Hey, I am living somewhere between Kobe and Osaka, and have been slowly discovering some crafty stores. In Osaka, there is a small shop on the 2nd floor of the Shinsaibashi Daimaru, south building. The website is here http://homepage1.nifty.com/avril/
It's small (mostly sewing/yarn things), but it's the only craft store I've been to in Osaka.
I don't know about social events -- I would be interested in finding out what is around, but I have no idea at the moment.