Friday, August 01, 2008

The Not Secret Anymore Squirell Business Giveaway

I really can't thank everyone enough for all the lovely comments, advice and cuddles on my last post. It meant more to me than you'll ever know!

I'm happy to say that I'm now super excited about my Fabric Lovers Guide to Tokyo again, busily working away on it and planning where to go and what to do on my next trip.

As a token of my appreciation, and to get just a little more clarity of what people want, I'm doing a giveaway but asking for a little more help.

The prize? A $50 gift voucher to use in either my Etsy store, my eBay store or a combination of both. Don't worry about postage costs, they aren't taken out of the voucher, but will be included in the prize as long as everything is sent together.

Now, I have to confess, my Etsy store is still looking a little bare, but I hope to get it stocked up next week, here's just some of the fabric waiting to go in there...

How can you win? Easy, just leave me a comment (with your name and an email contact if you're signing in anonymously) telling me what you'd like in such a Tokyo/Japan Fabric/Craft Shopping guide book.

If you're one of the fabulous people who has already given me advice on it, please just leave a comment on this post and say something like "See my cuddles comment".

Leave the comment by Sunday August 24th, I'll draw the winner using a random number generator on the 25th.

Good luck!


CurlyPops said...

OMG a fabric giveaway...I'm going to pass out with excitement!
If I was travelling, I would like a guide to be about A5 size to fit in my bag and a photo of the store with details such as how to get there via public transport and maybe a city map with numbers representing shops so that you can see how close the next shop is just by glancing at the map (hope that makes sense).

Anonymous said...

How about a simple translation guide on how to ask for yardages in other languages?

Reenie said...

What a great idea. My thoughts are to ensure you add their web page address and if that particular store does mail order, so that overseas folk can still use the book.

Michelle said...

Oh, the possibilities of this book! It would have to be brochure or guide book sized so it was easy to carry around. What I would like to see as content? For each store, I want to know how to get there (directions from nearest train station, or is it easier to catch a cab), whether they specialise in fabrics, trims, buttons, buckles. What kind of fabrics? (American cotton, Japanese novelty?) Opening hours, of course. How far is it from any nearby fabric stores. What else is of interest in the precinct craft-wise (there might be a cool yarn store around the corner, for example, or a manga gallery nearby).

Are you going to do an online download that we can print out and staple? Or an actual sent booklet?

I had another thought but nope. It's just gone. I'll let you know if I think of it again.

Thank you for providing such a great giveaway, but you know I would have made suggestions even without the chance of winning free fabric!

Ayama-chan said...

Delurking here. Good to see another secret squireller out in cyberland (okay curiosity is killing this squirell, where did you come across the term???)

Will you have your guide out by December 26th?? I haven't been to Tokyo for a few years and now that I have a very active little person in my life, would find a resource that has the details Michelle outlined (maps, specialities, public transport, other crafty places of interest in the vicinity, opening hours, website (so you can do a quick cyber squirell before said departure, you could be lucky and there is a place of interest for a little person that you could bribe them with after a mummy trip (though she loves fabric stores)), if there are places to eat near by (you know you have lived in Singapore/Asia too long when you try to tie a shopping trip and a gormet exprience together...), and lots of eye candy (that's how I buy travel guides, bright, lovely pictures and maps, number guide is a good idea too).

Passport size is good because it is not too big and doesn't take up too much room (which is always at a problem for me). I like spiral bound because I can keep the page of interest easily but know it is not everyone's cup of tea. Wagomu page holders??? Only buy diaries with those life savers. Set phrases to ask the shop assistant is always helpful for those who don't know the lingua franca (counters hitotsu futatsu; ichi meetoru, naninani senchi; imperial/metric converter would be a winner with UK/US potential buyers). Good luck. Been there done that with a few guides for various school trips/excursions. Not such an easy thing to put together. It is difficult to balance information, maps, pictures and not being too wordy (my downfall). Hope that the rambling is of any use.

But can't wait to buy one off you and have it in my hot little hands when I trip around Tokyo! Many thanks ahead for saving me time and effort (not lazy just time poor).

Anonymous said...

This is my 1st visit to your blog. I saw your post in the FAA group and as I can't resist to a fabric giveaway I hat to come :)
I read the previous post and I really think it's a great idea to make this guide!
I think one think I'd like to see there is if the shops sell online and if they ship worlwide, since I don't think I'll go to Tokyo as soon as I'd love to.
And the possibility of buying japanese fabrics directly from japanese shops is very good!
Congratulations for your project!

CRAFTando said...

Apart from the addresses of 1000 specialized places to go, I´d love to:
- have a top 10 per secction (eg. Top Ten Fabric stores, top ten ribbon stores)
- "Insider" Tipps
- Tourism & Shopping Tipps together. Mark which touristic points are close to the shops. That is a good way to convince husbands to go with you!
- Craft classes or seminars? Tipps, dates, where to find, etc. would be amazing
- Adresses and dates for 2nd hand shops and fleamarkets

If I can think of anything else I´ll let u know.

I wish u lots of fun writting!

Daniela Beier

Jenaveve said...

This is a tough one I think! But if I were looking through this guide, I guess I would need some translation of key terms when shopping!! That'd be the hardest thing. Looking, grabbing and handing over cash, now that would be the easiest thing.

I think I'd like to know a little bit of the history behind some of the stores (where applicable) as I'm sure some of the older ones would have a small tale to tell.

And another important thing I'd consider before stepping foot anywhere is an idea of the neighbourhood and what to expect. That way the less travelled of us (moi) would know what they were getting themselves into! (And what's around - food / transport - always helpful, but I'm sure you've got all that covered.)

What a brilliant project, best o-luck with it all!!

Nikki said...

Sorry I missed earlier cuddles... sending one heartfelt one now!!!

I'm with the rest of the crew who say DO THE BOOK. It's been said before, but it's about HOW you do it and what your CORE DIFFERENCE is. I make my living from bag patterns - as you know, because YOU BUY THEM!! - but there are loads of free patterns on the net. It's all about doing things with quality, know-how and your own style that will make people want YOUR BOOK. You have a lot of local knowledge, a real passion for Japanese textiles, a great writing style that would make your guide stand out above the rest. For those of us who love Japanese textiles but are unlikely to get to Japan it'd be great if you included internet-based businesses, too... or even just lots of lovely lush photos... ust the eye-candy aspect would grab me. (How many Japanese craft books have I bought and not actually used...?).

Soja said...

Good to hear you sounding all enthusiastic again! :-) I agree with everyone, also, although I guess it might make it a bit expensive to produce, if the guide book was full of colour photos it would make a great souvenir too, and make it different from printed out blog pages/normal tourist guides which tend to be more text based. Are you thinking of getting a publisher or using something like Blurb to make the book?

