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Visit Harrogate for a very authentic taste of...Japan

We talked to Olivia MacCunn of The Japanese Shop in Harrogate about working in one the town’s more surprising retail offerings. Olivia is no stranger to blog posts as she has also contributed to the content on the shop’s site which is a fascinating source of Japanese culture, history and quality products.

I joined The Japanese Shop only a few months back, but I’ve had plenty of diverse and exciting experiences with the team. Jez initially got in touch to ask if I’d like to take my enthusiasm and personal experiences of living in Japan to provide some fresh and engaging blog posts. Since April, I’ve created content for the blog, and have also been able to work more closely with the team adding products to the site and helping in the order fulfilment process.

Doing so has been a fantastic opportunity to learn even more about the diverse product offering and their various uses in Japan’s vibrant culture.


I’ve mostly worked with the exquisite Vintage Kimono collection – in Japan, purchasing a real silk kimono can cost hundreds, if not thousands of pounds – and handling the delicate and unique silk garments has been a spectacular experience.

The team may be small, but it is brimming with a positive energy, and the genuine care and attention to detail channelled into each individual order is unmistakable in every step of the process. In fact, the fascination with Japan and its gift-giving culture is clearly still at the heart of the owners, Jez and Hiromi, who first met in Osaka in the mid-nineties. Both unable to speak the other’s mother tongue, their whirlwind romance would take them across the world before returning to Jez’s hometown of Harrogate to marry. To the absolute delight of friends and family, they returned with gifts of silk kimono, cute kokeshi dolls and traditional Japanese tableware, sparking a mutual passion for sharing all things Japanese.

Over twenty years and eleven retail awards later, The Japanese Shop still proudly shares a love of Japanese culture, making beautiful and authentic Japanese gifts available to clients all over the world, from our online store and charming showroom here in Harrogate. 

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The Japanese Shop, Harrogate
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Harrogate
The Japanese Shop, Harrogate icon
The Japanese Shop, Harrogate

The Japanese Shop was established in 1998 and we are now recognised as having one of the best collections of quality Japanese gifts available anywhere in Europe! From our showroom in Harrogate, we supply customers, both individuals and companies, all over the world, with our beautiful Japanese gifts which have been carefully selected from some of the best craftsmen that Japan has to offer. Our product range includes authentic Japanese kimono in vivid colours and...

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