When I started knitting again several years ago I made a point of visiting several yarn stores while on vacation in London and Paris. As a knitter it seemed like an excited thing to do but, for my husband it turned into several diversions that I’m sure weren’t on his list of places to visit. Although he was very patient, I could tell he’d much rather else where.
It was on that trip, after checking out several yarn stores, that I realized that I could buy most of the best yarns from around the world at my local yarn stores or through the Internet. With that being the case, I started to question whether it was really a wise idea to spend time seeking out yarn stores while on vacation.
Well as I mentioned several weeks ago, while on vacation in Tokyo last month, I did happen to stop by Okayada in Shinjuku to pick up Clover’s new row counter which is called “Mini Kacha-Kacha”. This time I decided it was OK to check out this craft store since it just happened to be within walking distance of our hotel and I knew exactly what I was looking for. I promised that I wouldn’t stay too long.
If you do like searching for yarn stores while you’re on vacation and find yourself in Tokyo I would recommend two sources of information on where to go.
1. Download Pinku’s excellent list of stores that I found thanks to a post on Knitter’s Review. Just find the link to the Excel spreadsheet.
2. Vogue Knitting, Fall 2005 has an article on knitting in Japan that list several stores.
Okayada is a craft store destination that’s in a couple of skinny buildings between Studio Alta and the JR train tracks. To get there just walk out the east exit of the Shinjuku JR station and start heading north towards Studio Alta, a building with a big movie screen (which is just below the JCB Card board in the picture). It’s just a couple of blocks to the left near the train tracks. Somehow we ended up in the building that sells fabric and after climbing several fights of stairs realized that the knitting section was in another building on the fifth floor around the corner.
Since I didn’t need any yarn and my husband had tired feet, I only stayed there long enough for quickly tour around the fifth floor to peek at the yarn and to buy the row counter. Although I didn’t look too closely, they seemed to carry a good selection of yarn. Unfortunately, I forgot to check the prices but think Japanese yarns probably are not any cheaper than in the US. At least the row counter wasn’t.