What happens to Home Depot when it can’t spread out, is supported by a buying public with an appetite for both the “kawaii” and the crazy invention? You get Tokyu Hands.
It is where you go to buy the mundane – the light-bulbs, screws, hammers, nails (pretty much all individually over packaged) paint and bungee-cords.
But you can also buy inflatable mannequin portions....
|Not selling the socks, just the AirQuin.|
magic music monkeys
|A version of these are being pushed as the hot new thing|
next to this year's Elmo
random usb port plug-ins that do nothing but do sit-ups and, ummm, other things.
Buckyballs were all the rage when we went, both in the US, and in Japan, but the one thing I wish I had gotten was a planetarium nightlight/tub toy.
However, Tokyo has it’s formal side as well. In contrast to all this wild and crazy colored silly cuteness is the nearly restrictive culture of stationary and invitations.
Their use of paper – for decorative wrapping and as statement making when chosen for visiting cards, business cards, invitations, thank yous and cards accompanying gifts makes Martha Stewart and the DAR look like rank amateurs and untutored bumpkins. If you are searching for a palace of such papers, Ito-Ya, of the giant red paper-clip is a wonderful glimpse into this world.
So for the pen-junkie that I am, it was almost torture to have to stroll through this store at a pace that meant we would leave before lunch time. I did manage to find some beautiful wrapping paper though, so I could present the gifts that I brought to our “hostess for a day” (see Day 13) in a little bit of style.