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Must-Visit Yarn Stores in Japan

Published on
April 7, 2024
Must-Visit Yarn Stores in Japan
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The mountain range that separates Europe and Asia is the Ural Mountains.

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The city in South Asia that is world-renowned as a launching ground for treks in the Himalayas is Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

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The highest mountain in Asia is Mount Everest. It stands on the border of Nepal and China's Tibet Autonomous Region in the Himalayas and is the tallest peak globally, reaching an elevation of 29,032 feet (8,848 meters) above sea level.

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Beyond Japan's technological advancements lie the threads of tradition and creativity that run through the heart of its yarn wonderland.

Japan has been one of my top country destinations ever since I was a teenager. Growing up in Asian culture, Japan always amazed me with its rapid technological advancements and its reputation for being a respectful and safe place to travel. Now that I'm an adult with the capacity to travel and check off items on my bucket list, including Japan, I've discovered that beyond their futuristic living, lies a simple and colorful, softer side of culture - their passion and love for yarn and knitting. I stumbled upon this discovery while roaming around Tokyo, and to be honest, it piqued my curiosity. I decided to make a swift visit to some of the stores and gain knowledge about my newly discovered gems.

A yarn shop in Japan

Discovering the Best Yarn Stores in Japan

In this journey, I will share with you my experiences, learnings, tips, and most importantly, my favorite yarn stores locations here in Japan.

1. Amimono Spin in Shibuya City Tokyo, Japan

I recently visited Amimono Spin, and it was by far the most enjoyable yarn store I've been to in Tokyo. The store is situated in a newly constructed apartment on the ground floor, offering about 20 tatami of space. What sets it apart is the seamless integration of a yarn-selling section with an inviting space for knitting and relaxation. The interior design, featuring wine-cellar-like yarn shelves and brick accents, was expertly crafted by Alex Create, renowned for their expertise in yarn-related interior design.

Moreover, Amimono Spin offers more than just a pleasant interior. It boasts unique features that visitors are sure to appreciate. These include:

  • Original Yarns  - One of the highlights of Amimono Spin is their collection of original yarns, which is truly remarkable. They offer a diverse range of yarns, from classic merino wool to the more unique Lilian yarn. What sets this place apart is their exceptional use of color. The colors are not only more appealing than those from other manufacturers, but they are also exquisite and exclusive. It's rare to find yarn in such modern and attractive colors, and I found myself wanting to purchase them all. In their collection, the prices of their yarns vary from ¥990 to ¥2,420. What catches my eye is their playful approach to naming, with yarns like "cheese," "busse," "macaroni," "soup," and "tacos." It's such a fun touch that adds a friendly and welcoming vibe to their products, which I absolutely love!
  • Knitting session - During my visit, I found myself immersed in the heartwarming scene of fellow knitters deeply engrossed in their projects, seeking guidance from the ever-patient Miyuki. It felt like being part of a cozy crafting support group, where the click of needles and the soft murmur of conversation created a comforting atmosphere. I opted for the one-on-one sessions, priced at 1,500 yen per hour, as it seemed like the perfect balance between affordability and quality instruction. As a newbie to the world of knitting, I appreciated the manageable cost, recognizing that crafting happiness should be accessible to all. With Miyuki's patient guidance, I embarked on my knitting journey with eagerness and excitement, knowing that each hour spent learning would bring me closer to creating something beautiful with my own hands.
  • Cafe - Amimono Spin is not just a yarn store; it also features a delightful café and hosts seminars, making it a great place to visit for a relaxing and enjoyable day. The café menu is surprisingly extensive, offering a delightful selection of items. I highly recommend giving it a try, as it's a pleasant surprise that adds to the overall experience of visiting the store.
  • Friendly Staff - I was impressed by the incredibly kind and friendly staff at Amimono Spin. Their welcoming approach creates a supportive environment, making it the perfect place for beginners and those who are undecided. It's an ideal shop for a young child looking to start knitting, and I would enthusiastically recommend it to anyone in search of a welcoming and helpful knitting environment.

