It wasn´t the same as the rest, it lacked the Oriental feel, it lacked the smell and noise and most of all, it didn't belong to a place like this. But yet, it stood out.
I´m talking about Cayhane Part 1, a place that looks like a hippie heaven but I´ll prefer to name it an artistic and free place. This shop located along the busy street of Yokohama and stands out from the Chinese Restaurants and souvenir shops that it shares the street with.
Its exterior houses two small wooden rowboats with a flag pole thrusting out of the shop. Venture into the shop and you will be thrown into a land of mystics and colors. The smell of incense is delightfully strong. The low hanging beads lingers above your head while you try to find something solid to lay your eyes on. The whole shop is in an organized mess, meant to be like that so as to invoke a certain sense of awe into its customers.
The bright colors delight your senses while you struggle to read the labels atop the products. There are colorful wristlets made out of cloth, handmade purses from Thailand and hand painted notebooks from Nepal.
While navigating through these myriad of stuff all around me, I noticed Lord Ganesha sitting peacefully at a corner, ignoring all the hustle and bustle of its surrounding. I tried to focus on Lord Ganesha but instead, my attention was taken away by some handcrafted bags that I´ve seen before in Bolivia. Next to the bags lies a row of beads and earrings, some handmade with a Latin touch.
The amazing thing about this shop is that it’s a shop with a heart. The reason being is because some of these products you see here were made by less-privileged children or families from places like India and Nepal. By purchasing them, you are actually contributing back to the local communities who provided these handicrafts.
Nonetheless, the shop itself is a delight to visit and is organized into three floors. The first floor is where the accessories, beads, incense and handicrafts are located. The second floor showcases womens' fashion and finally the third floor for men.
The shop in itself sparkles from the potpourri of colorful products. There are prayer flags lining the stairway, incense burning and Incan cloth as wallpaper.
So why not brighten your life and step in to Cayhane Part 1, and be immersed in a world full of colors and hope. You might even find your next destination for your vacation. Nepal maybe?
If you are wondering why is it called Part 1, its because there are other Cayhane shops labeled as Part 2 and Part 3. All of which are scattered around Yokohama´s Chinatown. So if you can´t find Part 1, you can always go to Part 2 or Part 3. Choose your own adventure.