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place3 minute walk from Exit A3 of Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station

LUFF – An Exotic Bloom among the Common Flowers of the World

Published: August 2, 2017

Not everyone believes in love at first sight, but I can say that I personally experienced it when walking into LUFF the other day. As soon as you enter the unusual flower shop just across from Kiyosumi-shirakawa Station, you’re enveloped in greenery. Usually, the first noticeable thing about a flower shop is the smell of lilies overpowering everything else in the shop, but the first thing I noticed about LUFF was the distinct lack of lilies. And roses, tulips, carnations… basically every flower you would expect to see.



Walking to the shop, I almost missed the sign out front in the tangle of plants.



Inside, I recognized almost none of the flowers—all gorgeous tufts of small white buds, intricate curls of pink and yellow, small bursts of orange. According to the owner, Mr. Kamimura, the flowers are sourced from Chiba but their origins extend to places in Africa and South America.



In fact, Mr. Kamimura had no grand plan to become a florist. When he graduated school, he started working for a major flower company because that’s who hired him first. But over time, working at the company, he learned how to make arrangements as well as the ins and outs of the industry and finally opened his own shop two years ago in the neighborhood where he grew up.


When asked how Mr. Kamimura chooses such unique plants for his store, he paused a moment and said, “Basically I want to sell things you can’t find elsewhere.”
But beyond just being unique, he chooses them for their aesthetic value, not worrying so much about whether they’ll appeal to customers in the end.



In addition to selling flowers individually, of course, Mr. Kamimura does arrangements on request according to the customer’s budgetary constraints and color/flower preferences. The shop also does arrangements for weddings and graduation ceremonies. While talking to Mr. Kamimura, I couldn’t help imagining a bridal bouquet made of such wild blooms as pictured below:



That certainly would create lasting memories. And while LUFF sells cut flowers, there is also an abundance of plants—succulents, small trees, and other potted greenery, as well as beautifully glazed pots to plant them in.





Additionally, LUFF sells flowers that have been elevated into art pieces. Mr. Kamimura himself makes these objects that he calls Herbariums. He didn’t have any particular objective in mind when he started making them, but thought they would be good as decoration around the house. You can buy one on its own for 1800 yen, or 3 in a nicely boxed gift set for 5400 yen.





Perhaps, given the strange collection of plants at LUFF, some customers might walk away disappointed. Certainly if you’re looking for a bunch of lilies you had better look elsewhere. But LUFF, if you keep your mind open to new possibilities for what makes a flower beautiful, offers something so much more personal and wild.



I was on my way out of the shop when I happened to look up and see something strange hanging from the ceiling. I pointed up and asked, “So… what is this?”

“Oh, it’s a seed. The plant is originally from Africa,” Mr. Kamimura said, discussing the seed as if it were any common daisy.



“What would someone buy this for, do you think?” I asked. I looked back down when he didn’t respond at first.


Finally, he said, “I don’t really know. But it’s pretty unique, right?” Surely it will make someone happy in some very particular way. And that particular happiness is something that, to my knowledge, only a place like LUFF can bring, finding the perfect bunch of exotic blooms to suit a need you might have never known you had.



Story and Photos by Kate Montgomery