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  • Katsuhiro KawazuPHOTOGRAPHY: SOPHIE KNIGHT

Katsuhiro Kawazu: Antiques in Nezu

, 2010/02/12

There are many hidden treasures tucked away in the sleepy backstreets of Nezu. A quiet neighborhood located near Ueno, it is usually overlooked by both foreigners and Tokyoites alike, however, a little wander uncovers a myriad of jewels both traditional and modern. From kimono shops serving elaborate udon lunches to calligraphy ink shops, the headquarters of Tokyo Bike all the way to quaint organic bagel shops. By far the highlight, however, is the antique shop run by Katsuhiro Kawazu, a spritely old man who also restores ancient art works in his spare time. The first thing that catches your eye is the coat stand of “¥500 kimono” out front,which are such startlingly good quality you wonder if they’ve accidentally dropped a zero from the price.

Inside yields furthermore delights: emerald green sake bottles the height of your shoulder; black and white family photographs, some with hilarious hanami scenes, Meiji-era dandy dressing to even hanga prints, an old game of ceramic Go encased in a cherry cabinet, once owned by a geisha. I could go on listing. The small space is crammed so full of unique and rare artifacts that you’re not only scared you could miss something but that you could also knock something over and break it. Like the ¥500 kimonos, Kawazu seems to like a deal; everything seems rarely underpriced. Although he speaks a light amount of English, Mr. Kawazu will enthusiastically show you around, maybe show you his private collection of samurai katana parts, or perhaps even bestow you with a free lantern. Although this antique shop is slightly difficult to find, this is one place we thought was worth seeking out. So off you go!

3-4-20 Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0008. Tel: 03-3828-8150. Closed on Monday & Wednesday.

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name
Katsuhiro Kawazu
place
Nezu Antique Shop
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