They’ve been doing this craft since 1927 and has become one of the most respected institutions in Tokyo.
Japan, is famous for a lot of things —- kawaii culture, advanced technology and its unique traditions. In this age, it is amazing to see a country being able to balance modernization and keep its tradition intact. Today, we will be visiting a much respected institution in Tokyo and see the “other side’ of Japan. The side where they are able to keep their rich culture and original traditions as well as craft and practices that’s proven useful all throughout these years.
Today, we will be visiting: Bunko-ya Oozeki.
Address : 2-2-6, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0032
Contact: (03) 6802 8380
Schedule: Thursday – Tuesday 10:00 AM – 06:00 PM / closed on Wednesdays
WHAT MAKES BUNKO-YA OOZEKI SPECIAL?
It all started with a man named Ozeki Uzaburo who persevered and continued his craft despite disasters and natural calamities in the year 1927. He practiced “Bunkogawa”, a leather craft that makes use of tanned white leather or ‘Himejigawa’ as the Japanese calls it. This special craft has survived modernization and even the age of the internet because of its elegance and authentic Japanese look. Being 100% handmade from the embossing, pressing and painting, it’s artisan makers pour out their heart and soul in creating a truly unique Japanese item.
WHAT TO SEE INSIDE THE STORE
Inside the store you will see a huge assortment of daily personal items made from tanned white leather especially ordered from Himeji. They offer their customers book covers, mirrors, keychains, eyeglass cases, coin purses and wallets that comes in various shapes and designs. Using janan and plant powders,they further improve their high quality leathers and make it seem older and vintage-y through a secret process that only Bunkogawa artisans know.
Over all our experience inside the shop has been pleasant, their staffs were kind and accommodating and would really take the time to explain to you their different items and how they were made. They even showed us the original designs which weren’t painted yet, but even then, they were already beautiful.
Personally, I got my very own Bunkogawa item from this store as a gift from my husband a few years ago. It was their candy designed wallet and I use it to this very day. Although this item has been with me for years now, the color, the design and the leather itself remains beautiful and intact. So although its price may not be as affordable as the usual budget-friendly items I feature in this blog, it is a splurge worth every penny. You will get an item that’s not only stylish, but elegant and authentically Japanese as well.
- Bunkogawa made gifts are highly treasured in Japan because of their origin and quality.
- The artisans use only 4 bases for their paints and mixes them with other colors to create hundreds of hues
- Bunko-ya Oozeki has more than 100 unique designs to choose from
- Visit their website for ongoing sale and new design infomation: https://www.oozeki-shop.com/
OTHER THINGS TO TRY IN ASAKUSA: Kimono Daikichi: Affordable Authentic Japanese Kimono Experience
MORE ABOUT JAPAN DESTINATIONS HERE: Popular Cafes – Japan Destination