Tokyo and Kyoto are shopping paradises: here are two beautiful must-visit jewelry boutiques.
In Kyoto, Oharibako
Right in front of the entrance of the Daitoku-ji temple, set in a traditional house with a delightful Zen garden, Oharibako is a leading light in tsumamizaiku, the art of tweaking and folding small silk squares. These can be used to create figures like flower petals, which are then assembled on hairpins, combs or even slides. Known as kanzashi, these accessories were long the only jewels worn by Japanese women, whose kimonos revealed very little bare skin. There are hundreds of models made in coloured kimono fabrics that can perfectly serve as lapel brooches and if ever you feel like making your own kanzashi, the house offers initiation workshops.
In Tokyo, Tomorrowland
Hiroyuki Sasaki opened his first multi-brand Tomorrowland store in 1978 – and now has 100 throughout Japan. The beautiful but unsurprising men and women’s collections favor Western designers such as Dries van Noten, Isabel Marant, and Loewe. The jewelry area features Bunney and Charlotte Chesnais’s ergonomic creations. And there’s plenty of room for contemporary Japanese designers. Its selection includes Hum, Hirotaka, Satomi Kawakita who excels in highly collectible small gold jewelry or Careering’s sublime large silver bracelets punctuated with a single gold link. My own favorite: Monaka earrings carved in stone or cut in pearl.