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First NIHON ICHIBAN Shop Opened in Hakone on January 23, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016 8:10 AM

Hotoriya Hakone

The Ashinoko shop in Hakone is the first brick and mortar shop under the NIHON ICHIBAN brand. It is targeting Japanese and foreign tourists and has a line-up of about 200 products.



One side of the shop is dedicated to Japanese food – mainly consisting of Chinriu Honten’s pickles and sweets from Japanese plum.

The other side of the shop is occupied by a selection of items from the online shop. Prominent products are related to the culture of tea, local woodcraft and a selection of design products from all over Japan. The focus lies on promoting modern Japanese craft.

Each product has a unique story and many items can be touched and experience by tourists creating a unique shopping experience.

The NIHON ICHIBAN shop offers tax-free shopping, free WiFi (no account necessary) and each price cards features a QR code that opens the English description of the product on the web allowing customer to check product details and customer reviews.


Yasuyuki SAKURAI, a Japanese architect who has 10 years of working experience in the USA, has designed the NIHON ICHIBAN shop. He created a modern style Japanese shop that appeals to Japanese and non-Japanese alike. The core elements of the shop are the red pillars that refer to the pillars of Japanese shrines.

  • Red pillars like Japanese shrines
  • Blue ceiling referencing to Japanese indigo dyeing
  • White Hinoki cypress.

The three colors also are a reference to Nicolas’ French nationality.

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