Amimono Spin in Shibuya City Tokyo, Japan

Location : 13-11 Maruyamacho, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0044, Japan | Opening Hours : Monday to Sunday; 12pm to 8pm

Contact Number : +81 367127511 | Websites : Amimono Spin Website and Amimono Spin Online Store

2. Yuzawa - WACCA IKEBUKURO Toshima City, Tokyo, Japan

After the Amimono Spin, I stumbled upon Yuzawaya, and it was an incredible find. Additionally, after doing some research, I discovered that this store has numerous branches across Japan. The one I visited is located in Toshima City, specifically at WACCA IKEBUKURO. The top floor is a paradise for fabric enthusiasts, offering a wide range of options from cute Japanese kawaii characters to traditional patterns and designs from indie creators. Additionally, they have remnants and quilting packs for those on a budget. This specific branch is estimated to be a 3-minute walk from the East Exit of Ikebukuro Station, which serves the JR, Tokyo Metro, Tobu Tojo Line, and Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

Fun Fact : Yuzawa is the known for being the mother of all Crafts in Japan!

But here’s what the store sets apart:

  • Types of Yarns: During my visit to Yuzawaya in Japan, I was delighted to discover an extensive selection of yarns, catering to a diverse range of preferences and projects. The store boasts an impressive array of options, including natural fibers, synthetic blends, and specialty yarns. Whether you're seeking the timeless appeal of natural materials, the versatility of synthetic blends, or the unique qualities of specialty yarns, Yuzawaya has something to offer for every knitting and crocheting enthusiast. Their Yarn prices range from ¥270 to ¥1300. This diverse range ensures that crafters can find the perfect yarn to bring their creative visions to life, making Yuzawaya a haven for yarn enthusiasts of all kinds.
  • Craft Supplies Available -  In addition to the impressive selection of yarn, I found out that the store also offers an array of other crafting essentials such as needle-felting materials, leatherworking supplies, stained glass making tools, and much more. This extensive variety makes me find everything I need to pursue my creative endeavors under one roof.
  • Huge Selection of Liberty Prints - Yuzawaya also left me utterly amazed by the extensive variety of Liberty prints on offer, including exclusive limited editions tailored specifically for Japan. Beyond that, I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of garment-weight cottons and an impressive array of sewing notions. These findings have truly elevated my knitting experience, making it exceptionally enjoyable. The diverse selection at Yuzawaya has enabled me to delve into a broad spectrum of high-quality materials and discover unique prints, enriching my creative journey in knitting.
  • Membership Program - Yuzawaya's Membership Program is an absolute steal for me! For just ¥550 annually (less than $5 USD), I gain access to a world of discounts on all my favorite yarn goodies. And the best part? No hoops to jump through or Japanese address needed – I simply sign up with my name and I'm in! It's like having a VIP pass to Yarnville, and I couldn't resist. Let me tell you, that membership fee paid for itself quicker than I could say "purl." On my first visit, I nabbed some seriously adorable amigurumi skeins and struck gold with wool skeins on a mega sale. The savings were so satisfying, I felt like a yarn-savvy financial genius.

Yuzawa - WACCA IKEBUKURO Toshima City, Tokyo, Japan

Location : Japan, 〒170-0013 Tokyo, Toshima City, Higashiikebukuro, 1 Chome−8−1 WACCA池袋 3F | Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday; 10am to 9pm

Contact Number: +81 359563666 | Website : Yuzawa Website

3. Puppy Yarn Store Setagaya City, Tokyo, Japan

So, I popped into the Puppy Yarn Store as my last destination in Japan, and I've got to say, it was a pretty awesome experience. As soon as I walked in, I was hit with this cozy vibe that just felt like home.

The place is packed with yarn in every color you can imagine, all neatly stacked on shelves. And let me tell you, the soft scent of wool was like a warm hug.

There was this chill music playing in the background, and I couldn't help but notice a group of folks knitting away in one corner. They were all chatting and having a good time – it felt like a little knitting party! Beyond that, I was truly impressed with the unique features of this store. This includes:

  • High-End Yarn Options - So far, I must say, this shop offers high-end yarn options. From their Baby Any Yarns to Lang Celeste, with price ranges from ¥935 to ¥5,720. (Yes, you might think the prices are almost double compared to Western countries.) They also offer different tools that are easy to use, such as Clover and Etimo. I purchased a muffler that cost me ¥2000, and I plan to use it in the upcoming winter season.
  • Pet-Friendly Environment: One thing I absolutely loved about the Puppy Yarn Store is how they welcome furry companions with open arms. It's not every day you find a yarn shop that's so pet-friendly. Bringing my dog along made the whole experience feel more relaxed and enjoyable. Plus, they even had water bowls and treats available – such a thoughtful touch!
  • Puppy Adoption Events: What really warmed my heart was discovering that the store hosts puppy adoption events. It's such a unique initiative that not only promotes pet adoption but also creates a sense of community around a shared love for animals. I left the store feeling inspired by their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of shelter animals.
  • Charity Knitting Initiatives: Another thing that impressed me is their dedication to charitable causes through knitting. I had the opportunity to participate in one of their charity knitting projects, and it was such a rewarding experience. Knowing that my knitting could help someone in need made me feel like I was part of something truly meaningful.
  • Therapy Dog Visits: One of the most memorable experiences I had was when they hosted therapy dog visits. It was such a heartwarming moment to see these gentle dogs interacting with customers and spreading joy throughout the store. Their presence created a calming atmosphere that made the whole shopping experience even more enjoyable.
  • Yarn-Dyeing Workshops: Lastly, I had the pleasure of attending one of the yarn-dyeing workshops, and it was such a blast! Learning how to hand-dye yarn was a creative and educational experience that I'll never forget. I left the workshop feeling inspired and excited to incorporate my custom-colored yarn into future projects. It's just another example of the unique opportunities the store offers to unleash creativity and learn new skills.

Puppy Yarn Store Setagaya City, Tokyo, Japan

Location: 2 Chome-26-4 Kitazawa, Setagaya City, Tokyo 155-0031, Japan | Operating Days and Hours : Monday to Sunday; 11am to 7pm

Contact Number : +81334680581 | Website: Puppy Yarn Website

4. Itokobaco, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan


From Tokyo, let's venture to Kyoto. The store I'm about to review is a 13-minute walk from JR/Subway Nijo Station. However, if you opt for the bus, it's just a 2-minute walk from Municipal Bus Senbon Marutamachi.

Itokobaco Yarn Store is another hidden gem that I've discovered and am excited to share with you. Stepping into the studio, I was immediately captivated by the ethereal glow of natural light filtering through delicate shoji screens. It seemed as though each ray carried with it a story of Kyoto's tranquil beauty, enveloping the space in an aura of serenity and charm. The soft hues of cherry blossoms adorned the walls, casting a subtle dance of elegance throughout the room.

In those quiet moments, surrounded by the harmonious fusion of natural light, it dawned on me that Itokobaco was more than just a shop—it was a testament to Kyoto's enduring influence. Seamlessly blending timeless elegance with the shop owner's creative vision, Itokobaco exuded an irresistible charm that beckoned visitors to linger and explore, guided by the whispered wisdom of Kyoto's ancient spirit. Apart from the great ambiance, what really impressed me is what this store offers, which includes:

  • Curated Selection of High-quality Yarns - What sets the Itokobaco yarn store apart and what I particularly appreciate is its meticulously curated collection of premium yarns. The store's selection goes beyond the ordinary, featuring a diverse array of high-quality yarns that have been thoughtfully sourced and chosen with great care.  Itokobaco Yarn Store  offers a wide range of yarns, including hanon, fluffs, and authentic self-made yarns made from polyester, fiber, and wool. You'll find them perfect as souvenirs or gifts for anyone who loves knitting, with prices ranging from ¥418 to ¥990. And that's not all! They also have knitting kits, tools, and knitted products that will surely catch your eye and tempt you to make a purchase!
  • Regular Workshops and Events - Another aspect that I truly appreciate about Itokobaco yarn store is the opportunity to participate in their regular workshops and events featuring renowned fiber artists. Attending these gatherings has allowed me to expand my skills, learn new techniques, and draw inspiration from experienced professionals in the field. Engaging with these esteemed artists in such a welcoming and supportive environment has been truly enriching for me as a passionate yarn enthusiast. These events have not only provided valuable learning experiences but have also helped me connect with a community of like-minded individuals. It's this dedication to offering educational and inspiring opportunities that makes my experiences at Itokobaco yarn store truly exceptional.
  • Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff - The friendly and knowledgeable staff at Itokobaco yarn store have truly enhanced my overall experience. Their warm and welcoming approach creates a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that makes every visit a pleasure. I've found their willingness to assist and share their expertise to be incredibly valuable. Whether I need help locating specific yarns or seeking advice on projects, the staff members are always ready to lend a hand, making my time at the store even more enjoyable. Their deep knowledge of yarns, patterns, and techniques has provided me with insightful recommendations and guidance, enriching my shopping experience. This level of personalized attention and support has made me feel truly valued and has contributed to a positive and inclusive environment for yarn enthusiasts like myself.
Itokobaco, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan

Location: 1071 Shuzeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, 602-8155, Japan | Operating Days and Hours: Monday to Sunday; 10am to 6pm

Contact Number: +81 758220011 | Website: Itokobaco Website

My Takeaways

Here are some personalized insights into money, opening hours, transportation, tax-free options, and yarn store etiquettes in Japan:

  1. Money: When exploring yarn stores in Japan, I've found that carrying cash is convenient, especially for smaller purchases and in more traditional or rural areas. However, credit and debit cards are widely accepted in larger stores and urban areas.
  2. Opening Hours: Most yarn stores in Japan tend to follow regular business hours, typically from around 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. However, it's always a good idea to double-check the store's hours in advance, as some may have varying schedules.
  3. Transportation: Japan's excellent public transportation system makes getting to yarn stores a breeze, with many located near train or subway stations. I've enjoyed the convenience of hopping on a train or subway to reach my favorite yarn shops.
  4. Tax-Free Shopping: As a foreign visitor to Japan, I've taken advantage of tax-free shopping at participating stores by presenting my passport. It's a great way to save money on yarn purchases and souvenirs.
  5. Yarn Store Etiquettes: In my experience, Japanese yarn stores have a welcoming atmosphere, and it's customary to remove shoes before entering, especially if there's a tatami floor. I've found that greeting the staff with a friendly "Konnichiwa" and asking for permission before taking photos is appreciated. Additionally, handling yarn and merchandise with care and maintaining a quiet demeanor while browsing are important aspects of yarn store etiquette in Japan.

After visiting these stores, I can't help but wonder: what can't Japan offer? This tour has made me realize that there are thousands of things we might never know about a country. Just a couple of days, months, or even a year might not suffice to discover all the new information and facts about a place.

Japan has left me with a serious case of wanderlust, and I'm already daydreaming about my next visit (or perhaps a speedy reincarnation as a Japanese girl with a yarn-filled paradise as my playground). For fellow fabric and yarn enthusiasts, fear not, for the online realm is a treasure trove of resources to map out your own textile escapades.

So, fellow fiber fanatics, pack your needles and set sail to the Land of the Rising Sun. Japan not only offers a kaleidoscope of yarn delights but also a cultural tapestry that will leave you enchanted. Happy crafting and sayonara, until our threads cross again!

Frequently Asked Questions and Quick Answers:

1. How can I stay connected during my yarn-filled adventure in Japan?

Fear not, staying connected amidst the sea of yarn in Japan is a breeze! Most urban areas, including Tokyo and Osaka, are well-equipped with free Wi-Fi spots in cafes, shopping centers, and public spaces. Alternatively, consider getting a pocket Wi-Fi device or a local SIM card for seamless connectivity as you hop from one enchanting yarn store to another.

2. Where specifically in Japan has the most stores selling yarn?

For the ultimate yarn shopping spree, Tokyo is your knitting haven! Areas like Nippori Fabric Town boast a concentration of fabric and yarn stores, providing a plethora of options for every knitting enthusiast. Don't forget to explore craft districts in Kyoto and Osaka as well, where hidden gems await the avid yarn hunter.

3. What makes the yarn in Japan differ from other yarns?

Japanese yarn is a tapestry of unique qualities that set it apart. Renowned for its impeccable quality, Japanese yarn often blends traditional craftsmanship with modern innovation. You'll discover a wide array of textures, colors, and fibers, with a special emphasis on natural materials like silk and cotton. The meticulous attention to detail and the cultural influence on designs make Japanese yarn a delightful and distinctive choice for your crafting projects. Prepare to be enchanted by the artistry woven into every skein!