6 Recommended Exotic Knickknack Stores in Kichijoji
Kichijoji is considered as one of the best places to live in Japan. Though it is a big city with shops, restaurants, nature, and everything else you need, it also has a retro vibe, making it a unique place where the past and present co-exist. Here are some popular exotic knickknack stores in Kichijoji!
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Kichijoji: A Highly Livable City
Located 14 minutes and 16 minutes away from Shinjuku and Shibuya on train respectively, Kichijoji is a city with excellent access to the central part of Tokyo. The city also has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. It is a sophisticated city that is not too busy, yet big enough to live conveniently. If you wander into the backstreets, you will find a lot of retro stores with a nostalgic vibe. Also, the popular Ghibli Museum, Mitaka, is only around 17 minutes from the area by foot, proving that you can enjoy the area in many different ways.
While there plenty of knickknack stores in Kichijoji, you will see exotic ones more often than in other areas of Tokyo. This article introduces you to some of them! Once you are inside these stores, you will forget about the time and lose yourself in their mysterious and exotic atmospheres.
Nanaibashi Street Area
Nanaibashi Street (Nanaibashi-dori), which is on the way to Inokashira Park (Inokashira-koen), is filled with exotic knickknack stores. Why not drop by any store that catches your eye? There are some restaurants nearby, so you can have a great time just by walking around this area.
1. Ganso.Nakaya-Mugendo - Second Branch
This store deals in goods imported from India, Nepal, and other Asian countries. Once you are in the store, you will smell the distinct scent of incense. They have a wide variety of goods, with a chaotic atmosphere that’s typical of any Asian knickknack store. Around the registers, they have free handmade magazines that let you feel just how much the staff love knickknacks. Most of their goods are fairly cheap, so it’s worth a visit!
If you look around, you’ll notice that the store is like a toy box. Anywhere you look, you’ll find something. One of the things they sell is the Dream Catcher, which is a lucky charm for aboriginals in the US. It is believed to protect you from nightmares when you put it close to your bed.
At the back of the store is a bargain corner for Indian incenses. They are really cheap, so don’t hesitate to buy them if you find anything that you might be interested in. If you ask, you can even buy a whole pack!
2. Ohara Shoten
Located in Kichijoji near Inokashira Park, Ohara Shoten has been operating for over three decades. It is a beloved knickknack store that is popular among locals. They sell a variety of goods, from products that use Indian cotton to alpaca knits that are only available in the winter. Enjoy the atmosphere of a typical Asian store here!
The shirts pictured above are Hikeshi T-shirts. “Hikeshi” refers to a firefighting organization in Tokyo that existed back in the Edo period (1603 – 1868). It protected the then-wooden city of Edo from fires. Produced by a brand called Hikeshi Spirit, the brand intends to promote the spirit of “Hikeshi”, as well as the style of Japan, to the world. Doesn’t this t-shirt look impressive? The brand collaborates with famous Japanese characters like Godzilla, making it an ideal souvenir.
This is a lavender-colored kimono sleeve. “Kimono sleeves” are basically French sleeves. They refer to clothes that have no boundaries between the sleeves and the body of a garment. One distinctive feature of Asian clothes is their good ventilation, which is achieved because they are mostly made of cotton. They are designed to keep you comfortable even under the humidity and heat of summer.
3. Malaika - Kichijoji Branch
Located on the street that goes to Inokashira Park, Malaika (Kichijoji Branch) is a shop that has goods from Asia, Africa, and North and South America. The neatly organized product display is one of the charms of this place. Malaika is also one of the biggest Indian jewelry stores in Japan, and this Kichijoji branch in particular has a wide variety lined up. All the goods sold here are legitimate, as they are all made by real producers. Malaika has 6 branches other than the one in Kichijoji, so if you are interested, you should definitely check them out as well.
Pictured above are products made from tin. These are called “Hojalata”, which is a traditional handcraft of Mexico. The heart-shaped motif is called “corazon”, which is Spanish for heart. It represents love and affection, and is used as a lucky charm. Put it on a white wall, and it will be one great interior piece!
At Malaika, you can find antique goods that are rarely found elsewhere. The pictured glass bottle was apparently decorated in India around 1960 – 1970. You could exhibit it as a piece of art, use it as a vase, or do whatever you want with it.
4. Titicaca - Kichijoji Branch
Close to Inokashira Park, Titicaca (Kichijoji Branch) is famous for its vast variety of Asian goods. A distinct feature of this store is its colorfulness. You will feel happy just by looking at the goods! They also have many clothes with traditional ethnic embroidery, as they support unique traditional art.
They also sell many fair trade products. So buying stuff here will not only benefit you, but also the producers of these goods!
They even sell many accessories! Their small yet delicately decorated motifs of birds and elephants are worth a look.
*The Kichijoji Branch only sell lady's items!
*This place has closed down.
Area Around North Exit of Kichijoji Station
Up next are some exotic knickknack stores around the North Exit of Kichijoji Station. The area is a rather busy part of the town that’s useful for shopping, as it has places like the restaurant street, Hamonika Yokocho, and the Tokyu Department Store.
5. Cayhane - Kichijoji Branch
Right by Kichijoji Station, there’s a shopping complex called “Coppice Kichijoji”. Inside it, you’ll find a popular Asian knickknack store, Cayhane. Along with handmade crafts, they have clothes, shoes, and accessories with a taste of Asia, so you can get coordinate your entire outfit so it gives off an Asian vibe! They’re all priced pretty reasonably, so you can acquire them relatively easily. When they are on sale, they get even cheaper, so it is recommended to buy them then!
Their cotton products have good ventilation, making them handy for the summer. They also have clothing for kids, so it is a good idea to try and get coordinated outfits for you and your kids!
*This place has closed down.
6. Harubaruya - Kichijoji Main Branch
This store is well-known for its likable owner, who opened the place over 30 years ago with the idea of having a store where you can find that one item that only one out of 10 people might like. The store has an exotic vibe to it, as it is filled with goods imported from India, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, and other Asian countries.
They have pretty much everything – from antiques to natural stones. Along with accessories for ladies, there are a lot of silver accessories that can also be worn by men.
Other than original clothes for men and women, hats, backpacks, and shoes, the goods they sell extend to things like musical instruments, furniture, and even Buddhist statues! If you are even slightly interested, you should definitely go check them out.
Each store is located very close to Kichijoji Station, so there will be more than enough time to look around all the stores in a single day. Try and find a unique Asian knickknack of your own!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.