If you live outside Japan and were ever interested in getting handmade goods from this country, here’s your chance: a service called iichi, which launched in Japanese in July this year, just opened a site in English.
The idea is similar to Etsy‘s : all products offered on the marketplace must be handmade. iichi is starting with 11 different categories (jewelry, toys, furniture, art, fashion, etc.).
There are currently a few hundred items available, covering everything from art objects that sell for over a thousand USD to handmade fashion items down to handmade glasses offered for a few dollars.
Here are some examples:
Every Japan-based “craft maker” can set up their own page on iichi and then let overseas users (from around 40 countries at present) buy directly through the website (via PayPal, which is the only payment option currently available).
Etsy is offering an “Etsy Japan” group, which also aims at connecting sellers of handmade goods in Japan with international buyers.
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