Anonymous said...

Well most of it is said already, some basic translations of yardage, fabric, sewing and stuf would be nice.
Links to webshops or images too.

I was thinking of shops and flee markets where they sell second hand kimonos too.

When I was in Tokyo this spring, I passed by Chicago (second hand shop) and found some really nice obis. They might come in handfull as fabric too. And they weren't expensive at all.

noodleroll said...

How exciting! Things I would really appreciate in a good resource book would be the locations on a map, phone # and web address as some shops do change hours (seasonal hours or new business hours), recommended places to visit, annual craft events, and lots of pictures.

Unknown said...

I'm new to Japanese fabric and am LOVING it!!!
Lots of photos would be great in your new book!!

Julie Weller

muralimanohar said...

Oh, I am IN! :D My suggestions are in my cuddle post, but honestly, they are way built upon and expanded in THESE comments!

Who knows...maybe you can eventually have a line of them, for all the areas you know?? :D

Jenny said...

OOOoo! That fabric looks gorgeous! As well as clear directions and details of which train to catch etc I would like to see some of your little stories included that you are so good at and gives us a real snapshot look at Japanese life! Glad you are going ahead with it:)

Jo (sparkly green knickers) said...

I love this idea! I also love the idea of having guides for different areas (but that's probably better as a website).
You've been given some fabulous tips already, not sure what else I could add....

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the book! What a fun thing to do!
In such a book, I would like to see a mix of large commercial shops and tiny out of the way boutiques. Places to find ribbons, buttons and other nottions. Bargain places are always a a bonus! but really, if I was ever so lucky as to go to Japan I would just wonder around aimlessly all day long!
Take care!

Anonymous said...

First of all congrats on this wonderfull idea :)
As for what I would like to see in this guide... I will tell you what I personally find more difficult to get my hands on ;)
- Exquisite shops with kimono and more traditional japanese fabrics and prints;
- Books and magazines (even if all the instructions come in Japanese ;)

Good luck on your project :)

My name is Claudia, I'm from Portugal and my email is

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Most of my suggestions have already been mentioned. One idea would be to have suggested itineraries for travellers on short stop overs i.e. must do's if only staying for 1-2 days; info on markets selling hand made goods; special events e.g. annual craft shows etc. Best of luck in your venture!!

the mama monster said...

what a great idea! i would love to see a list of neat, kind of smaller stores and second hand and thrift stores. also maybe a must see section.

Marisa said...

Oh, I have to have the fabric shopping guide. Maybe I'll win, but if not, pls put it in your Etsy shop so I can pick up a copy. That is such an awesome idea. I'll have to also put a link to it on my blog. You rock!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I saw your post on a Flickr group and I thought I'd give it a shot ^^

First, thanks for writing this book! I don't know if I'll ever get to go to Japan but books like these are totally inspiring :)

I would like to see some guides to stores that are off the beaten path. Like little hidden gems where you can get awesome deals or super original fabrics or the cutest buttons and other notions :)

Also I'd like to see a list of places where you can get patterns to not only clothing, but accessories, home items, children's clothing etc... Maybe even a list of fabric stores where you can find the best fabrics and patterns for these same items :)

I don't know if it's possible, but I'd also love to see some places to get smaller scale pattern fabrics for those of us who make doll clothing. I know we doll clothing makers are always having trouble finding really cute, small scale patterns on fabric :(

Thanks for reading :)

Mortadella said...

Hi, I commented on the cuddle post, but want to reiterate (since I haven't seen it commented yet):

-Place names and addresses in Japanese so if I need to ask for directions, I can point to this. Maybe also with phonetic english pronunciations for those of use who can't read hiragana, katakana and kanji.

-Section on where to go if you have 1 day, 3 days, one week or longer.

-Someone else mentioned previously about cafe suggestions. That would be awesome. Alternately, restroom break places would be good!

I haven't been to Japan yet, but have been a japanophile for a long time. Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I love Japanese fabrics.
One suggestion might be to provide the website of the store beside the actual listing so that we could go online and check out what sorts of things they might be advertising on special etc.

Also the idea of listing thier speciality is important. I have used both traditional style asian fabrics as well as cute designs with animals or hello kitty on them etc.

My last idea is maybe to include 1day/ 2day/ 3 day fabric trek to go on. Just listing the shops is helpful but to create a shop tour which outlines which ones it makes sense to go to first, and then end up in. This way in an unknown place we can get to each as efficiently as possible.

Good luck with the book.
Julie C

Unknown said...

Ok, definitely how to say how much you want or at least something in the book you can point to (1 meter please, etc). Also, any delicious food places nearby would be fantastic.

Joanne said...

Seems like there are a lot of people loving the idea...

And since I'm in Tokyo in five weeks I'd be happy to test drive any section you'd come up with by then - well technically four weeks because I won't have access to my mail once I'm on the plane.

And it's a big yes to fabric shopping terms, something my japanese teacher forgot to mention in five years of classes.


ikkinlala said...

I definitely think a language guide for fabric transactions would be helpful. Transportation directions would be important to me as I wouldn't be driving. I'd also be interested in hearing about other types of craft stores (especially yarn), or at least whether a fabric store carries sewing accessories as well.

ikkinlala AT yahoo DOT ca

Jill said...

A companion website would be nice. That way you can do online updates as things change so you could reference it before you go. Also, people could comment on the website with their experiences at the various shops. Wish I could go to Tokyo to test drive it for you.

Angie said...

This sounds like a great project. The language guide would be great, but I would also want to know what level of English skills I could expect at the shops themselves, particularly the ones off the beaten path. Depending on how adventurous I'm feeling, that would be important information for me.
Other items that would be important to me as a traveler would be:
1. Do they take credit cards & which ones?
2. Will they take US dollars?
3. Will they ship it home for you?

Thanks for your post on Flickr, which is how I found your blog.

Anonymous said...

I went to a quilt show today and saw some gorgeous japanese prints, and some wonderful muted lovely prints next to them. Apparently what I thought of as Japanese prints are they Americanized idea and the other muted prints are Daiwabo which are the real thing. (news to me) I think a guide with brands and their origin would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

Hi Melanie,

So glad that you are continuing on with this! See my cuddles comment too. I think that size would be important - easy to fit into a bag would be great.

Anonymous said...

What fun!

I would be interested in something small in size to fit in my back pocket and directions to the shops would be cool kind of like a directory. Cool idea ;)


jojoebi-designs said...

