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A crafty idea for gift shopping

by Magdalena Osumi

Staff Writer

It is likely that at least once in our lifetimes we will receive a mundane or unsuitable Christmas gift. But at some point, we’ve also probably been the worst gift giver ourselves. The nearer Christmas gets, the more we panic and the more a helping hand is needed in the search for that ideal present.

Starting from this weekend, Bunkamura Gallery in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward will host its annual Bunkamura Winter Craft Collection event — a one-stop for gifts with that personal handmade touch. The event, which is set up to resemble the increasingly popular European Christmas market, takes place at the main lobby on the first floor of the Bunkamura Gallery, and this year marks its 10th anniversary.

Dozens of craft pieces — including woodwork, glass art, ceramics and metalwork — from 150 designers will be showcased from Dec.14 through Christmas day. The display works, which will be available to buy, will also change three times during the event period, so visitors can return to see different products.

Running concurrent with the craft event (and offering another opportunity to get gifts) is the “Coffret de gateaux de la laine” exhibition at Bunkamura Box Gallery — a display of fabric French-pastry ornaments, created by needle-felt artist Rio Fukuda. These inedible items are so realistic that they are mystifying at first glance, but the felt eclairs, tarts and other creamy patisserie desserts are as irresistible as the genuine thing. They are also available to buy.

For those who may be inspired by all the crafts, workshops on making your own presents are also available — just as well, too, since the perfect gift does usually come from a real heartfelt effort.

Both these events take place from Dec. 14 through Dec. 25, from 10 a.m. to around 7:30 p.m. (closing times may vary) at Bunkamura Gallery in Shibuya. Admission is free, though some of the workshops require reservation. For more details, visit www.bunkamura.co.jp/gallery/exhibition/131214craft.html or call 03-3477-9174.