We will be exploring Nippori Textile town on our second day in Tokyo and then Ameya-Yokocho. From Akihabara, it will be four stops to Nippori station via JR Yamanote line. Nippori Fabric Town is the place to go if you’re looking for fabric, buttons, zippers, leather, yarn, string, thread, ribbon, bows, tassels, doilies or anything related to clothing, it’s accessories and home furnishings.
Exiting Nippori station’s East exit, you will see signs leading to the textile town located only a few minutes from the station. Although called ‘town’ almost all the textile shops are situated along a single street about a kilometer stretch. Those who frequent this place range from those who make clothes and costume, to hobbyists who are into crafts & fashion designers looking for the latest materials. If making your own clothes, curtains or any thing textile is your passion, Nippori Fabric Town should be able to cater for all your needs.
Tomato Fabric Store
Tomato is a fabric store and a big name at Nippori. Five separate lots are located along both sides of the street. Tomato have separate stores each specialising in upholstery, high-end garments, sewing tools and discounted goods. The main store is Tomato Honkan with five floors that would probably have whatever you are searching for. Prior coming to Nippori, we have already been to other fabric outlets namely Toraya in Osaka & Nomura Tailor in Kyoto.
Below are photos of one of the fabric section at Tomato’s main store. Prices on this rack range from ¥980 to ¥1480. And yes, you can also get Liberty range of fabric too, with it’s price range matching those at Regent’s Street. For purchase of your fabric, take the whole roll of cloth you want to the cutting section beside the cashier for your required length to be cut. The service is fast and efficient but the line can easily build up pretty quickly. In this main store, you will also be able to get accessories for your clothing as well as replacement items for your handbags.
Cous Cous Halal Tunisian Restaurant
After a couple of hours browsing the stores along the street and a number of purchases, we are ready to proceed to Ameya-Yokocho (Ameyoko in short). On our way back to Nippori station, we stumbled upon Cous Cous, a Tunisian Halal restaurant. Located on 4F with access via elevator, they serve a selection of Tunisian as well as Western food. Prices are reasonable and the food was tasty.
After that hearty lunch at Cous Cous, we made our way to Ameyoko. Getting off at Ueno station, cross the street and you’ll be heading to Ameyoko. Our initial intention was to have lunch here but had no regrets having had at Cous Cous.
Ameyoko is a bustling street, partially an open-air market and partially covered stores directly beneath the JR Yamanote Line elevated tracks between Ueno and Okachimachi stations. Part of it is a wet market similar to what you’ll see in most South East Asian markets albeit the ‘wet’ part missing. Here you’ll be able to buy fresh sea food, vegetables and fruits.
The area is abuzz with vendors calling out to potential customers. Apart from the market, it is an ideal place to shop for souvenirs while the other stores offers a selection of fashion, cosmetics, clothes, bags, drugs and medicine. Ameyoko is also known to be a shoe haven as prices are more cheaper here than the rest of Tokyo.
Ameyoko also has many small food stalls lining the street and Muslim travelers will be glad to know you’ll be able to get Halal Food here. Be it along the street or within the covered stores under the train tracks. A group of Halal food stalls can be found if you have chosen to walk the left side of Ameyoko, mostly offering Turkish kebab.