I am in Japan too and would like a translation for sewing notions, my Japanese isn't very good and I always end up doing some strange pantomime when I need to ask for something I can't find in the store.

A guide to the best spots to find fabric is a great idea.

.girl ferment. said...

I think a translation of common signage in a fabric store, directions to get to the stores (via train etc), and general information on how buying fabric works ie do you walk in, pick up a roll and take it to the counter? Then what do you say?
Also a basic guide on pricing so you know when getting a bargain or not.

I think it will be such a great book, I would have liked to stick it in my friends' hands last year when they visited Tokyo and tell them that I want fabric as my present.

Hope your treatment goes well.

JennyTheArtist said...

As many people have said before, a translation as well as how to pronounce the words would be so helpful. Maybe photos of differnet sewing supplies (button, thread, etc) with the translation...

Anonymous said...

Melanie, on the back of my other cuddles comment think about the visual side. graphics, fonts and visual aides that could add to its point of difference, give it a japanese twist with some paper folds or the like

Liz said...

I never have any luck at this, but I would like to suggest lots of photos...odd I know, but I am a visual person, and as someone with limited foreign language skills it always is great to have a picture to point to when you are trying to get somewhere/find something! Of course all the other comments are excellent! Good luck with the book.

Anonymous said...

Have you chatted with the author of Pink Penguin? She's in Japan right now and her blog is lovely.

Christie said...

A map would be great, obviously the best fabric stores + shops that sell great craft magazines & pattern books & places to get other carft supplies (trims + stamps etc)

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

That's is a great idea for a book. I want to go to Japan again and I would definitly buy the book then.

Things that would be nice to have in the book?
Well it shouldn't be to big, so you can tag it along. A map ofcourse:) or/and several maps per area

-Per shop, what kind of fabrics do they are the specialised in? (maybe with icons, so you can see quickly what they have)
-Photo of inside or outside of the store.
-Opening hours
-Size of the store
-Nearest metrostation
-Things to do for your husband and/or kids close to the shop
-Website links, if they have one.
-Places to get fabric related things, like buttons etc.
-Nearby craft stores

Some japanese words that I can use in the shops

Good luck with the book!

Beth said...

I think people have covered what I would like in such a book.
*Pictures of the shop
*I like the idea of a city map showing how many shops are in the area.
*web address
*what fabrics they specialized in
*a small size you could easily put in your bag and travel with

Anonymous said...

Ooooh I would have loved to have had a guide like that when I went to Japan back in 2005... I only found one fabric shop the whole trip! As for suggestions, I'd like the shops to be grouped by physical area, so maybe you can tackle each group on a different day... Nearest subway/ train station plus the line it is on... A photo of the shop is a good idea (if they'd let you) because sometimes you don't know what to look for... Advice as to what unit of measurement fabric is sold in (by the metre, the yard etc), and how to ask for it... A basic price guide, with maybe a rating for each shop... Type of fabrics they specialise in... How big the shop is (so maybe if you only can visit one, you know which one to visit first!)... Maybe a small section on where to find secondhand kimono... That's all I can think of at the moment.

Pecos Blue said...

Fabric giveaways are the best.

I like lots of photos so in a book form that would be the best with ideas on what to make with it too.

Not to cheat on liking the first fabric but even on your site this one stood out to me as a great one for make a quilt and so unusual. The little indigo blue is very nice too.

Also I am doing a giveaway for a Super Hero Cape...come check it out.

Bec said...

Hi Melanie,

I feel awful now that taking a bloggy break meant I missed your last post - funny really that I feel like I've been a bad friend to someone I've never even met before. But it's true. I hope you're feeling better now :) Anyway, I'm breaking my break to offer my support to keep going with your idea, as it's a great one, and also to say that I'll be sending lots of positive thoughts your way for the thyroid treatment to work quickly and effectively. As for the fantastic giveaway (wowee!!! And by the way, I'm holding one at the moment too - which pales in comparison to yours I'm afraid) I don't know if I can add any new suggestions. But I will list the ones I like the best so far if that helps:
*size - small for fitting in handbag
*fabric/notion terms with pronunciation help, and photos so that if all else fails I could resort to 'pointing' (always love nice 'eye candy' photos too - I've bought so many books for this reason alone!!!
*good cafes/eateries/coffee places and restrooms near each of the fabric stores.
*a map (maybe a fold-out one inserted into the book?)
*directions - especially for public transport

Sorry to leave such a huge comment on your post - I think I've just made up for all the time I've spent away from blogland recently...**Hugs** Bec

ZONE F DG TEAM said...

Perhaps an explanation on how to determine if a fabric has cultural influence by symbols to look for, etc.


Anastasia said...

as i mentioned earlier maybe a page or two mentioning nearby cafes or small snack pit stops for that in between shopping break...
and i think a page devoted to time factor like if you only have 24 hours: go here or 48 hours: you need to visit these.
some fun facts on each shopping area would be cool too! i like reading about things like that!

erika~ the inspired mama said...

ooooh, fabulous fabric!! i think a translation guide would be very helpful. i see that has been mentioned a few times by others so i am guessing it would be in demand :)

thanks for the chance to win!

Lilli boo said...

I have left a ((cuddles comment)) but wanted to add that I have read through all the suggestions and there is a wealth of information in all the suggestions. I'm so very pleased you have decided to go ahead with the idea of the book.
I'm going to take a different tack and suggest that you should approach Lonely planet guides as this is certainly an area of interest for them. This book IS creating interest already it's fantastic! so there are so many possibilites with publishers worldwide.....Good on you Melanie. oxo

Tine said...

I would prefer a small size, thick paper, spiral-bound book.
I would like maps, where the shops are marked, I would like directions on how to get there by public transportation...
Then for each shop, I would like a picture, and a short review (how much fabric, what kinds, buttons? zippers? etc). I would also like a rating of maybe 1-5 stars (bolts.LOL) for price-range and overall selection.

And then I think it is fun when guidebooks have walking-tours. Suggestions of stores to visit in the morning, how to get from one to the other, a place to eat lunch, and suggestions on where to go in the afternoon...

Do I make any sense??

If not email me at enitdk[@]gmail[.]com

I've found your blog via the sew mama sew group on flickr ;-)

Bunny B said...

I would definitely love to know the best and secret places to get a great bargain and see the type of stuff they sell! Thanks so much!

bunnybx at gmail . com

NotYetTheDodo said...

Hello, I found your splendid giveaway via the fabric addicts on flickr! Thanks for making this!

And do make the book - we're obviously all waiting for it!
I agree with so much of the said above, I'd want to know where to go for new, old and inbetween, for ribbons, fabrics, notions, for standard and special - how to get there, what the public transport works like, and yes, a picture to make sure I know what I am searching for...

