JapanCulture•NYC once again brings you its annual guide to finding Japanese-themed holiday gifts in New York City.
Traditional Japanese Gifts/Kimono
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.
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.
- 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.
Arts and Antiques
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.
- Things Japanese
800 Lexington Avenue (between 61st and 62nd Streets), 2nd Floor
Things Japanese has been selling a wide variety of Japanese art since 1971. From u-kiyoe woodblock prints to imari porcelain to mingei (folk art), Things Japanese is perfect for someone with a casual interest or the serious collector. The website offers items not available in the store.
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.
- 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.
- 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 this Upper East Side establishment that Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s calls his “favorite pottery source in New York.”
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.
- Comme des Garçons
520 W. 22nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues)
Black Comme des Garçons
112 10th Avenue (at 16th Street)
High-end boutiques featuring the works of Japanese designers
- A Bathing Ape
91 Greene Street (between Prince and Spring Streets)
On December 12 A Bathing Ape, run by popular Japanese DJ Nigo, celebrated its seventh anniversary in New York City. The clothing store 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.
- 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.
Books 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
840 Broadway (at E. 13th Street)
The place to go for manga and anime, Forbidden Planet has a ton of toys, too.
Gadgets and 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
If you don’t want to fight the crowds, here are two online dealers of Japanese products:
Handbags and accessories designed and made by Yukiko Sato
- Wuhao New York
Site for Japanese tenugui, Japan’s most versatile cloth