Oops, I did it again… After my trip to the Nara antenna shop exclusively featuring products from the Nara prefecture in the Shirokane area a little while ago, I planned my next trip. This time, I visited the antenna shop of Okayama and Tottori prefecture in Shinbashi. I wondered which famous products I would find from this area located in the western part of Honshu (Japan’s biggest island), One surprising answer is “denim”!
Exiting Shimbashi Station of the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, the antenna shop “Tottori Okayama Shimbashikan” it is right in front of you. The size of the shop was a big surprise. There are two spacious floors with a shop area on the first and a restaurant and a tourist information area on the second floor. The large scale of the antenna shop could be due to the fact that two prefectures, Tottori and Okayama, are sharing the space.
The shop is divided into sections by category, not by prefecture: vegetables, dairy products, alcohol, clothing items, sweets and so on. By doing so, even with the same “coffee milk“ (which Japanese people love), you can directly compare Tottori Prefecture‘s and Okayama Prefecture’s No 1. That’s a fun way to choose products to buy.
In addition, many small items and goods come in with easy-to-carry containers, especially food items. So depending on the product, you can even talk them home to your country. I think it’s a great place to look for Japanese souvenirs.
In the North, Tottori Prefecture is facing the Sea of Japan. Being the seventh smallest out of Japan’s 47 prefectures, it has the lowest population. Although there are various sightseeing places, Tottori’s sand dune is by far the most-known touristic attraction. Famous products you’ll also find inside the antenna shop are crabs, pears, rice (and sake of course) and “chikuwa”.
With Tottori in the North, Hiroshima Prefecture in the West, the Seto Inland Sea in the South, Okayama Prefecture has famous tourists spots, like the historic towns of Bizen and Kurashiki.
Do you know that many jeans from famous brands throughout the world are actually made in Okayama? Okayama’s denim is really amazing. Of course, they also have their own brands. One of them is “Uchida Hosei”.
Jeans from the “Sakura” series use pink weft or warp (depending on the denim pants). So when you wear your “Sakura” jeans for over 10 years, the dark blue color will slowly fade away, gradually revealing the pinkish color of the thread underneath. This denim grows older with you – so cool!
Time to eat!
When you shop you get hungry. That’s one of the Golden shopping rules, right? When your stomach starts to make its needs appear and starts growling, it’s time to go upstairs to the second floor. Here you can have a lunch that can be described as a Tottori-Okayama marriage.
For vegetarians, they have a salad bar with fresh veggies from both prefectures. In addition, you can choose from curries, crab on rice dishes, meat and so on…all using ingredients of both prefectures.
Since it was almost noon, the restaurant became soon crowded with office workers and foreign tourists. My friends and I selected a variety of dishes from the food menu and we also had dessert. Everything tasted well balanced and was freshly made. Very nice! No wonder, the restaurant was well-visited.
Why don’t you visit the ” Tottori Okayama Shimbashikan” in search of a nice Japanese souvenir and – since you are already there – have lunch, too?
Tottori Okayama Shimbashikan
Shimbashi Center Place 1F/2F, 1-11-7 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Shop: 10: 00-21: 00
Bistro Cafe: 11: 00 – 22: 00 (LO 21: 00)
Tourist information corner: 10: 00-18: 00
Tokyo Metro Ginza Line “Shimbashi” station (Exit 3 is directly connected to the building)
JR “Shinbashi” station (Ginza Exit), about 1 minute on foot
Toei Asakusa Line “Shimbashi” Station, about 2 minutes on foot
Yurikamome “Shimbashi” station, about 3 minutes on foot