Japan: Show and tell

April 30th, 2010

Well we didn’t leave Japan empty handed. In our usual fashion we showed up at the airport with our suitcases over stuffed and some extra carry on luggage.

Everything is always colour coordinated! We also have that stack of books at the top left that will have to wait to be shared during another post.

One of the most exciting finds were a set of Ryuji Mitani spoons. I came to Tokyo looking for anything made by Mitani and with the help of Yumiko we found this wonderful set. He is one of the most famous contemporary artisans in all of Japan and his stuff is really hard to get your hands on since the production is so limited. We put the desert spoons to use last night when we ate a whole mini tub of ice cream.

From left: spice spoon, baby spoon, coffee spoon x2, desert spoon x2.

I wanted to find a similar tray to the one that Oji Masanori has on his website displaying his brass bottle openers. I found this beautiful tray at the Claska hotel shop by artisan Kazuhiro Yamaguchi. You can see all the little tool marks revealing that the piece was all done by hand.

On the left are our Muji finds: The most beautiful kitchen scale we’ve ever seen, a wonderful ceramic ladle holder, and black pen designed by Naoto Fukasawa. Fukasawa also designed the paper pen/glasses holder in the photo to the right. He designed the entire product range (SIWA), which we will be carrying at the store soon. The pencil/glasses case is made from the highest grade shoingami paper, it’s super strong and gets softer with use.

We found this quirky house shaped coffee scoop at Spiral.

We can’t leave out the wonderful gifts we received during our trip! We got a beautiful cherry butter case, and brass bottle opener from Oji Masanori and his family. The multi-useful textiles are from Makoto Koizumi when we visited his studio.

More great Claska buys on the left: A simple oak cutting board for cheese, and a beautiful ceramic cross by the artist ONZ. I had the shop keeper at the Claska right down her name, but I can’t seem to find the piece of paper! It’s a multi-use art piece that can be a spoon rest or paper weight.

The chopsticks on the right are like the ones we used at Oji Masanori’s home. We are excited to get our order of brass chopstick rests in so that we can put these to good use!

We found the Corona globe designed by Japan’s amazing design firm Nendo. Did you know the founder of Nendo, Oki Sato is from Toronto?

It was a pain traveling with it, but it’s the most stylish globe we’ve seen.

The two things Juli said she wanted to get when she went to Tokyo were a new purse and a new wallet. Check and check. She got her beautiful leather bag from the Petit_Ami pop-up shop. It’s a beautiful blend of canvas and buttery leather, with a hint of pink suede on the back. Plus lots of little pockets.

She also scored a super soft leather walled from Petit_Ami.

All in all, we got some nice, classic treasures from our trip!

Filed under: Travel | 14 comments

14 Responses to 'Japan: Show and tell'

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  1. Great buys! I especially like Juli’s bag, the cute coffee scoop, the globe and the ladle holder (is the ladle yours?) I can’t imagine traveling with that globe! I would be incredibly worried. Though we did bring back a large Noguchi lamp and JAL wrapped it in about 10lbs of bubble wrap for us- gotta love Japanese customer service.


    30 Apr 10 at 6:17 pm

  2. drool drool drool.

    that globe! oh my.

    everything is amazing.

    the brick house

    30 Apr 10 at 6:28 pm

  3. Do you know when or if the globes will be available in the US or for purchase online? I’ve got space set aside for the larger desktop one.


    1 May 10 at 10:28 pm

  4. Stephanie: We also got the ladle from Muji.

    Deedee9:14: I don’t know if the globe will ever be available outside of Japan, but we’re working on getting some to sell through the store. We’ll keep you posted!

    John & Juli

    2 May 10 at 8:56 am

  5. You guys really know what to look for! I can’t wait to flip through those books…


    3 May 10 at 9:22 am

  6. Unbelievable…I wrote about the globe just last week and here you ‘lucky’ guys are! I’m jealous, hope to visit Japan one day soon too and buy the beautiful globe. Your Japan story is absolutely gorgeous! Greetings from Kuala Lumpur and Bloesem!


    4 May 10 at 4:16 am

  7. squealing with delight and jealousy. You guys brought home such beautiful, beautiful things. I would leave it all on the kitchen table like that as a makeshift shrine for at least a week or two…


    4 May 10 at 12:40 pm

  8. any plans to stock that globe, because it’s amazing.


    5 May 10 at 8:34 pm

  9. I am so glad to have stumbled across your blog only a month before I head to Tokyo. I have picked up some great ideas for places to visit (if only my bf was as accommodating of my love of design). Please tell me where you picked up the globe?


    8 May 10 at 6:29 am

  10. […] Japan: Show and tell at KITKA design toronto […]

  11. I LOVE Japan. We had 4 days in Tokyo a few years ago and brought back some lovely things for our home. The globe is really striking, I haven’t seen it before.


    11 May 10 at 4:42 am

  12. where can i get a purse like that – that is exactly what i’ve been looking for? it’s beautiful… cheers


    12 May 10 at 2:22 pm

  13. Hey Jax, I think they are only sold in Japan – they are a collective of your designers. The best I can suggest is that you go to their website and contact them directly. Good luck!

    John & Juli

    12 May 10 at 2:35 pm

  14. i think i recognize your top book…. could it be about 7 architects that designed 7 teacups?


    2 Jun 10 at 11:36 am

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