Nihonbashi was developed during the Edo period as a key point for traffic. Today, commercial businesses and office buildings line the streets, but there are also numerous old-established shops that have protected the grand Edo culture, which makes it a neighbourhood where you can feel the interaction between old and new. We recommend taking a stroll here if you're looking for Japanese souvenirs.
"Edohouki" which fits our modern lifestyle
"Shirokiya Denbe" was established in 1830 in Ginza. Nowadays It is a shop specializing in "Edohouki" in Kyobashi. By using the domestically-produced "Houki Morokoshi (broomcorn)", they continue the production of handmade goods which has been carried out since its establishment. It is soft yet firm, and you can sweep easily even without using much strength. First you can use it in the living room, and when you start using it less often, you can use it for the toilet or wash area, and later on at the entrance of your house. It is a commodity fitting to your natural and green lifestyle.
Shirokiya Dembee 白木屋傳兵衛
- Address Siroden Bld.1F, 3-9-8, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0031, Japan
Old-established shops for "uchi hamono" (Japanese knives forged in a similar way as Japanese swords) , taking pride in their names
"Ubukeya" is a "Uchi Hamono" shop established in 1783 in Osaka. It was located in Edo during the Bakumatsu period, and is still around now. The store name came from the praises that their products "can cut your ubuke (soft hair), can cut and remove". They sell a range of products, from tweezers to Japanese knives, to scissors, western knives and other knives. If you take care of them meticulously, they can even be passed on to your grandchildren's generation. Apart from that, you may also find it interesting to see the wooden, quirky architecture of the shop.
Folding fans and uchiwas (round paper fans) handled by an ukiyoe (Japanese woodblock prints) publisher
"Ibasen" is a folding fan and uchiwa shop established in 1590. They sell a range of fans with varying uses, such as "Edo folding fans" made of yukata (casual summer kimono) cloth, "mai-ogi" used in traditional Japanese dances, and "kazari (decorative) fans" used as decoration. Also, don't forget the uchiwas with prints of kabuki (classical Japanese dance-drama) actors and famous spots in Japan, that are based on the publications of ukiyoe masters like Utagawa Hiroshige and Utagawa Kuniyoshi.
Buy the world-famous "Washi" (Japanese paper) here!
"Haibara" is a washi shop in Nihonbashi that has been around for over 200 years. They sell various types of washi, from letters sets to kazari fans and paper products. The shop is also for the fact that Takehisa Yumeji, an artist famous for drawing beautiful women in the Taisho period (1912 - 1926) designed many of the patterns for this shop's letter writing sets, envelopes and uchiwas. The "Jabara (rickrack/zigzag) letter writing set" is the shop's most popular item, with dotted lines at every folding point, and you can just tear off the part you need to use.
Famous lacquerware shops where you can feel the beauty of Japanese tradition
Beautiful lacquerware with black and vermillion is a traditional craft which represents Japan. "Kuroeya" which has been operating in Nihonbashi since 1689 is a shop famous for lacquerware. The shop displays lacquerware from all over Japan, as well as their own original products. Apart from the standard bowls and chopsticks, there are spoons, forks and wine glasses that will match a western table setting too. There are also hand-mirrors and accessories that would be great as a gift to yourself or someone else.