April 13, 2012
by Naoko Iseki; Hajime Yozaki
Are you interested in kimono? If you like kimono, I think you will be interested in the shop that we are introducing here.The name of this shop is Cochi, shown in the Chinese characters “東風”. “東” means “east” and “風” means “wind”. The owner of the shop, Mr. Miyazaki, was born and brought up near Higashiyama in eastern Kyoto, and as he always wishes for a good wind to blow from the east, he named the shop “Cochi”.
This shop is on the first floor of a small apartment, but despite being rather tiny, there are many kinds of goods on offer. The goods here are handmade by the owner, and are neither completely Japanese nor Western in style. In fact, they are a very nice mix! This means you can wear many of the items with not only Japanese clothes but Western clothes, also.
Goods for Sale
Lining the shelves, are small articles for sale like teddy bears, clocks, book covers, accessories, and so on.
Here is a teddy bear.
It’s very cute, don’t you think? Actually, there are a few different sizes of teddy bear to choose from. And here are some earrings for pierced ears, bearing designs of an old family crest.
How about these interesting corsages?
These aren’t actually made from old kimono material, but from leather.Once again, there are various sizes and colors to choose from.On one wall, a number of bags are displayed.
The bags are made from obi, the wide belts used to tie kimono, so the material is very strong. However, the bags themselves are really quite light. This makes these bags the most popular item in the shop. Some foreigners confess to buying them not to enjoy using as a bag, but to hang on the wall as art instead.
On another wall, there is a selection of clothes made from recycled kimono cloth. There are also some western style clothes that incorporate kimono material as a fashion point. These kinds of clothes are very popular because the designs are trendy and they are easy to wear. They are also for both men and women, and come in various sizes.The owner has come up with a new idea for kimono, too. This kimono is made of denim.
Have you ever seen such a kimono? You may think that denim would be too hard, but the material used in this kimono is pretty soft and comfortable to wear.How about purchasing these items? They would certainly make a really nice souvenir!
Interview with the owner
We asked the shop’s owner, Mr. Miyazaki, some questions, and as he is a very friendly person, he happily answered them.
Q: When did you start this shop?
A: “I founded this shop in 1990.”
Q: What made you think of starting this business?
A: “My parents ran a kimono material shop originally, so I was surrounded by the beauty of kimonos when I was a child, and of course, I had a lot of opportunities to wear them, too. Thanks to this, I became very interested in kimono, and then decided to start this shop.”
Q:Why did you decide to not have a traditional kimono shop but one that sells recycled kimono products?
A:“As you know, Kyoto has a unique culture within Japan. Kimono, especially, is a very famous part of this, so there are lots of kimono shops.I thought that it would be too ordinary to simply start a kimono shop, so I decided to do it this way. It’s pretty unique, don’t you think? Oh yes, and my father also used to make products by recycling kimono materials and this gave me a special interest.”
Q:Are all the products in this shop made by hand?
A:“Absolutely! All the goods in this shop are handmade by me. They don’t exist anywhere else in the world, so to speak. They are truly one-offs!”
Q:How about the reaction from foreign visitors who come here?
A:“Many foreigners come here, and almost all of them are interested in our goods, and buy something. Our shop offers various kinds of products other than kimono, for example, bags, wallets, shoes, hair accessories, earrings and so on. Therefore, I think both men and women, young and old, can enjoy looking around the shop.”
- Open 10:00 a.m.～7:00 p.m. Tues-Sun.
- Closed every Monday.
- Tel: 075-212-7143
Kyoto-Bunka, Hakubutukan-mae, Takakura Sanjo, Tyukyo-ku,
- By Subway (Kyoto line)
Get off at Karasuma-Oike station and walk east for about 5 minutes.
- By Hankyu Railway
Get off at Shijo-Karasuma station and walk north for 10 minutes.
*Please see map above for the precise location of the shop.