Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square
Aoyama 1-chome: Retail
Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square: Aoyama 1-chome
Aoyama 1-chome / Retail
Open 11am-7pm daily.
Free admission
Average visit time: 15-30 minutes

The Traditional Craft Center in Aoyama offers handy one-stop shopping for a range of Japanese crafts. It's all here and it's all for sale - from pottery, lacquerware and carving knives for your everyday needs to more esoteric washi (paper products), calligraphy brushes, and lacquered deerhide.

Something of a cross between a museum and a department store, the center displays a permanent collection with hundreds of items on offer. To be included here, items must be made mostly by hand; they must embody traditional techniques (dating back at least 100 years) and be made from traditional materials; and they should be used in the course of everyday life.

In addition to the permanent collection, in-depth shows focusing on specific crafts are staged for two-week periods. These temporary exhibitions are usually worth a look, as they often feature live demonstrations by visiting craftsmen. Recent exhibitions have showcased pottery from Gifu, forged blades from Osaka, wooden mosaics from Hakone and various crafts from Okinawa.

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