I strongly support the idea of phonetic english pronunciations for those of use who can't read Japanese - I am sure the Japanese will welcome our attempts at speaking the language! - and places, shops and names also written in Japanese, so that we can point at them.

And I'd love a section of webpages, webshops and webinspiration - for us, who aren't going right away....

Good luck with it and lots of good energy from here!

Bird Bath said...

Lots of sound advice here. I vouch for a small, graphic booklet which includes websites, map and help with pronunciation.
good luck with your publication...

Jacinta said...

Melanie - I think this is a great idea. No wonder you were excited. As for things that I would like to see included... I loved the sound of your 5 building store with 15 floors of crafting goodness, but I also love the smaller off the beaten track stores too... I love paper and calligraphy as well as the general craft and fabrics so that would be of interest.
As well as that, maybe some generic information re accommodation and getting around. Etiquette re shopping and what to expect.
Good luck, it's definitely going to be a best seller!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I think it would be most helpful to have information about sites of interest, places to stay and places to eat with each store.
Sue Cahill (sbonetsue at yahoo dot com)

Michelle said...

Oh Imissed the cuddles!!!! Sending some right now!!! And as for the secret squirrel business - fantastic! It's no wonder you were excited about it!

So, what to include? Well, definitely a section on translating simple terms, and how about a list of 'must see' places - the 15 floor crafting heaven place for one! And an online section of great websites would also be very handy.

Oh how exciting!!

Maggie said...

Great fabric. As with any craft shopping guide, I'd like to know where a shop is and what they specialize in. I'd also like to know where thrift shops are because I like to use thrifted items for craft projects.

Anonymous said...

The chances of me ever getting to tokyo are very slim, and everyone above has suggested anything I could possibly think of! I think the size of the book is important-you're going to need all your space for fabric! josilva3(at)yahoo(dot)com

Rachael Hutchings said...

Hmmm, I would like a set of basic information, like a section educating me on Japanese fabric, another with a list of common terms I would need in Japanese, etc. I would also love any insider tips on each individual shop that are to be had.

Maureen Reynolds said...

Oh Melanie...Do IT!! Even if you self-publish for a start, do it. Believe in your true true abilities.

Mariska pretty much summed up my thoughts on a guide, and I do like a spiral and perhaps a 5x7 size so it can fit in a purse or man's pocket. I like pictures since sometimes places are look nothing like you expect, name and address also written in Japanese, and ..but of course...where you wound eat nearby. (I know my dh...)

Jeanine said...

Oooh what a cool give away. I also think that maybe the top ten fabric stores/locations would be ideal.

anne said...

Naturally I would like to know where ALL the great fabbie shops are, easy ways to get to them, some simple words in Japanese ie fat quarter, metre, cotton, patterns etc. Dates for any annual quilt shows or quilt exhibitions. Quilt stores that provide quilt lessons, especially shasiko stitching and of course, the location for a great coffee shop after I have shopped and looked, until I drop.

anne said...

oooh forgot, maybe a price guide, as if the stores are in warehouse style, or market places this give an idea of the cost.

Kate said...

Hi Melanie,
What an excellent idea!

I'd love a fabric and paper guide. The paper shops in Tokyo especially that I've done research into seem to be spread out and quite varied. (I'm off in December - eee!) Any ability you would have to map them out in a small, passport sized book would be amazing. Perhaps you could also include a traditional section (for traditional papers, kimono fabric etc) and a more modern one, for zakka and kawaii papers etc?

A non-crafty resource which might give you a few pointers is 'Shop in Shenzhen' by Ellen McNally. It's a really comprehensive guide and despite being a but more geared towards an American audience, it's very clear and well set out. (I have no affiliations with the book - it was just helpful to me as an Aussie in Asia.)

PS Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog today - I am definitely contemplating a big bento now you've talked me into it!

Kii o tsukette ne!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to have some information about places I can see vintage fabrics (e.g. museums/silk factories etc), places where I can maybe take a class or talk to an expert. Maybe even a few bonus 'free' simple/traditional patterns at the back of the book as an added extra. Good luck with it!!

Susan said...

Looks like your idea of publishing a fabric guide for Japan is a fantastic one, from the responses so far! Well done! I was thinking of adding a section on how best to shop in Japan - market etiquette, do I haggle, and how? Do they have factory outlets for fabric in Japan? What about including some of those on the list for real bargain hunters/people who would like to do a factory tour and see the fabric being made?

All the best!

Anonymous said...

A fabric guide book to Japan would be absolutely wonderful, especially for people who dont speak the language AND are not necessarily on one of the quilting tours. As a quilter who has been twice to Japan looking for fabric I found fabric shops in Tokyo very hard to find, and spent a lot of time chasing after leads which turned out to be disappointing. I would also like to see info in the book about places like Arimatsu, and buying shibori; about Kyoto and fabric places there, traditional dyers and even kimono makers. For instance where can one go to get the second hand uchikake in Kyoto, I know there is a market there somewhere. Other useful things as have already been suggested: directions on foot from the nearest subway station,, in the style of the Lonely Planet guide, Japanese words for various sewing terms and notions; an explanantion of the different types of traditional fabrics found, ie shibori, kasuri. I think someones suggestion to approach Lonely Planet or write that style of book is excellent. I loved LP Japan and got lots from it but not fabric!

Anonymous said...

Sorry you were feeling down . Once your medication kicks in you'll feel so much better!
A pocket-sized craft shopping guide to Tokyo would be wonderful ! With email addresses for those of us who won't be making the trip for a while , please.
Good Health !

Anonymous said...

It looks like you're going to be filling your etsy with a lot of yummy fabric - I adore japanese prints. I haven't really read any books on Japanese crafts but I'd be interested to know some history behind any projects you include - go get a sense of belonging to the past too! :-) DOes that make sense? I like books not only with patterns and yummy pictures but some Reading in them too.

Kelly said...

Hi Melanie,
It's a great idea. I'm actually looking for a book that features Japanese material and different ways to use them, so for your book i would be interested to see a section on say "chirimen" and then samples of what kinds of things you made with them shown in the book, and a pattern for making them.

Good luck with your book. :)


Anonymous said...

Hi I'd like to see some info about where to get craft supplies, secondhand clothes and materials suitable for kids.
Thanks love your stuff

ayumills said...

