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Craft Cool

March 21, 2016
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
Despite our increasingly fast-paced, techno-dominated world, age-old handmade crafts are making a comeback. There’s something about the slow skills involved in making them that holds nostalgic appeal, with ceramics, glass, paper, textiles and metalwork offering something tactile and soothing in stressful times.

Japan has long been the emperor of crafts, with generations of expert artisans known for producing beautiful pieces and one-off creations, from bamboo and lacquer work to pottery and indigo-dyed fabrics. For a one-stop shop of all things crafty, head to Tokyo’s Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square, perfect for picking up inspiring presents, or just treating yourself to a stylish souvenir.

A gallery-cum-boutique, it celebrates unique Japanese crafts from officially designated traditional disciplines, selected from regions across the country and starring natural, eco-friendly materials. Operated by The Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries, it aims to introduce natives and curious travellers to the traditions of Japan with regular events.

You’ll find portable pieces from ornate jewellery to simple metal tea pots, as well as lacquered boxes, crackle-glazed bowls, earthy ceramic containers and vibrant glass vases. Only a handful of eye-catching larger furniture items are available, such as a decorative chest of drawers or console.

Handily, The Peninsula’s concierge has the gallery’s brochure, which they will hand out on request, so there’s no excuse not to get crafty cool in Tokyo.

1/F / Akasaka Oji Bldg / 8-1-22 Akasaka / Minato-ku / +81 3 5785 1301 / 11:00 am-7:00pm daily (closed for Christmas and NY holidays) /