It’s easy to fall in love with Japan’s modern-day design aesthetic. Sleek and elegant with its minimalism, yet delightfully quirky and practical, it is modernist in today’s global culture, yet has a distinct style that speaks to its Oriental roots. Here are some of the best places to look at and buy Japan’s lifestyle and interior design products.
With its chic yet natural designs, Graf is the epitome of modern-day Japan’s designs. Founded in Osaka 1998, Graf is now a retail store, showroom and cafe, all housed in a four-story building. Their store sells furniture and products for daily use such as chopsticks, and home decoration items. The founders are all Japanese designers and likewise, local talents are employed. The designs are minimalistic and ooze sophistication and class, with a subtly incorporated Japanese love for the natural and aesthetically pleasing.
Address: 4-1-18 Nakanoshima, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0005, +81-06-6459-2100
For cheap, quirky, and usable designs, visit Asoko, a retail store that sells a number of fun lifestyle, household, and apparel items for surprisingly low prices. The shop features designs from local as well as international designers, and it is a real adventure to walk around the shop trying to figure out what each item is for. That hipster mustache may just be a glasses holder, and is that dinosaur really a pen?
Address: 1-19-23, Minamihorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka, +81-06-6535-9461
One of the most popular design and retail stores in Japan, Loft Design sells lifestyle and household designs. The largest Osaka store of this Tokyo-based company is in Umeda, which contains several floors, including one dedicated to stationary. Loft sells items that range from the mundane, like bags and bento lunchboxes, to goods like umbrella holders, and dozens of other items you never realized you needed in your life.
Address: 16-7 Chayamachi, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-0013, +81-06-6359-0111
One of the most famous Japanese design brands, Muji currently has stores all over the world but none of them can compare to the domestic stores in Japan. Most take up at least an entire floor, and the Namba branch sprawls across four floors. The store sells furniture and everyday items like toothbrush holders and crockery, as well as practical, modest clothing. The food section has items such as soup, spices, and dried goods like pasta. The shop also has a huge office supplies section; with its multi-colored pens and minimalist notebooks, it is paradise for stationary-lovers.
Address: Namba Center Buiding B2-2F, 12-22 Sen-nichimae, Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0075, +81-06-6648-6461
Located in the furniture district of Horie, D&Department is a huge furniture and housewares department store, that sells rugs and storage items, pen stands and chopstick holders, and everything in between. The products sold at the shop are all created by Japanese designers. With so many straight-forward, functional yet elegant items on display, D&Department is a great place to spend an afternoon browsing.
Address: 2 Chome-9-14 Minamihorie, Nishi Ward, Osaka 550-0015, +81 6-4391-2090
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