Sounds so much fun to work on your book! Although I use Japanese when searching online on fabric stores in Japan, there are lots of things I haven't been able to figure out, so I would really appreciate it if you could suggest a way to spend a day of fabric shopping in Tokyo. I know Nippori is absolutely one of the places Japanese fabric lovers should go to, but where else would you recommend..?
Cotton Field and other popular fabric shops in Kichishyoji? Which Yuzawaya is the biggest? Where do you find vintage fabrics/buttons? Any fabric stores in Japan that will ship internationally?
Oh my! Lots of things I would love to learn from your book!

Unknown said...

Wow, Melanie, what a fabulous idea! Being overseas I think it would be great to find out lists of online shops in Japan which sell fabrics, trims and books!


Anonymous said...

How about a few free patterns of different items that would look great using the fabric from the different shops.

Janell said...

I love your blog and wanted to give you a virtual hug right away! Hang in there!

I love Japan and wish I could live there for awhile. My dad is Japanese and when my parents retire they want to move back for a couple of years. I miss it!

My mom is an amazing quilter and she got me started, too. Thanks for the free fabric giveaway!

Book: I would love to have a handy guide to fabric in Japan! Awesome idea! It would be cool to see the different area's "specialties" - you know, like they do with foods and sweets. Of course, I don't know if they do that with fabric/prints? Marketing idea: how about selling it to the featured fabric stores? Or perhaps they could be featured in your book with a nifty project their store completed using the fabric in their store...


MJHill said...

Loving the blog here and the book idea is fantastic. I'd love to travel overseas when my husband and I are finished with school and have some of that loan debt (oh who am I kidding, fabric debt too) out of the way!

As far as suggestions go, I think mini tours already planned out would be fabulous. Like, what to go and see if you have an afternoon free -- maybe with sections for different kinds of crafting. Maybe even ask around at the shops you mention and see if they'll offer discounts to customers who come in with your guide? That would be awesome.

Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be very handy to have a basic translation of some of the terms you'll stumble across in craft (book) shopping.

Crossing my fingers my number is drawn!!!

Helenka said...

What a fantastic idea! I think most of the comments cover what I would have suggested - adding a personal aside of your experiences with each shop would be a lovely addition as well as any special highlights or bargains to look out for. A price guide/range would be good for shoppers to have before venturing to each store. Can't wait to see it! Wishing you all good things!

Anonymous said...

I have never been to Japan, but it's high on my list of places to visit. I'm always looking for crafty places to visit when I'm travleing. How great would it be if it was already put together for me?

I would love to see a list of a few translated key phrases/words that would help us buy all the lovely fabric and paper.

I'm also a knitter and a know that knitting a crochet are big in Japan. I would love to see a short list of other notable craft shops would be wonderful.

Virtual hugs!

mary said...

First timer to your blog here as well but couldn't resist the giveaway! One thing that I would love is a place to make notes and/or information on where to send in additional info or changes if I were to discover them. Things ALWAYS change and maybe a website/forum linked to the book that has up-to-date info would be helpful. Even a tear out sheet with the question: How could this be improved? and the info on where to send it would help you keep the book updated.... Good luck!

Unknown said...

I've never been to Japan, and so this may be a very silly thing...but, I tend to spend a long time in fabric shops and knowing whether or not rest rooms were readily available would be a good thing to know.

LeeAnn said...

Maybe each fabric store could provide a small fabric project to include in your book, so not only is it a resource to grab yummy Japanese fabrics (with their websites of course for all us overseas people) but it could be part craft/inspirational book too. It could really open the doors wide open for more book customers.

jessica mathew said...

hello! your book sounds great! i would love to know some good sources of japanese fabrics and notions that might be accessible outside of japan. thanks for the giveaway!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and unique idea for a book. If I was visiting Japan, I would love to know about thrift stores or second-hand stores (or whatever the Japenese have) where I could find great fabrics.

Anonymous said...

Such a great idea! I know that what you have in mind is a fabric book, but perhaps if you organize it by area or neighborhood you could throw in a few words about nearby places to find paper and other crafting supplies. Thank you for doing this!

Anonymous said...

Having a conversion table for yards and metres would be really useful, and maybe a ruler printed along one edge of an inside cover would be useful for measuring pattern repeats?

Also a crib sheet for Japanese fabric care/washing instructions - I'd hate to hot wash something that was only supposed to dry-cleaned!



Stacey said...

I'd love such a book! It'd be incredible if it had tons of pictures of the places and detailed directions, but maybe also pics of samples of the types of fabric they carry? Or any tips or tidbits about the price range for that shop or any other "inside" type information, like what other places are worth dropping by that are around the same area.

MaMa said...

Hello...a guide to local sewing/fabric shops with a cool map showing their locations would be interesting as well as some of the local gems like good restaurants, parks, historical sites, etc... Just a few, not a lot, but that would be a cool feature. Thanks for hosting!
mistyfuji [at] yahoo [dot] com

Bronwyn said...

There have been so many great ideas given for your book it is hard to think of anything new - for me - photos make a big difference - definitely needs colour to entice - and a warmth to the writing - as if it was my own personal guide and we would go out for sushi afterwards!!

Molly said...

Have you seen the moleskin city guides? I love the size of them and I love that there is space to write your own discoveries. That would be a great thing to incorporate into your guidebook.

Anonymous said...

I'd say:
1. enough margin to make personal notes in
2. web sites so they can be looked up (to make sure they're still in business)
3. conversion charts and key words (in Japanese) that would help the looking for and purchasing process (and just to be a nice tourist and make an effort)!
Good luck! ~H

Regina said...

OOhh - I still regret that I was not into fabric during the four years I lived in Japan - if I could go back in time... well - I will just live vicariously through you!!!

For a guide? A link to a website with updates - stores go in and out of business, move locations, etc... and I found that frustrating with some of the guidebooks I have used in the past.

Anonymous said...

Defintely some sort of guide/tutorial/outline for making sense of Japanese patterns. The finished products are so lovely but I'm super-intimdated by the pattern and feel like I'm really missing out on making great stuff.

bethany said...

I think it would be nice to have something small enough that could fit in a purse or small bag because I like to travel light!! This is a fabulous giveaway! Thanks!

Victoria said...

What fun! I lived in Kyoto for three years (Late 80s/early 90s). Wish I had been a big crafter back then! So using my knowledge of being there, what I think would have worked best for me is a tri-fold laminated map with symbols and a legend.


Cathy {tinniegirl} said...

My goodness. I've left it late to join the fun here. Consequently I haven't read all the comments so don't know if I am repeatings others ideas. However, I would suggest putting something in about where to stop for a bite to eat or a cuppa on your travels. It's always good to know where you can have a nice rest when you are shopping up a storm.

The other thing is I remember you once mentioned about not being able to take photos in some places when you were shopping once. I think travel tips or info on cultural appropriateness would be good to have in there. It can save a lot of angst for everyone.

