Monday, June 28, 2010

Mont Bell Ebisu

Montbell is an outdoor company from Japan that is not well known here in the states. There are only a handful of outdoor types that I've ever met that have even heard of this brand. It is very popular in Japan, mainly because it is a domestic brand and therefore much cheaper than US or European brands like Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardware, Aigle, etc. I really do like this brand as it is quality stuff although much of what they offer doesn't make it to these shores. One good plus is that some of their goods are still made in Japan. But like the aforementioned brands they are not immune from the perils of the free markets and as such much of their goods are made in China and other third world nations.

I found the Ebisu store, like most things I find in Japan, purely by accident. I was on the train coming home and the train stopped at the Ebisu station. I looked out the window and I saw a huge Montbell sign. It was night so the whole store was lit up. I saw all that merchandise and I quickly noted the stop so I could return another day. And so I did.

This store is nice and has two storeys. First floor is hats, trinkets, boots, backpacks and I believe women's wear. Upstairs is Men's, fishing, camping, tents, bicycling, and canoeing. I had no clue that Montbell made fishing appeal. They make waders, vests, and fanny packs. That stuff never makes it here. Snow Peak used to make fishing stuff as well ( they still might but I don't think so). I've seen in my old copies of Fly Fisher magazine Snow Peak ads for their traveling tying vise. I would have liked to see that.

I bought some beanies and neck gaiters (still made in Japan) for myself and one for my Dad. I also bought T-Shirts, an aluminium tea cup and strainer, and some other small trinkets.

Finding this place is easy. Get off the Ebisu station. It is right there. I believe it is the west ticket gate, if not then go to the other side. It won't be hard to find.

If you can read Japanese here is the store's site.

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