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Maruara Watanabe Souvenir Shop

History-steeped treasure trove in Shibuya

For the discerning shopper looking for something a little more unique than what's on display in Asakusa, Shibuya's Maruara Watanabe souvenir shop offers options a plenty. Fairly bursting at the seams, the kimono and souvenir shop overflows with traditional Japanese apparel, accessories and toys, making it a must-see for anyone visiting the city. And it couldn't be more convenient: located in the thick of Shibuya's Inokashira and Center Gai area, it's an easy find only four minutes from JR Shibuya's Hachiko exit.

Founded in 1925 as a kimono shop, Maruara is steeped in history. But don't think that means it's behind the times; Maruara emphasizes "cool Japan" in an effort to provide stylish items to both Japanese and non-Japanese, even exporting some of its goods to fashion-capital-of-the-world Paris, France. And though it's strayed slightly from its origins, it still has a good selection of both yukata and casual kimono. Available in traditional patterns, as well as several styles, Maruara also sells kimono designed by Kansai Yamamoto, a leader of contemporary Japanese fashion.

If you'd rather dress your feet than your back, take a good look at the more than 200 styles of geta and other footwear available. From wooden soles to straw, colorful tabi to air-cushioned split-toed work boots, there's something to fit all tastes and every purpose. And they've got your head covered - at least partially - as well, with ornate hair pins and other clips. Should you feel the need to accessorize in the wee morning hours, Maruara has your back, as these, and earrings, too, are available from a 24/7 vending machine located outside the shop.

Beyond the clothing basics, Maruara is a trove of little treasures, with paper umbrellas and masks, tiny wooden insect cages and even Japanese-style scrub brushes peeking out from packed shelves. The usual suspects can also be found: chopsticks, bags, picture frames and more. Between the vast array of merchandise and the friendly English-speaking staff, there's no need to look elsewhere. Consider it a one-stop shop for all your souvenir needs, and be confident that your choices are unique, authentic and stylishly "wa".

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Justin Velgus 9 years ago
Really cool place for Japanese fashion. I had a chuckle when I read you could buy earrings from a vending machine!

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