Anonymous said...

For a Fabric Lover's Guide to Tokyo....the first thing I would want to know is "Where are all the Fabric Shops?"

Anonymous said...

Reading the previous comments.....Your book is going to be HUGE...perhaps a series of mini books??? each containing info for an area reachable in one day, with basic translation guide for fabric shoppers (ie. ALL the important stuff, ..........
How much/cost/meters/yards/??postage back to Australia when you buy too much to carry:-)/where can I get a coffee? etc etc. As a first time reader of your blog, I feel compelled to send you a*big hug*

Linda said...

A fabric/Tokyo book - Brilliant!
I'd love something like that to be manageable size (smaller than a book) but then again the type needs to be easily read on the go of course. A photo of the front of the shop would be nice. All of the normal things of course; hours they are open, what one might find there, if they have any organized activities going on regularly... detailed directions. lol. I can imagine getting easily lost.
Maybe in an easy to handle format like with lay flat pages or something?
Thanks for the op to win some great stuff!!
I'm going to lookie loo around your blog some more.
Take care!

UK lass in US said...

I think a removeable map would be great, that you coould take out and about, without needing to have the whole book with you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, what a great giveaway!

I would love to have a handy sized book, with good details about stores. POssibly also a symbol guide for fabric/craft stores, such as this letter menas this in english?
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

You are so generous! If I were looking for fabric stores in another country, I'd want to see the store's name, street, etc. in English and also in the native language so that I would be sure not to miss it.

Anonymous said...

G'dAY, i have just been buying up on ion you r lovely fabric.I make bags and things as a hobby really.I think you are just amazing how you have embraced a different culture.I love all things Japaness and have a family friend who wrote abook about being in Aussie and we are in it.He has a gallery in japan .
Go ahead with your book theres more than one kind of bread around so it should stop you doing this.Theres only one you so do it with your ideas and twists.I have read your blogs and they are so much fun to read you have inspired me and one day i will go there.Its fun as i am on a outback station and by reading your stories i am in japan (all most)
Take care...Regards rosie

AmyDe said...

I want to see information about how transactions are expected. For instance is fabric generally priced per meter or half meter. etc. What are standard widths (45 US - 55-60 European - etc). How do the sales people expect us to order and what should we know to communicate clearly. Also a "tips" section with tips and ideas you've found helpful is invaluable.

also - what's a good price on a product (average price) as japanese items available in the states/europe, etc do not reflect actual "on the street" pricing.

Thanks for the give-away opportunity.

Anonymous said...

What a fun idea. I would t be very interested in Japanese patterns/material for children/babies. The Japenese have a certain style very different from ours here in the states. Also, it would be great to have tips on construction of garments.

Misty said...

this is so great! i am definatly interested in this!!! I love fabric. (of course. who doesn't???)

Tiffany said...

This is wonderful! I would love to know the location of the shops, their website (if they have one), whether or not they ship overseas and their specialty (if they have one). It would also be cool to see them rated according to selection, price, etc. I can't wait to see a finished product!

Anonymous said...

The biggest frustration I have found with great books, fabric etc from Japan is that I can never figure out exactly how to go about getting it. The more info you can give about that they better!
What a fabulous idea.

Lolly said...

What a great giveaway! Count me in. I think the guide is a good idea. I am always interested in whether the store has an online presence and ships internationally.

Micha said...

What a great idea!

I would love to have store locator information divvied up by part of town or some other geographical distinction. I frequently pick sites out of travel guides just to realize they are nowhere near me.

Also, as an infrequent traveler, I get nervous in foreign places. Perhaps some notes on which shops are safe to go alone and which would be better with a companion.


Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog from Japan Times website. I love Japan too and spent a lovely time there teaching English in Kanazawa a few years ago. I also love fabrics and last March I went to Tokyo and bought some beautiful vintage silk kimono fabric that I plan on making into pillows and a scarf.
One of my favorite aspects of Japan is how every town is famous for something. If you could include all the famous dyeing/weaving/types/etc. of fabric around Japan and a short description of what makes it special, I would be very happy to buy your book. Also an inclusion of a shop or studio that specializes in this technique with an address would be great for those of us who'd like to travel there ourselves. Please include Okinawa as they have a lovely dyeing technique.
I also have recently gotten into etsy and would love to see more sewn items that you create from the fabric on the site. Your bags and cards are lovely!

...Laura... said...

I just discovered your blog! I've never been to Japan but would LOVE to go! My husband is obsessed with all things asian, so he would love if I won this contest and made him something fun.

Anyway- I think there are a lot of great suggestions here. I think the best would be to have some sort of translation on how to ask for yardage and such. Also, all the good places to find these products, in case I could ever visit... I love hole in the wall, non touristy places- that's where you find the best deals in my experience.

Now that I've entered, I'm going to go look at the rest of both your blogs :)

Anonymous said...

On reading through these comments, two ideas stand out for me. Lush eye candy photos and internet info for non travelers like me. There is a huge interest in Japanese fabrics and this guide would be fabulous !

Jenna Z said...

Oooh, neat! I would want not only fabric shops but mentions of crafty stores or other shops that have a good selection notions! For me, it's all about the patterned bias tape, ribbon, buttons and other goodies! If the shop has a webpage, the URL would be a biggie so that you could get further information on the fly on your laptop.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

This sounds great! Definitely count me in! What a cute blog!

Cheryl said...

I would be interested in knowing if any of the fabric has cultural significance... which fabrics are used for certain traditional items, etc.

Alabama Apples said...

I'm new to your site, but love your ideas! I know it has been said by a lot of previous commenters, but I would love it if you described what the store specialties were, directions etc. I also loved the comment about the top 10. It would probably the first section of a book I would check out. Good luck! This sounds like a fab idea!

Nevis said...

The only thing I'd even know to ask...would be to ask about Harujuku street and the fashion there! :)

I wish you all the luck in your endeavors!

Melody said...

Oh I love giveaways of any kind.

I'd like to see a similar measurement conversion chart. And I'd like to see something listed about the quality of fabrics to look for and common ingredients in fabrics. Of course it's always nice to have some tips from the locals about the best places to get the best deals too.

Thanks for the opportunity.

Essential Amy said...

Hmmm. I think it would be necessary to have a conversion chart for sure.
I also think maybe categories, like luxury shops, bargain shops and friendly shops,etc... as well as location background.
Also it might help to list the kinds of things each locale is famous/known for, some things not to be missed... and maybe places to avoid?
I also agree about a top ten.
Good luck with the book!

susie said...

*coffee/tea shops close by
*insider tips
*website addresses
*photos of the shops themselves

Maggie Muggins said...

Great idea - I wish there was a guide for where I live. I think something super important is not just a list of the stores and locations but details on what they actually carry. IE. Beading, yarn, what types of fabric, home decorations, etc. It would really help those shopping for specific items.

Semsavblanc said...

Hi Mel
Well, it looks like your book idea has taken on a life of its own.
I feel like adding my suggestion is going to add to the mayhem. You're going to end up with an epic guidebook!!
I was thinking, if you could limit information for each store to two pages (opposite each other so they can be viewed together), include a gorgeous picture of their product/s and give the store a rating out of five using the star method.
As far as a map goes, I thought a map that folds out of the back of the book, with each store marked with a number that corresponds to a number you have given for each store as you progress through the book. That way, you see the store (with it's number), what it has to offer, fall in love with it, absolutely have to go there, then turn to the map at the back and find it immediately.
Also each chapter should represent the shops for each district. So if you're in a particular district you just go straight to that chapter in the book.
Eeekkk, sorry if this has been more confusing than helpful.
I just can't wait to be in Japan, with your gorgeous guidebook (in my very, very big bag)!

Anonymous said...

i would love to know some places to buy trims/lace etc. in addition to fabric -- some of my friends have come back from japan with amazing purchases in those departments :)

Anonymous said...

Fabulous ideas!
I would like:
*a format small enough to shove in my pocket
* a phrase section with requests like "I would like 1.5 meteres please" and "do you cut fat quarters?" and the like that I could just point to without having to attempt appalling pronunciation!
* a "If You are Here.... for Two Hours, don't miss..." section
* some advice on the best way to travel to the best shops

I DREAM of fabric shopping in Japan! I know I'm not alone. Have you thought about guided tours for Western Crafters?

Allie said...

Of course I thing you should iclude all kinds of things...but number one for me are some photos.
Sounds like you will have tons of great ideas.
I wish you luck.

Anonymous said...

The comments have really been great and have covered just about everything. I too think it should be a smaller size great for handbags and maybe a section in the back where we could jot down notes of our own. I think some reference to price ranges in the stores would be nice too.

Anonymous said...

hmmm....a lot of things have been covered. I'm sure someone said this, but a place that tells you how many centemeters per inch would be great!

Alissa Nicolau said...

Hi - I would love to have one or two knit or crochet patterns included in the book. I loove to knit and Japanesse patterns are always a favorite! Also photos, photos, photos please. Can never have enough photos of the craft ideas, fabrics, and typical sites about town. Food, vendors, bikes, faces, boats, flowers.... Maybe even a yummy recipe thrown in for a little shake-up. Wish you luck, sound very exciting!

Anonymous said...

This is my 1st time visiting your blog and love it. I saw your link on the FAA group and I can't resist a fabric giveaway and had to ome and enter.
I really think it's a great idea to make this guide I would love to see:
* more on explanations and translations of patterns
*I also think that adding some tips, hints, and places to shop online is great
* I think buying japanese fabrics directly from japanese shops is a great concept
* definitely patterns
* and lots and lots of photos to entice people to shop!

Good luck and I hope I win.... calcrochetnut at msn dot com
Congratulations for your project!

AJ Bindel said...

Oh what fun! I would like to see anything about Japanese embroidery in your guide. I have a small collection of Japanese embroidery books, but could always use more information.

I second the request for a section indicating how many cenitmeters per inch. <3

ebscrafts [at] gmail [dot] com

Mary Corbet said...

I think a section on shopping etiquette would be nice!

For example, can you "haggle" for prices reductions, etc? or is that considered bad form? Are you expected to let shop assistants hover over you and help with selections you want to look at, or can you make it clear you want to shop independently? What are the payment preferences - cash, credit cards, do they take traveller's checks, etc. How do those native to the area dress when they shop - super casual, as Americans tend to do often - or do customs dictate that you "dress up"?

That kind of stuff....

Sounds like a fascinating travel guide...

Two Peas In a Pod said...

I would love to be able to read it so translations would be good. Fabric guide as well. Best prices, quailty and service. Good luck with the book!
Cheers Kyla

Anonymous said...

ohhh, such beautiful fabric! I would love to win!

Anonymous said...

oops-forgot to sign name on last comment- was tooo excited!

lori said...

I think the most important thing would be whether or not they would ship your purchases home for you. If you're like me, you would be buying massive amounts and with the airlines now charging for extra bags, I wouldn't want to have to deal with that. Good luck, it will be a great guidebook I'm sure!

Ginny said...

How fun, a shopping section with tips would be great.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! This sounds amazing!! I would definitely say a play by play guide to the shops with ample room to write personal notes for future visits. Also facts about the stores .. tips on where to get the best crafting stuff and maybe section in by different crafts/fabric stores!! :)

Can't wait!!

Stacy A. said...

Melanie, What a wonderful idea. If only all cities had such a guide. Since my "going to Tokyo" prospects don't look great an online section would be nice. A list of stores that do online business and what they sell etc.

If I was there however, knowing what the store sold and an idea of the price (like how they do in restaurant guides with dollar sign etc.) would be most important. Maybe a highlighted section telling best bargain shops and other best of's. Best of luck with the project. Now I hope to get to Tokyo one day for just this reason! Have a great week end. Love Stacy

Anonymous said...

Things I wished I had during my one super brief visit to Tomato:

~a quick conversion guide from fractions of yards to decimal metrics... i had a list of yardage needed for projects, got to the cutting counter and was really embarassed as i tried to do the conversions in my head!

~fabric glossary, both visual (kanji, that we can point to on the page for shopkeepers?) and phonetic (so i can try to ask my ownself). basic words like cotton, linen, satin, ribbon...

This is such a great idea!

daysease said...

hi, i am new to your blog, and frankly I am overwhelmed... I have not idea what to mention since everyone else already said it all. i was wondering if you had considered adding a surprise craft idea in each or at end of chapter... you know with how-to info, and step by step instructions and major step-by-step pictures? I don't know, i always love getting ideas from other people so i can come up with my own final product using my own ideas mixed with other's. kind of neat that you are doing this. blessings on this endeavor.

Beth said...

The travel/shopping guide is a super idea. I agree with others who have suggested including a section with websites and/or other purchasing info for those of us stuck at home.

I don't know if this has been mentioned but perhaps a brief discussion of shopping manners/etiquette would be helpful. Is it ever appropriate to bargain as it would be in some other countries? Are there any cultural differences that would be important to know...for instance, if I were to crinkle a piece of fabric to see how wrinkle-prone it is would that be a faux pas?

Ruth said...

