It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Unless you absolutely dread shopping. If you’re having trouble finding the right gift, this guide will give you ideas for unique gifts and products made with Japanese craftsmanship and ingenuity.
Traditional Japanese Gifts/Kimono
- Kimono House
131 Thompson Street (between Houston and Prince Streets)
Kimono House is a full-service store specializing in kimono, obi, yukata, and haori (jackets) in a wide range of styles and prices and designs for men, women, and children.
- Kimono Lovers Brooklyn
This online store offers kimono, haori (jackets), and obi (sashes) at affordable prices.
464 Broome Street (between Green and Mercer Streets)
Kiteya features a blend of traditional craftworks and contemporary design. You’ll find exotic kimono and delicate accessories, elegant paper, and children’s clothing in this expansive shop.
23 W. 19th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
This tiny Chelsea shop is packed with an assortment of beautiful goods from Japan: Stationery, toys, ukiyo-e prints, even kimono. Kyotoya also has a wide selection of teapots as well as tea.
Arts and Antiques
- About Glamour
107A N. 3rd Street – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
A multi-retail space selling vintage clothing, antiques, and Japaense stationery, About Glamour also serves as an art gallery.
97 3rd Avenue (between 12th and 13th Streets)
Makari is a Japanese antiques store that also serves as a gallery showcasing the work of Japanese artists. In addition to art, Makari offers tableware, lacquerware, and ceramics.
306 Water Street – DUMBO, Brooklyn
You’ll find a full range of beautiful and elegant Japanese goods at Shibui.
- Japanese Culinary Center
711 3rd Avenue (entrance at 45th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)
You don’t have to be a culinary professional to shop at Japanese Culinary Center, an excellent place to find tableware, knives, and kitchen supplies.
57 Warren Street (between W. Broadway and Church Street)
Korin has serious knives for the serious chef. You can also find a variety of kitchen utensils and beautiful tableware.
620 8th Avenue at 40th Street
16 W. 19th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
455 Broadway (between Grand and Howard Streets)
Japan’s famous “no brand” store has four locations here in New York. You can find MUJI in Times Square, Chelsea, Soho, and – if you’re really procrastinating – at JFK before your flight to your parents’ house for Christmas. MUJI’s concept is all about simplicity and functionality; it doesn’t quibble with the fru-fru stuff. Unpretentious clothing, clean and balanced storage solutions, well designed kitchen gadgets, and basic electronics are sold here, making it the perfect place for the practical person on your gift list. Since MUJI is dedicated to efficiency and eco-friendliness, you can feel good about making green gift choices during this holiday season.
- Sara Japanese Pottery
950 Lexington Avenue (between 69th and 70th Streets)
Find Japanese dinnerware, glassware, and accessories in ceramics, glass, bamboo, textiles, and lacquer made by both Japanese and American artists at Sara, an Upper East Side establishment that Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s calls his “favorite pottery source in New York.”
- A Bathing Ape
91 Greene Street (between Prince and Spring Streets)
A Bathing Ape, run by popular Japanese DJ Nigo, is a clothing store that focuses on casual comfort.
203 W. 125th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
First opened in Tokyo’s Harajuku neighborhood, Atmos sells all kinds of sneakers and other footwear in Harlem.
- Blue in Green
8 Greene Street (between Canal and Grand Streets)
Men’s clothing store Blue in Green specializes in Japanese denim.
- Entrepreneur New York
29 Kenmare Street (between Mott and Elizabeth Streets)
For the person on your gift list who is into streetwear, Entrepreneur New York provides a mix of fashion from American and Japanese underground cultures.
- Habu Textiles
135 W. 29th Street (between 6th and 7th Avenues), Suite 804
Named after the poisonous snake from Okinawa, Habu Textiles is a yarn and fabric store that sells patterns for people who can actually make their own clothing.
- Kamakura Shirts
400 Madison Avenue (between 47th and 48th Streets)
A purveyor of made-to-measure men’s shirts, Kamakura Shirts is a place for the consummate professional on your list. JapanCulture•NYC attended the store’s first anniversary party and learned first-hand about the owners’ commitment to quality and customer service.
307 W. 38th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)
Named after a tropical pitcher plant, Nepenthes carries Engineered Garments and other top quality clothing for men and women.
