Niwaki is a new outlet for Japan’s most innovative tools


Niwaki is a new outlet for Japan’s most innovative tools

New London store Niwaki sells exquisitely crafted Japanese gardening tools and workwear

Niwaki is a new boutique bringing Japanese gardening tools and workwear know-how to the streets of London.

The Chiltern Street store is the brainchild of Jake Hobson, a pioneer of Japanese waist styles in the UK, and it has already attracted a devoted following through its outlet in Dorset, UK; Kagurazaka, Tokyo store; and popular online store.

The brand will undoubtedly find an audience just as, if not more, enthusiastic in its London window with its collection of original and practical products imported from Japan. These include three-legged tripod ladders (which allow gardeners to get much closer to the hedge for pruning than a four-legged model), steel bonsai tree loppers, and gate holders. “Kenzan” stitching for ikebana flower displays.

The products are so exquisite that they are practically works of art in themselves, which makes Niwaki’s gallery-style interiors particularly suitable. The space was designed by architects Jones Neville with quarter-sawn Douglas fir and earth-colored felt display cabinets that complement the minimalist elegance of the products inside.

And while garden enthusiasts will be in retail heaven in Niwaki, the store has a product line wide enough that those without a green thumb will also benefit. Fashion connoisseurs are likely to covet the denim workwear sets, while chefs will be able to admire the remarkable collection of perfectly crafted knives.

Almost all of Niwaki’s objects are made in small quantities by artisans, often with the experience of several generations. Speaking about the small company he works with, Hobson says, “What I love most about working with Japanese blacksmiths and factories is learning more about the family.

“Most businesses are family-run, often with two or sometimes three generations working together. Our line of GR Pro secateurs with yellow handles is made in Yamagata by the Kudo family, led by a son, brother and both parents. ‘

Hobson continues, “There are three crucial elements to any tool: good material (high quality carbon steel), good design (usually as simple as possible) and good craftsmanship (passed down from generation to generation).

‘[The Japanese tools] don’t skimp on any of these: they look and feel great, they do the job they’re supposed to do, and they last a long time, keeping an edge and rewarding the user with years, decades. and even lives of fun. ‘ §

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