2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan

Arts & Crafts in Kōrakuen & Akihabara

This ace arcade under the JR tracks (its name refers to the distance from Tokyo Station) offers an eclectic range of stores selling Japanese-made goods – everything from pottery and leatherwork to cute aliens, a nod to Akihabara from a mall that is more akin to Kyoto than Electric Town. The best for colourful crafts is Nippon Hyakkuten (日本百貨店; http://nippon-dept.jp).

Also look for customisable wood cases for your digital life at Hacoa (ハコ ア); dainty kaleidoscopes at Sōshin Kaleidoscopes (創心万華鏡); hand-printed tenugui (towels) from Osaka-based Nijiyura (にじゆら); fab sneakers and shoes from Springle Move; and figurines at Studio Uamou (スタジオ ウアモウ), showcasing the cartoonish creations of designer Takagi Ayako. The latter shares space with Boo, one of a handful of quirky cafes here.