The Maeda Craft storefront is a bright contrast on the streets of Nakazakicho (Photo: Saskia Gilmour)

Maeda Craft Factory Shop

Goods made from wood with style and quality

The Maeda Craft storefront is a bright contrast on the streets of Nakazakicho (Photo: Saskia Gilmour)
Saskia Gilmour   - 3 min read

On the streets of Nakazakicho, the fresh, crisp scent of wood chip is in the air. The bright colours of Maeda Craft Factory Shop is a sharp contrast to the grey street, attracting passers-by. Made in Nakazakicho, Maeda Craft celebrates three generations of Japanese wood-working skills and innovation.

Wooden crafts have a long and ingrained history in Japan, and toolbox-making in particular has been a well-admired craft. The boxes are highly-prized for their design which has a simplistic appearance, yet is lightweight, strong, and above all - practical. At Maeda Craft they are the masters of this long-practised tradition, manufacturing a variety of attractive and practical wooden boxes for storage and display.

Yet Maeda Craft is more than just boxes. With a visit to the factory shop at Nakazakicho, Osaka, you will be impressed with the range of products available: wagons, counters, shelving, display stands, sandwich boards, signs, and more. Each one is available in a variety of designs, finishes, and textures. With an ingenuity that puts Ikea to shame, Maeda Craft design their products with both commercial and personal purposes in mind. If you able to read hiragana (a Japanese alphabet system), you can even pick out your name (for example) from their collection of jigsaw-cut lettering, though perhaps their most engaging products are boxes which are designed to look like classic novels from the outside.

Bizarrely Maeda Craft Factory Shop is also home to a myriad of American memorabilia. The staircase from the ground floor to the store is abound in retro American slogans, signs, and brands - and most of it is even for sale. In fact one entire room of the shop is dedicated to one of the world's biggest branding successes - Coca-Cola. You can take away a range of Coke souvenirs - from the generic to the most bizarre. In some ways, you feel less like you're in a shop and more like you've unknowingly become a cast member of 'Back to the Future'.

With the idea of 'classic America' and classic design a philosophy to many of their wooden design products, Maeda Craft Factory Shop is design at its greatest. Amongst a variety of craft stores and galleries in the Nakazakicho area, Maeda Craft Factory Shop is best accessed via Nakazakicho Station on the Tanimachi Line.

Saskia Gilmour

Saskia Gilmour @saskia.gilmour

Saskia is an obsessive compulsive traveler with Japan as her #1 preferred destination. Her appreciation for Japan's unique culture was cultivated through several years of studying the language during high school and also an otaku phase about which she prefers to no longer speak.