Wabutsu Ya Kaya is a retail store found in Yokohama at the entrance of Yokohama Chinatown. “Wabutsu” means Japanese goods, and the items you find at Wabutsu Ya Kaya are unique, colorful, and fun. Many of the objects are made with the fusion of traditional and modern Japanese designs. From “furoshiki,” traditional wrapping cloths, “tenugui”, washcloths, tabi-style socks, to many other Japanese miscellaneous goods, you can find special gifts that will be much appreciated by your friends and family back home; especially those who love both traditional and modern Japan. Of course, if you are looking for location specific souvenirs, you can find Yokohama items at Wabutsu Ya Kaya as well.
Wabutsu Ya Kaya in Yokohama Chinatown
Wabutsu Ya Kaya in Yokohama Chinatown is located within a few minutes from the east gate entrance. If you pass the east gate and follow Chukagai Odori, you will find it no time. However, if you come from the opposite direction, through the Girinmon gate, you may need to go through a crowd of people to get to the store.
Chukagai Odori is the main street in Yokohama Chinatown where you’ll notice it can be very busy both on the weekdays and weekends. Though once you step into Wabutsu Ya Kaya, the carefully designed items sold at this store will bring you a little calmness and peaceful feelings. It has many colorful and attractive Japanese goods that make people stop and wonder what else is in the store.
Kaya tabi socks that you want to show off
There are many great original items that you can find at Wabutsu Ya Kaya. One of these is the Kaya tabi socks. Tabi are traditional styled socks that were worn when Japanese used to wear a kimono, along with “geta,” the traditional wooden shoes, daily. Tabi socks are perfect for when wearing geta due to the unique shape dividing the toes into two parts, similar to flip-flops. Kaya tabi socks are displayed at the storefront and for 2 pairs it costs 1,000 JPY (8 USD). These are simply fun items you can take home with you, and also can be great souvenirs. They are definitely socks that you’ll want to show off when wearing. Many of the tabi socks have traditional Japanese designs, but some are also specific to Chinatown and Yokohama. Some of the socks have the design of “Shishimai”, the lion dance, which is a famous Chinese cultural dance during festivals with lions. You also see designs of Motomachi letters. If you want something that can be used daily to remind of your time spent in Yokohama, these would be great additions to your sock collection!
Find Yokohama related souvenirs
As well as Shishimai designed tabi socks, you can find more items that are specific to the Yokohama area. These can be cookies, candies, chocolates, and other food items that have a Yokohama design on the packages. As well as the packages, some candies have patterns of ships that resemble the Yokohama Harbor. Yokohama is a famous port city, thus you will likely find items that gives an idea of Yokohama’s Harbor. If you didn’t know that, it is a crucial history of Yokohama, so you can share with your family and friends back home a little about the history you learned in Japan when you give your souvenirs.
Since you can also view Mt. Fuji from Yokohama and the surrounding areas, you also find in this section items that resemble this active volcano. Mt. Fuji is the most famous and most popular mountain in Japan, so this would also be a great souvenir as well. Additionally, in this section you’ll find masks and traditional Japanese “temari” balls that are designed by artists in this area, or have some meaning to this location.
The most popular souvenirs at Wabutsu Ya Kaya
According to the Wabutsu Ya Kaya staff, the most popular items international travelers purchase at this store is “tenugui”, a type of washcloth or towel, which comes in many different colors and patterns. Tenugui is around 1,000 JPY (8 USD), so it is not an expensive gift, and certainly can be unique since there are so many kinds to choose from. It is also a washcloth, so it does not take up a lot of space in your suitcase, and when it is fully stretched, it can be a great artwork that can be displayed as home décor. The variety of tenugui at Wabutsu Ya Kaya is endless. There are many different colors, both bright and calmer, and the patterns can be traditional and modern so anybody can find something to fit their taste. Quite frankly, it would be hard to just choose one since there are so many great kinds.
Enjoy Chinatown after shopping
After shopping at Wabutsu Ya Kaya, why not try some Chinese food since you are already in the heart of Yokohama Chinatown. From Wabutsu Ya Kaya, you can walk along Chukagai Odori towards the Girinmon gate where you’ll find Rakuen, a small restaurant. There are a lot of Chinese restaurants to choose from, so if you get overwhelmed, Rakuen is a great place to enjoy a meal. Compared to some restaurants, it is neither large nor luxurious, but it is always popular and filled with customers because the food is great! You’ll really appreciate that it is more homey and relaxed.
Rakuen serves Cantonese cuisine, which is from Southern China, along with food from Hong Kong and Macao. There are four main Chinese cuisines, and Cantonese cuisine is considered blander and not as spicy as the rest. A couple of times I have visited this restaurant, I always had a great meal which is why I highly recommend eating at this location when you are in Yokohama Chinatown.
Find special items at Wabutsu Ya Kaya
If you are looking for something with a fusion of traditional and modern Japan, you definitely want to visit Wabutsu Ya Kaya. It is a store filled with many colorful and unique items that make it hard to leave the store empty handed. If you are looking for items for yourself, you’ll find many items you can carry every day from Japanese designed iPhone cases to your own chopsticks. There is also a collection of Yokohama local specific items, so if you want something from Yokohama, you will also find here. The store is located in one of the most exciting and energetic parts of Yokohama, the Chinatown, so if you visit Wabutsu Ya Kaya, make sure to wander into Chinatown and get lost in this mini China in Japan!
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