Casually drop by Fuji-Torii at Omotesando, Tokyo, for Japanese artwork and antiques!
Omotesando, Tokyo — where luxury brands, hip cafes, and trend-setting fancy restaurants set up shop in what is one of the most sophisticated urban “towns” in Japan.
Located in one corner of this area is Fuji-Torii, a long-established store specializing in Japanese artwork and antiques. For decades it has been passing on the exquisite expressions of Japanese traditional artistic beauty.
History of Fuji-Torii
Fuji-Torii was established in 1948 and has a history of over 70 years. There were hardly any other buildings in Omotesando when it opened, and it was named after the view of Mount Fuji and the torii gate of Meiji Jingu Shrine that can be seen from here.
Though Omotesando is now known as a posh town at the forefront of fashion, back then there were few other stores in the neighborhood and even the iconic row of zelkova trees lining the street were still low in height.
Omotesando around 1948
At the time, there was a U.S. Army housing complex nearby known as Washington Heights, and those who lived there often bought products from Fuji-Torii. Washington Heights was returned to Japan in 1964, the year when the first Tokyo Olympics took place, but even since then Fuji-Torii has continued to attract foreign residents as well as visitors from overseas. All products of Fuji-Torii are made in Japan, and that is one of reasons why so many people patronize the store.
Here, we will introduce three of our most recommended products from Fuji-Torii.
Recommended Product 1: Folding Screens
First is byobu folding screens that showcase the elegance of Japanese aesthetics with just one glance.
Fuji-Torii’s folding screens are hand painted by designated artists, using the same techniques established during the Muromachi period (1336-1573).
Usually the store houses as many as 100 folding screens, which have an atmosphere of Japaneseness with scenes of cherry blossoms, ume plum blossoms, and cranes. It will be difficult to decide which is the best!
In Japan, as there is a custom that folding screens are changed according to the season, so why not display your favorite one to celebrate each season?
Each folding screen has metal fixtures so that they can also be hung up on walls as paintings.
Even just having one on display will change the entire atmosphere of the room, and you are sure to be able to feel the authentic beauty of Japanese culture.
Recommended Product 2: Maki-e glass
Next, we will introduce maki-e glasses lacquered with pure gold.
This is an original product of Fuji-Tori. A Riedel glass is decorated with maki-e gold lacquer. It was planned and created to make people feel more familiar with maki-e.
Sprinkle gold powder to the base layer of lacquer, polish, emboss the design, and polish again: by repeating this process, Japanese unique, delicate artworks are meticulously created.
As your own original, custom-made glass can be made, they are good for anniversaries or gifts.
Cheers for special days with special glassware!
Recommended Product 3: Urushiori (Lacquer Bookmark)
The final product we introduce here is urushiori (lacquer bookmark).
The base of urushiori is a very thin wooden piece that is strengthened with lacquer, using techniques that prevent curving and bending. This allows it to possess both durability needed for a bookmark and the authentic texture of lacquer. On top of that, various motifs are designed with different lacquer-painting techniques. On the backside, shibo-urushi technique is used for anti-slipping.
There are two colors to choose from: black and red. One of the characteristics of the red bookmark is its color that brightens as time goes by.
There are many other products both new and old through which we can learn about the beauty of Japanese culture, from Takaoka copperware, Kutani ware, and Arita ware, to Iaido swords, to name a few.
Visit Fuji-Torii and discover aspects of Japan that have been nearly forgotten as well as other aspects of Japan we
want to preserve in the future!
Access: 3-minute walk from Meiji-jingumae Station (Tokyo Metro), 7-minute walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro)
Online store: http://www.fuji-torii.com/shop/index.html
*The information herein is as of June 2021.