Translated by Mariko Satoh
Beautiful Cards Made With Japanese Paper - Nakazawa in Asakusa
Written by MATCHA
A new souvenir store, Nakazawa, opened in Asakusa in May 2016. They are selling handmade greeting cards created with traditional Japanese paper. These beautifully decorated cards are wonderful souvenirs from your trip to Japan!
On May 1st, 2016, a new souvenir store opened on Kokusai-dōri (International Avenue) in Asakusa - the Nakazawa shop. What they have on sale is neither food nor novelties, but handmade greeting cards. All cards are made of washi (handmade Japanese paper). Please check out the elaborate designs of these personalized, wonderful cards!
The Origins of Nakazawa
Nakazawa was established 30 years ago as a paper manufacturer. It is a family-owned company and they initially only sold goods on commission to big chain stationery stores such as Tokyu Hands and Ginza Itoya.
However, their understanding of the need to interact directly with the customers and figuring out what they actually want drove them to open their own store. You cannot buy these cards anywhere else but here!
The Features of Nakazawa's Japanese Cards
The cards are made of Yūzen washi (a type of Japanese paper whose gorgeous color patterns are made with silk) from Kyoto. The paper is handmade with a traditional method. It has a unique, rough texture and is different from regular printing paper.
The pattern looks solid as well. Moreover, since the paper is all handmade, every piece of paper has a slightly different pattern. You will see how valuable every one of them is.
When you enter the store, you will see the craftsmen focusing on their very delicate work.
Card Types Available at Nakazawa
There are around 200 types of cards, with most of them for purposes such as marriage celebrations, birthday wishes, and baby celebrations. Other purposes include seasonal cards such as Father's Day, Christmas, or other specific holidays. There are many to choose from, so take your time to think of the best one for the person you are sending the card to. The price range starts from 300 yen up to 700 yen.
According to the salesclerk, in fact, the most popular type is the multi-purpose card which can be sent on any occasion. A white piece of paper is attached to the card, so you can write a message there. You can also keep the white paper and display the card separately.
The popular byōbu (folding screen) series will impress you with the fine art inside. The golden folded crane is very lively. The price is for such an exquisite card 648 yen (tax included).
The favorite of many international travelers is the card with kabuki design. They are popular not only because of the vivid colors, but also because anyone can immediately recognize that they are from Japan. The card on the right is 756 yen (tax included), and the one on the left is 450 yen.
Greeting Cards for Specific Purposes
In Japan, there are special celebrations for reaching the age of 60 (kanreki), 70 (kiju) and 80 (beiju). The red clothes in the middle of the photograph are worn for the celebration of the age of 60. It is said that red clothes take away all the bad luck. The card on the right is 324 yen, while the ones in the middle and on the left are 540 yen.
Greeting Cards in Various Languages
Furthermore, this store sells greeting cards in various languages. We were wondering if visitors from abroad would buy those. It turns out that these cards are popular among Japanese customers who send cards to friends overseas.
There are less and less occasions for people to reach for a pen and write something nowadays. Most of the time, celebration messages are sent as text messages. However, online messages can never be as heartwarming as handwritten messages. If you have a chance to visit this store, please find the best card for your loved ones from the store's wholeheartedly designed selection.
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Address: Tokyo, Taito, Nishi-Asakusa, 1-7-17, Tawaramachi Maruchi Tempo 1F
Hours: 10:00-18:30, Closed Every Wednesday
Wi-Fi: Not Available
Credit Cards: -
Language Level: Basic English
Languages: Japanese and English
Closest station: Tawaramachi Station
Access: 1-minute walk from Exit 3 of Tawaramachi station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Price Range: 300 yen - 700 yen
Phone Number: 81-3-3841-7866
Official Website: http://nattyzone.com/index.html (Japanese)