Ok guys this is my last Japan post for a little bit. There’s a lot more that I saw and a couple more places I do want to tell you about in future so I’ll drop those in sporadically but, let’s be real, lots of you aren’t in Tokyo and I want to be writing stuff that’s relevant to you all too! So next week we’ll be back on the UK/Europe for a while. But until then let me tell you about Crayonhouse, me oh my this place is interesting.
There are two Crayonhouse stores in Japan, one in Tokyo and one is Osaka, and in true Japanese style this place is definitely eclectic. If you do a quick google most other people talking about it will be parents, because Crayonhouse is basically a kids store, with two entire floors dedicated to kids books, toys and general fun. But don’t worry, the two children focused floors are sandwiched by two organic floors (literally, it’s the basement floor and the top floor). Crayonhouse’s ethos is “thinking about culture from the point of view of children. Thinking about culture from the point of view of women. And thinking about culture from an organic point of view.” I wouldn’t necessarily put these things together but they have, because it’s Japan, and the result is surprisingly fun.
Side note, this logo is so Japan and I love it.
First thing of note, everything this store sells, organic or child related, is acquired directly from makers and craftspeople, which is super. With that in mind let’s start with the products they actually sell. If you ever find yourself living in Tokyo/Osaka and you’re wanting something, anything, organic or ethical, GO HERE. Organic and natural is a growing trend in Japan anyway, but Crayonhouse is going to have everything you could ever need, and some things you maybe didn’t. If you make your way up to the top floor, past the colourful toys and sounds of kids playing, you essentially walk into an organic oasis. It’s basically impossible for me to tell you every product they have, but let me tell you the general things you can find here, ALL ORGANIC:
– Cosmetics: skin care, hair care, make up, maternity care, baby care, sunscreen, perfume, mens
– Clothing: basic outerwear (shirts, trousers, jumpers etc) and accessories for men and women, maternity wear, baby clothes, bras, underpants, ~special underpants~ (I’ll come back to these)
– Home: bedding, towels, detergents, cleaning products, kitchen wear, bug sprays (you NEED these in Tokyo), aromatherapy, seeds and gardening soil, natural ointments/remedies
I can’t stress this enough, with all of these categories they have so many products. With the home cleaning products there were shelves and shelves of different natural, organic cleaning options. Long gone are the days of one hard to find product, you’re spoiled for choice here. I also just want to explain the aforementioned ~special underpants~, remember a while back when I wrote about the zero waste power of the mooncup? Well that’s not for everyone and I get that, but Crayonhouse has got you covered.
That’s right, those are undies with in built period pads made of organic cotton, just wash and use again. I’ve seen this concept floating around before but this is the first time I’ve seen it in real life, so if you’re still wanting to be waste free and toxin free, you can go for this reusable organic option, cool right?
This does of course lead me on to that which cannot be ignored, plastic. Oh Japan and your plastic. This is the one major downfall of Crayonhouse, and I don’t want you to think I’m ignoring it! A lot of their products don’t come in plastic (see cute organic bra pictured below) but some things do. (see annoying plastic wrapped things underneath cute organic bra). The frustrating thing is that a lot of the things wrapped in plastic really don’t need to be, but I am aware that this is a Japan wide problem, not a Crayonhouse problem. So many unnecessary things come wrapped in plastic and it’s crazy frustrating, so I would say when you shop here go for the unpackaged goods, which there’s a lot of, or recyclable products, which there is also a lot of. I personally checked all the cleaning products bottles for you, as I’ve said before recycling bottles is the one thing Japan seems to be pretty down with, so if you’re going for plastic go for the one they’re tackling. I also got lots of weird looks for checking every bottle on the shelves so, you’re welcome.
So, that’s the top floor in a nutshell. What about the basement? Well you’re in luck! Because downstairs it’s all about food. The basement floor has two resturants: Hiroba, serving Japanese food, and Home, serving Western food. Whilst not strictly vegetarian there are a lot of veggie options, alongside other healthy dishes that are mostly made with organic ingredients, so if you’re wanting somewhere to eat pop in here! When I walked past they had a whole cake selection on display, it was so tempting if I hadn’t been stuffed from my trip to vegan and vegetarian friendly Brown Rice. Alongside the restaurants there’s also a huge organic greengrocery with a whole LOAD of organic, locally sourced food you can buy.
Do you wanna know what they have? Here’s your next list:
– Brown rice, millet, noodles
-Tofu, natto, pickles
-Dairy products and non dairy alternatives (rice, soy and coconut)
-Meat and fish
-Beans, sesame, nuts
-Processed agricultural products (canned, frozen, dried fruit etc)
-Spices and seasoning
-Dry food (dried vegetables, seaweed etc)
-Water, teas, juices
I think we can safely say, that’s a lot. But if going all the way to this store to buy food seems impractical, they do weekly organic vegetable deliveries all across Japan, so you can get food delivered to your door. Super convenient!
Basically, if you’re at all interested in anything organic, Crayonhouse has got you covered. In all the areas. With all the things. And also some things you wouldn’t ever have thought of. If you find yourself in Tokyo anytime soon, swing by and see, just avoid the plastic.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.