Master-Piece is another of the great design stores that one should visit while in Kyoto. MasterPiece specializes in waterproof bags; thoroughly designed with all the correct compartments, straps and details.
Master-Piece started as a company dedicated to creating all-weather gear for sailors and marine workers. Then changing with the times to include consumer goods. All made with impeccable Japanese quality.
This falls, once again, into a should’ve, would’ve, could’ve category; where we regret not purchasing one of the expensive, but of excellent value shoulder bags. Yes they are not cheap; but that is exactly the point. This is an item that will last and serve you well throughout.
If for nothing else visit the store the store in Kyoto for its small cafe with view to an amazing garden and enjoy a delicious green tea latte 🙂
There are also outposts in Tokyo and Osaka and the bags are available in luxury department stores throughout Japan.
Le Grand Bleu is one of those shops, that unless you are on the inside ultra-hip fashion Industry you would never find or even take a second glance at if you happened to stroll past.
On a quiet street, not far from the Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, sits a true rock fashion boutique. Complete with new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from all over the world. Every world rockstar touring Japan makes a stop here. The US based equivalent would be LA’s Maxfield., though, Le Grand Blue gives off a much more authentic vibe.
Le grand Bleu is part f a Maniac Corporation group of stores including Circus, Forbiden Fruit and BEDROCK in Omotesando, well worth the visit, if you are into this type of thing.
On the main street in Kappabashi’s (Kitchen Town), not far from the famous Asakusa, Kama Asa Shoten has two stores. The one at the corner sells general kitchenware, while the other next door specializes in knives and specialty tools; such as sharkskin wasabi graters, Nambu Ironware, Kama and Kamado cauldrons, Kezuri-ki Dried Bonito Plane, Yuki-hira, Yattoko saucepans and Brick charcoal grills.
Being the latest ‘must have’ souvenir; a Japanese Kitchen knife is a joy to shop for and own. Play with and sped an hour choosing the perfect kitchen tool(s) for yourself. Each hand experiences each blade singularly. And when finished, they will engrave it for you; a true one of a kind purchase.
A short excerpt from the website explains the stores philosophy. This is a highly recommended side trip for all professional chefs and anyone who loves the kitchen!
“Founded in 1908,
The crafting of traditional Japanese single-edged knives involves various processes. Each stage is performed by a different artisan. Double-edged knives are produced in different locations. Each has its own character and culture. Our aim is to help you feel such variations with your own hands. You are welcome to handle our displays to choose the knife that suits your hand and needs.
To show respect for our craftspeople and pass on their values to our customers, Kama Asa does not re-brand the knives we carry. Each knife is supplied in its unadorned form, as finished by the artisan and with no additional markings. To view our comprehensive range of cooking knives please visit our store. We have many more knives in the shown categories.”
On the edge of Akihabara (electronics’s town), on the embankment of the Kanda River, lies the Mach Ecute mall.
In 2013, as part of the reconstructed old Minsebaishi Station, the lower level of the red brick viaduct was transformed into a shopping arcade; the arches separating each space. Showcasing young designers and manufacturers in a combination of fashion, housewares, restaurants, cafés and bakeries.
If you are cruising Akihabara, definitely swing by. There is access to the pltform cafe and roofgarden and, importantly, there is a Hitachino’s Nest Brewing Lab for tasting many a life affirming beer!
Open Hours: 8:00 – 18:30 Monday to Friday 8:00 – 13:00 Saturday
Originally named “Apotheke zur heiligen Dreifaltigkeit“ (Holy Trinity Pharmacy) the Saint Charles Apotheke has been preparing and selling herbal remedies since 1886. They now also sell their own cosmetic line, as well as other natural cosmetic brands.
One can make an appointment with one of the pharmacist to get specially made tonics and creams designed for your personal ecosystem.
A full complement of quality remedies makes Saint Charles worth a visit, but don’t expect a very friendly staff. 🙂