Japan is great for many things, food, culture and believe it or not stationery. This doesn’t come as a big surprise though, with the Land of the Rising Sun of course being the home of the artistic craft of origami. Stationery always seems to be one of those necessary staple items. Pens, paper, post-it notes—we all need ’em and we can all buy it from a range of incredible Tokyo stationery shops. Whether for yourself or a loved one back home, as always, Japan doesn’t disappoint.
Kakimori (Kuramae Station)
This place is top for writing. It is a stationery shop specializing in pens, inks and letter sets. Everything is chosen based on level of comfort and you can try different fountain pens to find one that suits you. You can also order notebooks that will be made within five to ten minutes there and then. You can choose from various covers, bindings and paper to make it just right for you. A creative stationery shop making your purchases as personal as possible.
Bunbougu Cafe (Omotesando Station)
This is one of those little spots that you just have to go visit for yourself. At this cafe in the hip neighborhood of Omotesando, you can have food and drink while you satisfy your desire to craft or draw. There are many other things that you can do here, including having lunch (box sets go from 950 yen), or even some reasonably priced cocktails. It is highly advised to reserve a table, especially on weekends.
For 700 yen you can become a member of the cafe and have access to specialty stationery items. For those of you who are non-members, you can browse the catalogs and magazines as much as you like. A stationery shop with such a range of concepts isn’t something I’ve heard of before, but is definitely something that should be explored.
Loft (Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit)
Loft is the classic option for stationery in Tokyo. It’s full of cute supplies that are perfect for souvenirs, such as sumo and animal print sets. There are lots of bits and bobs ranging from a huge variety of notebooks to those quirkier stationery features, such as funky stamps and stickers. It isn’t just stationery that Loft does well though; they also offer watches, health products, homeware and interior pieces. Loft is of course a big chain in Tokyo, but the branch in Shibuya is well worth a special visit.
Maruzen (Tokyo Station)
Maruzen is principally known as a bookseller but it is also a fantastic place for some stationery goods. The store is located opposite Tokyo Station, so proves a good place to get a last-minute buy. With a whole room dedicated to diaries, planners, notebooks, cards, file folders, correspondence sets and fountain pens, you’ve got a massive range to go through here.
Tokyu Hands (Shibuya Station, Hachiko Exit)
Another top go-to trusty joint for stationery is Tokyu Hands. Well-loved by locals and expats, it is again another one of those stores that sells a bit of everything, but with an excellent stationery section included. Expect diaries, planners, sticky notes, pens, pencils and lots more. With more on offer than anyone would ever need, you really are spoiled for choice here.
And for the cheapest of the cheap, you can find cute and colorful stationery at just about any 100-yen shop in Tokyo. We recommend the Seria chain or Daiso in Harajuku for a good selection at humble prices.
Stationery is just one of those life essentials. We use it everyday and for many reasons. Be it a diary, those handy sticky notes or a decent pen—we need it. So why not treat yourself to something worth buying? Throw away that boring stationery set that you might have and explore these hotspots for something really special. Ideal for yourself but also ideals as gifts—you’ve got lots to rummage through here.
In our pilot episode, we're joined by Alvin Cheung of ABC Coffee, Hapnick, and Tokyo Keyboards