Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Zakka at Home in Japan

All the photos are courtesy of The Pal, who is a much better photographer than I.

I am so excited to be in Japan right now. Home of all things kawaii and zakka, I am in heaven. The attention to detail on everything from the warm toilet seats to the engravings on 800 year old temples is extraordinary- this is a culture that likes to get it right.

In a totally unexpected way, too, floods of schoolgirl Japanese are coming back. Words I haven't thought about for nine years or more are flowing out of me like water - such an odd feeling. These memories are of useful phrases such as "one way train ticket" and "I'd like the bill please" but are also peppered with "usagi means rabbit!" and "enpitsu means pencil!". Very strange indeed.

In that spirit of the stream of conscious, I thought I'd share with you a beautiful Nikko find called Nazuna - an antique and zakka shop that was a dangerous place for me to visit!
The most beautifully curated collection of antiquey things - I loved these old wooden spools (if I sewed they'd be coming home) and this set of Japanese family name stamps.
I ended up, in a very restrained way I thought, coming home with a few cards, an antique kimono jacket and a beautiful old key from The Pal for Christmas, which I shall find a chain for to hang around my neck.
I was also very tempted by these dolls, but my suitcase - yes, a carry on - is really already straining at the edges, and I haven't even hit Tokyo's stationery sellers!
I'll post some pictures of some purchases soon. In the meantime, Happy New Year! May 2009 be full of all you wish for.


  1. How exciting that you're here! I hope you're having a great time! It's truly amazing how lots of Japanese floods back to you when you're in the environment.

    I LOOOVE that shop you've come across! I'd be going quite mad in there.

    Thank you too for the congratulations on my news. And yep, I'll be returning to Oz in time to have the baby.

  2. If you like crafty stuff you should totally check out Yuzawaya. It is the mothership of all craft stores! I posted about it and a few other places on my blog when we were there last spring for a few weeks. Also, fabric town is great too--the best fabric store there is Tomato. Here are some of the posts: http://foundnowhome.blogspot.com/search?q=yuzawaya

  3. Hi! I just found your blog and absolutely love it. Would you like to contribute to the online travel magazine called Truant. I am sure our readers would die to get some insite from you. Maybe a column?


  4. Come back to Europe please. Not funny anymore.

    [Just spotted comment above - way to go!]

  5. Hi,
    I just wanted to let you know that I've nominated Love You Big for 'Best Art, Craft and Design Weblog' in the 2009 Bloggies. Please pay it forward! http://2009.bloggies.com/

    If you want to know more about the Bloggies, I've written about it on my travel site. http://www.roamingtales.com/2009/01/08/2009-travel-blog-awards/

    Many thanks,


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