Tokyo is replete with tiny, cool boutiques specializing in everything from rare toys to carved owl figurines (to be honest, I still haven’t quite figured out how the latter stays in business, but it must have an established customer base since the shop’s been open for over 20 years—that, however, is the topic of a future Highlight). Likewise, some of these retail establishments offer items created by traditional craftsmen in stunningly beautiful and refined modern form, which embody a fusion of the past and present that so clearly defines the city as a whole.
One such shop is Horigin, a small shop on an unassuming backstreet of Harajuku that sells absolutely stunning Japanese and Buddhist mythology-influenced jewelry and accessories forged using precious metals such as silver, gold, and titanium by a family of master craftsmen whose lineage extends all the way back to 1727. Merging ancient Japanese engraving and metalworking techniques with modern interpretations of traditional patterns and themes, Horigin (whose owner’s ancestors used to specialize in making tsuba, the ornately embellished hand guards that adorned Japanese samurai swords, before the latter were banned by Emperor Meiji in 1868) is a purveyor of modern pieces of Japan’s past of the highest quality that make for unique mementos of one’s trip to this ancient country (not to mention really cool gifts as well!).