Kuramae 4-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs.: 9:30am – 6pm Closed on Sat. & Sun.
3. Cafes in Kuramae
In between those old traditional shops are newly established cafes. Kuramae is really a competitive marketplace for cafes and you can find many interesting stand-alone cafes.
In many cases, they are not just a cafe but sell something local so you can enjoy shopping inside the cafes. And the appearance of these cafes are quite stylish and elegant.
Address: 6-2 Kuramae 2-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs.: 9am – 7pm Closed on Mondays.
Address: 4-5 Kuramae 2-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs.: 11am – 7pm
Dandelion Chocolate Factory
Address: 14-6 Kuramae 4-chome, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hrs.: 10am – 8pm
The rest of the story of Kuramae is coming soon. All of today’s spots are easy access from Kuramae Station and it is a good walking course. If you walk in this area, you can easily come across craft shops and cafes. The walking in this area is fun. But be careful because many craft shops may close on Saturdays and Sundays.