Sure, Japan’s second city has an impressive spread of designer stores but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, try these little known pockets instead.
Tachibana-dori, or Orange Street, is one of the city’s hippest shopping areas. Previously a furniture district, it’s now dotted with small boutiques and cafés. Don’t miss the stylish fashion, homewares and plants at Biotop, which looks like a luxurious greenhouse. The rooftop café is a good lunch spot that offers fresh juices and organic pizzas.
Elevate your everyday meals with timeless ceramics by Japanese potter Yumiko Iihoshi at Yumiko Iihoshi Porcelain. It’s worth a visit just to see the Art Deco Shibakawa Building that houses the store, along with a selection of other craft ateliers and fashionable cafés.
Designed to promote local food, the mixed-use space Shun Shoku Lounge (Umekita Plaza, 4-1 Ofukacho, Kita-ku) features a striking interior created by celebrated architect Kengo Kuma from layered panels of wood. You can buy fresh produce and use touch screens to navigate local restaurants. The on-site staff can also make reservations at restaurants that can be hard for tourists to access by themselves.
Find a selection of crafts and Japanese household items at Hitofushi (1-12-28 Kyomachibori, Nishi-ku; +81 6 6225 7675), from fine ceramics and simple pot scrubbers to chopsticks.
Top image: Yumiko Iihoshi Porcelain/Yoshiko Watanabe