Tsubaki No Kura is a one stop shop to pick up some quintessential souvenirs from Japan. More than that though, it is a really pleasant shop to visit. It is as sensory as it is practical and perfectly photogenic. Burning incense with a tenuous hint of sake heighten the senses as you enter the store. Large hanging textile banners with classic depictions of traditional Japanese art fill the room with life and color. You catch a glimpse of the red torii on the second floor and every which way you look there is something to engage you.
The shop is in a Kura, which is Japanese for "storehouse". The kura was transformed into a shop that sells Japanese souvenirs including condiments, textiles, sake, power stones, shrine goods and art. The latter of which is also displayed in the store. The stairs are lined with both wooden and festival lanterns and a giant decorative rock. Upstairs where the sake, power stones and shrine goods are sold, there are several red torii joined by a stunning red roof. A tree and mini shrine add to the ambiance. As if that wasn't enough, the foot spa cafe in a zen garden at the back of the store, decorated with vibrant Japanese parasols, draws crowds.
The store is made up of three different shops:
- Wamono Ya Kaya sells several different types of Japanese souvenirs, made from traditional Japanese textiles and wood. The large hanging banners are their work and they also sell things like wooden dolls, tabi (foot socks), clothes, purses, straps and smart phone covers to name a few.
- Tsubaki Ya Shoten by Kura-ginger sells regional Japanese food stuff such as the sake, sauces and snacks.
- Iwakura sells precious stones and jewelry.
The cafe sits only eight to ten customers at once. As such, it is quite common to have to wait to be seated. But it is worth the wait. You can indulge in a coffee or beer with a traditional Japanese dessert as you bathe your feet and enjoy the view. Prices start from 1,200 yen for the pleasure!