The Stylists Guide to Japan

Japan is vast with an endless offering of amazing food, makers, gardens, shrines, shops, markets, streetscapes, hotels, onsens, ryokans, seasons, scents, workshops, train trips etc.

Here is just a quick snippet of places I have loved or have on my list to visit BUT please if you have something you would like me to add, DM me @sibellacourt


Over my many visits to Japan,  I have curated a collection of all things Japanese handmade. 

The collection extends, but not limited to,  indigo Boro textiles to not only textiles but wooden combs with long stems, paintbrushes made of feathers, carved seals with tiny round red ink pads, woven travelling sake cups, metal letterpress pieces, tea ceremony whisks, bone and Ebor game pieces, hand-thrown ceramic cups, bowls, calligraphy books, brooms & paint brushes, mini gardening tools, reed woven slippers, copper tulip shaped rain chains etc

My mother was very good at adding to this ever-growing collection of bits and pieces.

All these precious things fit into my nostalgia view of Japan with its firefly-lit paper lanterned streets with women wearing

intricate seasonal kimonos walking in wooden shoes with the soundscape of them n cobblestone streets, their hair caught up kingfisher feather hairpins, & with me jotting down my observations with handmade ink and a paintbrush with a long bamboo handle.


Everything in Japan has a place to go and something to go in; envelopes, boxes, containers, cloth, chests, drawers, and bags of all sizes. 

Dr Seuss trees sit outside wooden houses with dragon-scale roof tiles.

Spiderwebs covered in morning mountain dew build on trees hanging over the river.

I included many of my photographs of Japan in my first book, Etcetera (which was published in Japanese) as well as a chapter of Nomad | Bring your Travels Home & my 6th book, Imaginarium | A Compendium of Inspiration

& naturally, its endless inspiration has run deeply into the designs of my Hardware & Homewares.


Browse the collection inspired by Japan below

Continue on for Sibella's recommendations









LOST JAPAN | Last glimpse of beautiful Japan by Alex Kerr

OLD KYOTO | A guide to traditional shops, restaurants & inns by Diane Durston

IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

VIEWS FROM JAPAN by Ben Richards @benrich_



Aman Tokyo

Park Hyatt

Muji Hotel

Bed & Book Hostel


Tsutaya Books Daikan-yama

Good Design Store

Pigment & book into a workshop before you go, they offer in English

Itoya for stationary & crafts

Tokyo Hands for crafts, hardware, art supplies

Mad et Len





The Ace

Kyoto Machiya Inns for traditional houses to rent (make sure to ask for a bike to be at the house


Poj Studios &book into a workshop before you go!

Kaikado for handmade canisters

Saiun-do art supplies with amazing pigments 

Aritsugu knife & cooking utensil maker  in Nishiki Market

Naito Shoten master broom makers since 1818

Aizen Kobo for indigo thread in traditional home

Ichizawa Hanpu canvas bag & bucket maker

For more amazing makers read Old Kyoto (see above)


Stardust, Kana


Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The Sun Garden at the Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art

Nishiki Market



Benesse Art House on Noashima Art Island in Seto Inland sea, Noashima

Noji Onsen Hotel, senju no Yu, Fukushima 

LOG Onomichi is a boutique hotel by studio mumbai principal Bijoy Jain, Hiroshima


Analogue Life, Nagoya

T.S.L Kurashiki is Superior Labor’s direct to customer store, Okayama

Truck furniture & cafe, Osaka


Sagawa Art Museum Designed by Osaka-based architecture firm Takenaka, Moriyama 

Isamu Noguchi Art Museum located between historic Yashima and Mount Gokenzan in Kagawa prefecture, on the island of Shikoku, Japan (Note: If you are visiting Noashima you could do this also)

Takenaka Carpentry Tools museum, Kobe

 Enoura Observatory | Odawara Art Foundation designed by Hiroshi Sugimoto, Odawara

Oya History Museum, a former quarry with a network of monumental underground chambers, Utsunomiya

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