On our last day in Kyoto we were wandering around the Shinkyogoku shopping arcade in the downtown area looking for a Taiyaki stall (one of Dave's favourite snacks) and stumbled up the needle shop just across the street from it! If I hadn't read about the store online I would've just walked straight past...but thankfully I knew better.
|The Taiyaki store on Sanjo-dori|
Misuyabari has been owned by the same family for over 360 years (!!!) and back in the day used to supply handcrafted sewing needles to the Imperial Court. Seeing I've not hand-sewn anything in about 1000 years I was here for the super-kawaii (aka super cute) pins...each one is handcrafted and no two are alike. I think when we go back to Kyoto in December I'll go back for some sewing needles though (and I also believe they sell machine needles).
The store is very small. Whilst we were in there two young Japanese also came in and the store was very...cozy. They were enamored by the shop and when the owner pointed out a very cute pincushion to me the two girls gasped loudly, covered the mouths and in a hushed voice whispered "Pincushion! Pincushion! So kawaii! So kawaii!". We all burst out laughing...one of the most funny moments of the trip.
This is such a special store and such a unique experience. I'm so glad that we stumbled across it, but it's worth hunting for, trust me.
It was hard to narrow down my choice of pins, but in the end I bought just four (as they are about Y300 each, so not cheap, but also not expensive). I'm not sure what I'll do with these yet, but they are just nice to have!
There are a few blogs/website giving directions on how to find Misuyabari...they are here, here and here. Enjoy!