Hello, this is Yoojin. It is still cold in Tokyo that I cannot do without my coats, but the spring is surely coming as many Japanese apricot flowers are blooming.
Today, I went to Yanaka in Taito Ward, a historic area where many temples gather, developed back in Edo Period (1603-1868). Nowadays, many tourists from overseas visit Yanaka area to enjoy the old-fashioned shopping arcade with a humane atmosphere created by the local people.
I went to a Japanese souvenir shop called "Tokyo Kitsch," because I heard that Shiba Inu is working there. It is a can't-miss column for those who are into dogs or Japanese souvenirs!
Souvenirs with unique Japanese tastes
Tokyo Kitsch is a Japanese souvenir shop which opened in October of 2016, with a lot of items that have a unique Japanese tastes. The owner told me that they have another souvenir shop near Nishi-Nippori station and an online shop.
Items on the shelves are selected by the owner herself. Most of them have unique design seasoned with some Japanese tastes. You can find souvenirs like pierced earrings with hiragana or kanji character design, a book jacket made of tatami mat, and a sake cup that looks like Mt. Fuji. The owner is also an antique dealer, so there are some antique or recycled items in the shop as well.
One of the most popular souvenirs among foreign customers is this paper balloon. They are colorful, have many kinds of designs, and people like it because they are light and easy to pack.
I've played with paper balloons when I was little, but back then it was just a simple ball-shaped balloon. Here you can find strawberry-shaped, goldfish-shaped, or penguin-shaped balloons etc. You can play with it as a balloon or hang it in your living room as an interior decoration.
If you are lucky, you can meet adorable Shiba Inu "Mame"
Shiba Inu is a one of the breed of dogs from Japan. This is "Mame." She helps the owner with the shop.
As I entered the shop, she came to me by the foot immediately. She was so friendly that when I stroke her head, she just sat down beside me. How cute!
Mame was busy serving the customers, but she occasionally took a break on the bed at the cash register. This is the place where she can relax because here she can be right next to the owner.
Mame's look shows that she is comfortable here.
If you are looking for one-of-a-kind Japanese souvenirs, try visit Yanaka area. There are many interesting local shops other than Tokyo Kitsch, so there is a good chance of finding something you like. And don't forget to make a visit to Mame!
About Tokyo Kitsch