If your child is entering a Japanese kindergarten (yochien) then you will know that they have kinds of supply requirements. A bag to carry shoes, a bag for chopsticks, a bag for sports uniform, a bag for books, and so on. And they ask you to handmake them all. Luckily these days many parents choose to buy rather than make the supplies, saving valuable time. You can order a full set online, or buy each thing as needed depending on your particular school.
TIP: When purchasing bags, make sure to check for specific dimensions on the supply list. If no size is stated then just get whatever fits.
Where to buy the supplies?
Nishi-Matsuya is a discount store selling baby and kids clothing for cheap prices. They should sell the white “indoor shoes”, the smock, the white socks and various types of bags, bento boxes, handkerchiefs and cutlery sets. You should be able to get almost all your supplies here.
They won’t sell everything but you will be able to find various drawstring bags here for the cheapest price around. They also have handy iron-on patches where you can write your child’s name and class; these will save you from having to hand-sew labels on.
Search for “School Admission Set” or “kindergarten admission set”. They have various bag designs for about 9000 yen. You will need to order the shoes, hand towels, smock and so on separately.
Minne is a handmade goods store selling handmade things by various people, similar to Etsy. You can get more unique bags and supplies here.
Good luck, it is overwhelming at first trying to prepare everything and get everything labeled to their standards. Our yochien required very few supplies, but others go as far as to ask for things like “a bag for scissors” and a “bag for a jump rope”. It’s very different to back home where we just put everything into one backpack!