Monday, October 1, 2012
HAIBARA #01 - A long established Washi Store in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
I would like to introduce you to one of the most exclusive Washi stores in Tokyo called HAIBARA.
HAIBARA （榛原）has been in Nihonbashi since it was established in 1806 as a retailer in washi - traditional Japanese handmade paper, consistently carrying the highest quality products and services for over 200 years.
HAIBARA offers washi in various kinds and colours as well as an extensive line of washi related products which include writing paper, envelopes, post cards, traditional paper items and beautifully crafted items for home decoration and personal use, all made with very fine washi paper.
The area where HAIBARA is located called Nihonbashi has a full of historical background of Tokyo which must be mentioned when talking about this long established store of Nihonbashi.
Nihonbashi literally means "Japan Bridge"（日本橋） and the bridge of the same name was first built here in 1603 as the official starting point of the five major highways to and from Edo (old name of Tokyo). This is how the top class craftsmen, artisans and merchants throughout Japan came to Nihonbashi and established businesses making the area the center of business and culture ever since. Today you can find numbers of historical shops around this area including HAIBARA, Nihonbashi is a town that tradition and modern coexists and it is indeed quite a charming area that is well worth visiting if you are in Tokyo.
HAIBARA- shows the amazing atmosphere of the original HAIBARA store and its surrounding area of Nihonbashi in the Edo period.
HAIBARA became the first to export washi paper from Japan sometime around 1868 during the Meiji Restoration, and it was also the first to import western paper from Europe to Japan.
The washi paper that traveled to overseas from HAIBARA during this time is housed in Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (London), Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow), Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris and many other museums around the world.
I will talk more about HAIBARA's exquisite washi products and their gorgeous store in the coming posts!