- Seigo Neckwear
1248 Madison Avenue (between 89th and 90th Streets)
762 Third Avenue (at 47th Street)
Once you’ve purchased shirts Kamakura Shirts, why not buy Japanese-style ties to go with them? Seigo Neckwear has unique designs made of 100% pure silk woven in Kyoto and hand-blocked silk-screened ties produced in Niigata.
- Self Edge
157 Orchard Street (between Rivington and Stanton Streets)
Self Edge is another denim store that carries the best Japanese brands.
666 5th Avenue (at 53rd Street)
31 W. 34th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
546 Broadway (between Prince and Spring Streets)
If you want funky-cool clothing for the fashion-conscious loved one on your list, head to UNIQLO. From outerwear to underwear, UNIQLO has everything you might need in bright, solid colors and comfortable material. The company is partnered with manufacturers to create stylish casual wear at affordable prices.
321 Bleecker Street (between Christopher and Grove Streets)
Run by Japanese designer Kanako Morino Mirenda, Yamak is a charming boutique selling chic women’s clothing and accessories.
Books, Anime, and Manga
1073 Avenue of the Americas (between 40th and 41st Streets)
If the bookworms on your list like books about Japan, Kinokuniya has you covered. Kinokuniya is THE bookstore of Japan, stocking books about Japanese culture, pop culture, history, aesthetics – you name it. In addition to books, they have CDs by Japanese musicians, DVDs of Japanese popular movies and anime, and unique gift items. Design shop Waza is located on the second floor.
- Book Off
49 W. 45th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Book Off buys and sells secondhand books and CDs. There is a wide range of titles (Japanese and English) that fit any budget.
- Forbidden Planet
832 Broadway (between 12th and 13th Streets)
The place to go for manga and anime, Forbidden Planet has a ton of toys, too.
- Image Anime
242 W. 30th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
With a wide assortment of action figures and model kits, Image Anime prides itself on being the “ultimate source for Japanese anime collectibles.”
- Midtown Comics
200 W. 40th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues), 2nd Floor
459 Lexington Avenue (at 45th Street)
64 Fulton Street (at Gold Street)
FAO Schwarz – 767 5th Avenue (at 58th Street)
Midtown Comics carries a selection of manga, anime, and Japanese action figures.
Gadgets and Games
- AC Gears
69 E. 8th Street (between University Place and Greene Street)
A great place to go for the gadget geek. AC Gears has the latest electronic gizmos from Japan, including headphones and watches.
126 Prince Street (between Greene and Wooster Streets)
Kidrobot is a producer and retailer of designer toys, importing items from Japan, Hong Kong, and Europe.
- My Plastic Heart
210 Forsyth Street (between Houston and Stanton Streets)
Shop My Plastic Heart for designer toys such as kaiju and Japanese vinyl.
- Nintendo World Store
10 Rockefeller Plaza (between 48th and 49th Streets)
The place to go for Nintendo games, accessories, clothing, and toys, Nintendo World Store also has a section dedicated Pokémon. If you want a break from shopping, stop buy and play games.
233 W. 42nd Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues)
Sanrio’s Times Square boutique features the cutest toys and accessories from its line of adorable characters, most notably Hello Kitty.
- Toy Tokyo
91 2nd Avenue (between 5th and 6th Streets)
Many of Toy Tokyo’s products are from Japan and Hong Kong, but they sell domestic items as well.
- Toy Qube
37-06 Prince Street, Flushing, Queens
Another store that boasts toys and other items from Japan and Hong Kong, Toy Qube’s Queens location offers an alternative to fighting the crowds in the city.
155 Plymouth Street – DUMBO, Brooklyn
Limelight Marketplace – 47 W. 20th Street (at 6th Avenue)
Zakka is a specialty store for Japanese design books, toys, and shirts by Japanese artists.
- Minamoto Kitchoan
509 Madison Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets)
For luxurious wagashi, traditional Japanese confectionery, head to Minamoto Kitchoan.
- Roycé Chocolates
509 Madison Avenue (between 52nd and 53rd Streets)
Hailing from Sapporo in Hokkaido, the northernmost island in Japan, Roycé, the inventors of the potatochip chocolate, has milky, melt-in-your-mouth products sure to please the sweet tooth on your Christmas list.
If you don’t want to fight the crowds, here are two online dealers of Japanese products: