Japan 2018 Yarn Stores - Hida Takayama

May 06, 2018

Japan 2018 Yarn Stores - Hida Takayama

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to head back to Japan for my second trip.  Both myself and my husband love Japan and can not wait to get back there.  For context, there will be references to "we" and "us" a fair bit through these posts, as even though Johnny is not into yarn, he was completely into the experiences around visiting these places and stores.  Many of the best times we had on our trip revolved around finding a store in a city we had never been to and experiencing a completely new area.

For those who have not been to Japan, I could not recommend it more, and like most people back from a holiday, I could prattle on about it for ages....  But I won't, as this is a blog for a yarn store, so I will just mostly discuss the yarn related adventures that I had (unless you guys want to hear about the other awesome stuff there is to do in Japan!).

In this post, I am going to talk about the yarn / craft stores in Takayama!

Hida-Takayama was an incredible surprise in regards to yarn related goodies.  Like the rest of Japan, there is a strong focus on hand crafts in this area.  There were loads of stunning pottery and sashiko stores that stocked beautiful vintage and hand dyed fabrics and thread / yarn!  

We got to Takayama by train from Tokyo to Nagoya via the Shinkansen (bullet train) and then to Takayama by a limited express train.  The trip took around 5 hours, which sounds like a long time by Japanese travel standards, but, was a stunning trip with an abundance of beautiful scenery and copious amounts of snow!

I can not say anything more about Takayama other than it was THE BEST part of our trip and I absolutely recommend going there if you are going to visit Japan.  As it was the middle of winter when we visited, it was cold - into the minus degrees Celsius - but it was pristine and incredibly beautiful.  You can ski, there is a heavy spa culture - due to copious natural hot springs, plenty of sake breweries and the ever present incredible temples and historical areas. 

The old town area of Takayama is just incredibly scenic and is only a 5-10 minute walk from the train station - leaning more towards 10 minutes for us due to the snow.  It is around this area that you will find the fabric and sashiko stores amongst the sake breweries and tea stores.

The two stores which I completely fell in love with appear to be the same company, but are both worth a visit due to the different goods that you will find in them.  There is an abundance of beautiful hand dyed threads, including threads dyed by natural methods.  There is also an amazing amount of beautiful indigo dyed cloth and sashiko kits.  I could have spent a fortune, but I tried to restrict myself to sensible quantities..

This is a collection of photos from the larger of the two store, which I believe is called Hida Sashiko, and it's address is 60 KataharamachiTakayama 506-0847, Gifu Prefecture - easily found via Google Maps.

The second store seemed, to me, to have more fabrics, including antique kimono fabric off-cuts.  There was still a delightful collection of hand dyed cotton thread on hand.  The address of this store eludes me, however it is still within the Old Town district and can be easily found on your wanders.

There are other stores that stock antique kimono off-cuts for sashiko - below are two that we found while walking Old Town.  I'm sharing photos of the outside of the stores to help with identification of them if you are lucky enough to find yourself in Takayama.

Finally, here is a picture of the yarn and sashiko delights that I got from Takayama.  I was VERY restrained..
Now for the non-yarn related information!  As mentioned above, there is an abundance of fun to be had at Hida Takayama.   Old Town has a multitude of sake breweries and tea shops, as well as one of the best burger joints we found in Japan - and believe me - the Japanese take their burgers seriously! 

There are some of the most amazing onsens, which was honestly the most relaxing experience I have ever had.  Hot thermal spring baths, outside in minus 12 degree Celsius weather sounds awful but was INCREDIBLE.

And last but definitely not least - Shirakawa-go - an UNESCO Heritage site.  This was definitely worth a short trip on a bus, it was really very impressive!

I fully recommend giving yourself a couple of days to explore and soak up the atmosphere of Takayama.  We will absolutely be back!