Miscellaneous gadgets to brighten your days
Text: Keiko Nakamura / Photo: Takuya Oshima
Kitayama-dori area around the Kitayama Subway Station is one of the cheerful streets. Alphabet is a shop that opened up across Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Garden in 1998. Hideko Goda, the owner, goes around European and Asian countries to seek for daily gadgets and clothes twice every year. We met Ayumi Takeuchi, who has been working in this packed shop full of miscellaneous items for 7 years.
Let us start from a kettle that Ayumi chose, a round Finnish Mari Stainless Kettle from OPA, the oldest stainless steel manufacture. This kettle was used in a Japanese film Kamome Shokudo, too. The scent-free stainless metal is formed with an excellent pouring edge to prevent from dripping. 'I used this at home. The wide bottom makes it fast boiling. This traditional designed that has been kept for 4 decades makes me feel good in using it' said Ayumi. There are other Nordic items like himmel, a mobile ornament made from straw, vintage plates from ARABIA like the Flora collection.
Rain boots by Wild Bird Society of Japan has been popular since they started selling them in 2011. The amazingly light & soft boots are perfect for bird watching even in the dumpy woods. It can be packed into a small bag, too. This unisex design is popular with both men and women. Many people buy this for outdoor events and festival, as well as for town use.
They have a great collection of unique artist's jeweries. Nichinichi has a brilliant piece matching brass with glass pearl, and a pierce with vintage glass and pearl that can be used from both sides. Nichinichi is a Kyoto based artist that uses vintage and antique parts. The elegant jeweries are suitable for casual to formal dressing.
Goda and Ayumi had been to South Korea lately to look for 'something new for the customers'. The variety of things being sold at alphabet all has in common the fact that they are stylish and that they can be used for a long time to make real the wish 'to make the everyday a little more brighter'.