Hashi Shop

Last weekend we went to Tokyo for four days. It was Golden Week in Japan (a string of four national holidays in a row) so we had a little extra time off to travel around and play. Aaron planned a trip for the two of us, in honor of my birthday. We decided to take our time in Tokyo a bit slower this time and spent most of the four days going to different neighborhoods and then walking around them and exploring.

One neighborhood that was high on our list was Ginza. Ginza is a shopping mecca in Tokyo, it is one of the most expensive and classy neighborhoods in the whole country and it was definitely a sight to be seen. After coming from Chicago, home of the infamous Magnificent Mile, I was doubtful that I would find somewhere more glittery and shiny and busy and consumery, but there it was, right there in Ginza.

Being the person that I am, I wasn’t all that interested in most of the stores that are in the district. I can live with out Armani and Ralph Lauren. The giant Swavorski crystal shop was gorgeous from the outside, but wasn’t somewhere I was planning on dropping any cash. The Apple store on the other hand, that was a must see. Five stores of Macintosh goodness made both Aaron and I’s heart go pitter-pat.

Hashi Store Front

Then, a bit off the main drag we found a tiny little whole-in-the-wall hashi (chopstick) shop that made my world spin. I never knew that so many different types of hashi existed. I also didn’t know exactly how expensive they could be. Granted, the rent on this little shop must have been sky high (location, location, location) and that price was definitely passed on to the consumer, but even still, it doesn’t quite explain some of the ridiculously high prices that we saw.

Single Pair

I mean really, almost $800 for two sets of chopsticks, what gives?! An interesting side note about the super expensive chopsticks, even though there were tons of pairs in the store (easily in the hundreds) that priced well over $250 per pair, there was no security whatsoever. The pricey chopsticks sat in boxes on the shelf and loosely resting on the wall beside the cheap chopsticks. There were no glass cases, there were no alarms, there were no security sensors. All that protected the hashi was a whole lot of trust. How’s that for a little cultural difference?

Wall of Hashi

Since the store was so tiny they sure did manage to pack it full. There wasn’t a single surface in the store that wasn’t covered with chopsticks or chopstick accessories. And once there were a handful of people in there, it became difficult to maneuver around. Even still, it was a good find and a nice place to stop to pick up a few souvenirs. Even though some pairs were very expensive, they also had a very nice selection of reasonably priced hashi as well and I managed to find a pair that I really liked!

Hashi Store Corner

Posted on Monday, May 12th, 2008 at 10:31 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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