Kagurazaka Plus opened in 2015, becoming a popular place for locals. They have been selling NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA socks for six years. Today, we are interviewing the manager, Yasu-san.

– The shop’s concept

Kagurazaka Plus delivers “authentic and ordinary”, quality kitchen items and housewares that are traceable to their creators. It’s items we use daily that are important to us and should be of the best quality. “Plus” is taken from the French word “Plus” to symbolize how people are connected to others, goods, and the city through this shop. Kagurazaka city is known to have a French population, thus adding the French word was meaningful. We not only sell goods, but also deliver to customers the creator’s passion for their work.

– What we value

We try to select items for our locals. For example, we have a lot of mothers who visit with their babies, so we sell baby goods. We carry items for gifting, but also items that are useful to locals. For each product we try to meet the creators and hear their stories so that we can recommend authentic ordinary goods to our customers. Most of our goods are made in Japan but we have a few imported items such as olive oil from Italy. This olive oil was recommended by Kanechika who has experience working in an Italian olive farm, and it’s delicious.

Basically we want to meet our customer’s standards by delivering great products which in turn will make them happy, and we want to share stories about the creators so that we connect people to goods in a meaningful way. We have an area with a selection of rare finds that include items like Kagurazaka wives club hand towels and Kagurazaka’s well-known Chinese restaurant Ryukotei’s, mabo curry. You can only buy these in Kagurazaka. Recently, we created original rice snacks called Kagurazaka Tanuki-do. The tanuki (racoon) has a white belly symbolizing purity and great taste.

Kagurazaka Tanuki-do rice snacks
– How we connected with NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA

One day, a customer told me that Kagurazaka does not have many stores that sell socks. I immediately researched sock companies and found NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA which was evidently a brand that was passionate about their products. Through their website I learned how dedicated they were in creating authentic products and their concept aligned with ours. It was mid obon vacation but something inside me wanted to act right away so I reached out. I was able to get in touch and things moved quickly after that. Now we order from them every month.

– How customers reacted after seeing NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA products in the store

Firstly, our staff wore the socks and loved them, so naturally they recommended them to customers. We explained how we order from this guy named Nishiguchi who becomes very passionate when talking about socks. We have customers who repeatedly purchase the same style of socks and many select them as gifts. The simple and basic designs fit right in with our shop’s style. It’s been 6 years now and they have consistently delivered quality so we can sell their socks with full confidence. These products reach customers day to day, and by gifting them, they connect people, it makes us happy.

– The shop’s outlook

By connecting with various creators, we hope to deliver new products that evoke joy in our customers. When regular customers visit our shop in hopes of finding something new, we want to have lots of stories to tell about the creators of the items in our shop. We think that it will enhance the shopping experience.

– Conclusion

Delivering “ordinary and authentic” goods to Kagurazaka’s locals and connecting goods to people, people to the city is a lot more meaningful and satisfying than mass consumption. We at NISHIGUCHI KUTSUSHITA strongly feel that thanks to Kagurazaka Plus staff, our concept of “making your day extraordinary” is conveyed to customers in an authentic and heartfelt manner.

Interview/Isato Nishiguchi
Photo/Kento Nakamura