Ooooooooo such a lovely givaway, I would love it if the book came in 2 parts. Like a big normal sized book for reading properly that could fit loads of advice and information in it, and then a smaller book that maybe came slotted into a pocket of the cover or something that had the bar essentials in it and can be carried around. A few blank pages in the back for writeing a few of the notes from the big book that apply to you would be nice too.
Your fabrics are beautiful, good luck with the book(s ?)

James and Monica said...

oh how awesome!! How about a simple, beginner's instructions...something quick. But a refresher. AWESOME! Good luck

Anonymous said...

Wow, that sounds sooo good! Luckily I'm in time to join in after my holidays - trying to catch up with your blog now...

Take care dear!

Mal said...

I didn't get to do much craft shopping on my last trip - but I would highly recommend a trip to ANY Tokyo Hands (I prefer the one in Shibuya). they not only have tons of yarn, thread, sewing supplies, you can find small swatches of silks and all kinds of embellishments and fabric dyes.

also in shibuya, there is a fabric store (on one of the main roads near the JR train station. I cannot for the life of me remember exactly which street corner it is. I THINK if you head out of the lower level of the Tokyu Hands Shibuya store proceed towards the JR station, it should be on that corner where you'd turn left to go to the train station. (if that makes any sense).

Found your post through True Up.

good luck with the book and have fin on your next trip!

Sandy said...

Definitely a translation quide to sizes.

Amanda said...

I would definitely say the the overall size of the guidebook is important and will be most usefull in a small size. Some key fabric/ numerical yardage translations in there would be a must!

Anonymous said...

I've been away and just read your email. In previous comments everything I'd want in a book such as this has been mentioned. Good luck in your endeavor. I may have a chance to go on a textile tour to Japan in a year or so and would love to be able to tell our tour leader about your guide.

Jan C

Jill said...

I love Japanese fabric, but don't know that I'll ever make it there. However, I'd buy it if it just had a comprehensive listing of web stores.

Lookability said...

Oooh, nice idea....

How about a guide to the significance of some common Japanese characters or creatures or cultural/folklore items that might show up on fabric that you actually find examples of (I don't know, but here's some possible examples: mochi, daruma, maneki neko, sanrio/ san-x characters, totoro, doremon, tanuki, bamboo shoots, dango, family crests, kimono designs, cherry blossoms, goldfish, cranes, persimmon, etc.).

Also a quick guide to reading katakana would be nice because often little characters seem to be speaking "English" in katakana writing, and I think it'd be fun for English readers to try and decipher some of what's on their fabric even if they don't know Japanese words.

Robin -

Linda said...

I love this idea!

Christina said...

This is a great idea! It would be nice if it was small enough to fit in a purse or backpack. I also love the idea someone had about posting a list of web stores.

Leila and Ben said...

Great idea! I would love to see little photos of each shop, either from the outside or the inside. I'd also love to have links to any stores that sell online as I don't think I'll be making it to Tokyo anytime soon.

Chin Yee said...

Wow..great idea.I would like to have all the stores names and most importantly directions!

Anonymous said...

I'd love to know whether any stores have websites that I can order directly from them! (It'd be great if I knew which websites had english translations)

maumauisginger at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I think that is a great idea.
I am a fan of these fabrics. They are lovelyyyy.
Maybe you could include online shops there.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I love the fabrics!!! They are sooo cute I almost want to cry!!
Like so many others I think your guidebook should include translations for measurement, price ect. I also think it would be super cute to have the guidebook designed like japanese crafting book (i.e. comic book inspiration)...I'm thinking of something similar to Aranzi Aronzo's book layout. But regardless of what you do the book will be a huge hit!

Jennifer Coleman

cookiekenney said...

Love that fabric. I can't think of anything new to add. Guess I would say, all of the above.

Breanna Davenport said...

OMG, what an exciting and fun giveaway! I don't speak Japanese, so a section of common fabric related words (e.g, fat quarter, yard, ribbon, etc.) and phrases would definitely be helpful.

Thank you so much,

Anonymous said...

I love travel books - and I'd love to see a few things in yours.

1. a list of the stores, color coded (fabric, crafts, books etc) and shown on a map so that I can plan out a route

2. a list of the common crafter/fabric terms - written in both english and kanji, as well as a pronunciation guide. I find that if I can at least try some of the native language, the people are more willing to speak english with me

3. a review of each store with a picture of the store front if possible, so that I know i've found the right place

4. other things to see nearby - cultural things, great place to eat etc.

5. i'd like it to be a size that is handle-able. maybe with the map folding out etc...

motionsickgirl 7at8 gmail 0dot0 com

Anonymous said...

Food on the cheap. It gets so expensive there! like, the bottom floor of the malls having lunch for $4 at restaurant quality!

Studio Ghibli!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
shame on anyone who travels to japan and misses miyazaki.... it will blow the mind of ANY totoro lover!

Kid friendly places for those going with the squirts. Family friendly ryokans and hotels are worth their weight in gold.

Temple sales

Tips, like 'if you purchase your rail pass in your country instead of japan... its cheaper" and "bring an empty suitcase... you'll need it"
also, the luggage service! (I cant remember the name, but the logo is the mama cat carrying the baby cat) 20$ to ship your case fom airport to hotel, to different cities, back to airport! GOLDEN!

AWSOME blog! I miss japan already!

Anonymous said...

Sorry That post above was me being a dork and putting my contact in the middle!


Anonymous said...

I am new to sewing, so I am just learning about the popularity of Japanese fabrics. Maybe you could include something that explains why the fabrics are sought after and why they are so unique. Some artistic commentary on the patterns?

visit to contact me.

dina said...

How about negotiating prices for larger combined orders and common measurements? For instance, do they understand fat quarters or do they just sell by the metre? Can you haggle? How about where to find older fabrics from discontinued runs?

Roxanne said...

I went to the Tokyo fabric district in February, and I've now run out of some of the fabrics I bought and have no way of getting more (without going back!!) so it would be really handy to have some way of knowing the stores website / telephone or email details so I could order more from home. All the details I oculd find were in Japanese and no one spoke much English so that would be really handy.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elisa Mw said...

Japan has special products that come from other parts of the world. It is not a secret that here you find the best of the best from around the golbe, and I am sure it is the case also in textiles. I wonder if aside from the Japanese textiles, the "kawaii" prints, etc. there are other special fabrics from other countries, like fabrics for wedding dresses coming from France or special couture fabrics to be found in Tokyo that disigners on a trip to Japan can easily buy in some of its amazing shops.

loirat said...

I would love to see a variety of fabrics from Japan, and have access to necessary translations,


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