Stationery shopping in Japan is epic. Take what you experience somewhere like London and multiply it by a hundred. A hundred times more variety, a hundred times more shops, a hundred times more enthusiasm and appetite for it. Japan is nation crazy about stationery. Next level crazy.
Shopping advice in Japan is one of the subjects I get asked about most via email and I am a bit bored/uninspired by the constant default recommendations of Tokyu Hands and Loft. Of course, if you are short on time or not that bothered about the thought processes behind your pen (I know I am odd) then these places are as good a starting point as any. However, if you are a bit more discerning/demanding/curious/obessed than most, here is a list for you to work your way through when in Tokyo:
Another stationery shop that makes most lists, and for good reason too! 9 floors of stationery a lot of it is generic but there are some gems to be found. If you are looking for fountain pens, this is a good place to start. They also have the largest selection of coloured pencils, an extensive array of papers and all the craft items you may be wishing for that I have ever seen in one place.
Address: 2-7-15, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
My personal favourite. I love this place so much that I cannot think of visiting Tokyo without stopping by at least once. My favourite fountain pen came from here. I also blogged about the notebook I had custom made here (yes you can do that) HERE.
Ever fancied having your very own custom shade of ink mixed for you? Well this is the place to have it done. I visited Ink Stand on our last trip and will blog about it soon!
Begun life as delightful online shop with an inspiring and carefully curated collection of Japanese craft, design and stationery items (you MUST check it out if you haven’t already). Today, Uguisu also has a physical shop in Azabudai (nr Roppongi) that is open from Friday to Sunday.
Warou Flat 4, Room 7. 3-3-23 Azabudai Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0041
This place is mayhem! Honestly, I’ve never seen such a crowded stationery shop in my life. It is more than just a stationers to be fair though. Sekaido was established as an art supplies shop, today they have 6 floors of all sorts of art and stationery stuff at really good prices.
3-1-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
If you are looking for a shop with a large selection of stationery and desk items but what more character than the bigger shops stock, then go here. I bought THIS from here. I spend hours daydreaming my way through their website.
A chain of general goods stores (think Tokyo Hands only smaller). They can usually be found in Keio or OPA mini malls. I can usually find most of what I need in here and more. Most of my stickers, diaries, ball pens and craft supplies are bought here.
I’d wager that every department store in Japan has a stationery/craft section or at least a few dedicated aisles. Try Ito Yokado, Odakyu, Takashimaya, Mitsukoshi.
I often see small independent stationers on our random walks in Tokyo. These are great to visit because you never know what they will have. There is one near Hiro’s grandparents that sells all sorts of treasures alongside real nostalgic treasures.
Specialist Paper Shops
If you are looking for specialist paper or something with real traditional value then head to Nihonbashi in search of Ozu. Ozu is another shop I have yet to blog about, but in a nutshell, it’s been going since 1653 and although they are formally purveyors of ‘washi’ (Japanese paper), they sell so much more. Pens, calligraphy brushes, ink, writing sets. They also have a museum so it is possible to spend hours and hours here.
100 Yen Shops
If you are more about the cost and quantity that you can get for your money, then maybe you will like the 100 Yen shops. Every 100 Yen shop has a bit of stationery in there. Big ones like DAISO can have unto an entire floor dedicated to stationery and crafts. I’ve found quite a few cute things here. The great thing about it is that cheap in cost in Japan doesn’t always equate to cheap in quality. Another place worth looking in is Don Quijote. It’s not a 100 Yen shop, more of a discount outlet selling everything from food, alcohol, beauty goods, electrical items and stationery too!
I haven’t made it to this great looking shop yet. I do follow them on Twitter and Instagram and that only seems to fuel my desire to visit when next we are in Tokyo. Sublo are located in Kichijouji and specialise in stationery with a more retro feel. They also stock nostalgic ephemera and good that stationery shops in Japan commonly used to stock.
Would you believe it if I told you that there is a stationery café in Tokyo? Bunbougu Cafe is a café, restaurant, bar, library and stationery shop. Here you can pay a one off fee in exchange for a key that opens the drawers in the tables containing stationery that you can use while you enjoy your drink.
Wowsers! That’s a long list! I don’t think I have forgotten anything. Keep an eye on this post or Twitter and I will let you know when I update it 🙂 In the meanwhile, I shall get busy working on my next list of useful stationery links.
See more of our stationery obsessed blog posts HERE