Recently reality TV star and aspiring businesswoman Kim Kardashian caused a major stir when she tried to trademark the phrase “Kimono Solutionwear” for her upcoming shapewear line, and for good reason. Kimono, the beautifully decorated, long-sleeved, robe-like clothing, play a very important role in Japanese culture even to this day. The fabric and style of kimono clothing has also served as an inspiration for modern fashion as well, from street fashion to room wear.
For foreign visitors, the fabric traditionally used to make kimono and their obi (sashes) are often the main draw. They’re usually made of silk, and are woven and dyed with bright patterns that embody traditional themes of nature and the four seasons. The use of traditional kimono fabric in other products is so popular among foreign visitors that there is a a specialty store in Tokyo called Asakusa Tatsumiya, and they sell some really gorgeous obi-lined drinking bottles.
▼ Check out all the styles in this video.
These bottles are decorated with Nishijin silk obis, which have been produced in Kamigyo Ward in Kyoto for over 1,200 years. There are 10 styles, but since the fabric is cut from sections of different obis, each and every one will be different. In fact, each section of cloth is carefully hand-picked to find the most beautiful arrangement of the pattern, which is what makes these bottles so alluring.
There are two varieties: the travel mug and the twist-top water bottle. The price of each depends on which bottle it is, and the value of the silk obi used to make it. At the highest price, the “Kiwami” coffee mug (pictured above), which holds 380 milliliters, sells for as much as 32,400 yen, while the “Bi” water bottle, which holds 220 milliliters, is the cheapest at 6,480 yen. It sounds pricey, but these are made with authentic, traditional silk patterns that are hand-picked and hand-crafted to fit around the bottle, so they’re worth the price.
Both bottles are made with a stainless steel interior, and the lids and plastic inserts of both are removable, so they’re easy to clean and maintain. Some of them also come in a beautiful gift box of either wood or cardboard, which you can also order separately along with a special Tatsumiya drawstring bag. They’ll make fabulous gifts.
You can order them online at Tatsumiya’s online shop, which has English language options, or you can buy them at their physical store in Asakusa, which is just a 30-second walk from the Kaminari gates of Sensoji Temple. Overseas shipping is available, so interested shoppers need not be in Japan to purchase them! Order soon; some of the more popular styles are already low in stock, so you’ll want to snatch them up fast!
Tatsumiya Asakusa / 浅草たつみや
Address: Tokyo-to Taito-ku Asakusa 1-18-2
Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:30
Source: Asakusa Tatsumiya via Japaaan
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