On my first visit to Japan, my love for stationery pretty much took over the whole thing. We had a few places to visit and we kept stumbling upon many more! So this two-part post is all about the amazing places we visited and we hope that you will get to visit these as well. There are so many more places that were recommended we didn't get to see, so we will save those for the 2020 Stationery Tour (let us know if you would be interested in that). Until then we hope you enjoy these profiles from the stationery capital of the world, Japan.
The attention to detail and exquisite care in all things Japanese are definitely evident in their paper stores. All so unique and beautiful in their own way, we sampled a little bit of it all...so here are our top picks from the 2019 Japanese Stationery tour. This is Part I, Tokyo. Next part will be Kyoto.
I am leading with Itoya because a) I started using their notebooks when I was in high school living in Asia and b) it is an eight-story paper experience. If Japan is the stationery capital of the world, this store is the queen and it is in Ginza which is basically the 5th Avenue of Tokyo. Itoya is the oldest stationery store in Japan (see the diorama of the first store.) It has a an entire floor dedicated to cards, one to fountain pens, one to all things travel, one to crafts, one to fine paper (my favorite), one for writing instruments, one was under construction and one had a hydroponic garden that grows veggies you can eat in the cafe. It opened in 2015 and since has gotten rid of the custom notebook bar and letter writing station (yes I was sad but the whole thing was so overwhelming it didn't matter.)
I cannot believe how many cool cards there were.
So many sakura blossom cards...
An entire floor of nothing but fountain pens and ink. The Lamy was bigger than me!
Some of the most expensive pens and ink. You don't see these at any of the pen shows I have been too!
This has been a place I always wanted to visit since my dad worked in Japan many years ago. He would bring me back fun items, however I had no idea just how big and cool it is! It is basically a department store and almost one story is stationery, At some point I had to just leave because it had been an hour and I had only walked through half of it. Thank goodness my husband is patient and there was a food court in the basement.
It was fun to see my some of my favs in their natural habitat: mnemosyne, LIFE, Midori, MT Tape and TRAVELER'S Company. And I found so many new ones, like Kitta,
Here is my stationery haul:
Kakimori is one of the best well-rounded stationery stores in my opinion. It has walls of writing instruments, a well curated selection of stationery items I had not seen after visiting 10 other stores in Japan. And best of all you can design and get your own custom notebook while you wait. In that time I didn't do too much damage but maybe next time.
Heavenly displays that are informative and easy to use.
Kakimori Ink Stand
This fun and interactive space is also by Kakimori so you know it is going to be good. It is where you can design and make your own ink. I created the most luscious green color, not too mossy, not too brown and they will keep making it for you for up to a year and you can order online. It took five mixes and the very patient, Shiraishi Natsuko, helped me get the perfect color. They even have various writing instruments that you can use your new signature ink with.
So we saved the very best for last! So if you know about us, we have been carrying this iconic brand for the past 2 1/2 years. There is a reason that it is our number one best selling notebook. So to visit the flagship store was truly like going to the mothership. There are exclusive goods you can't get anywhere but at this location. Same with the location at the Narita Airport and Tokyo Station (I had to save those for next visit!) So it was pretty cool to find and get those goods. Good thing we bought a suitcase while we were there, paper can be pretty heavy and I brought back as much as we could carry (thank you honey for being strong, literally, and supportive.)
The best part was we got a personal tour from our new friends, Saori and Shingo. We then visited their headquarters and were able to meet the dynamic duo who design all the products. They introduced the new products for 2019 and shared their vision for spreading the TRAVELER'S love. Everyone was so excited to hear about our meet ups and the event coming up later this month, they sent us home with some exclusive goodies. We can't wait to share them with you!
TRAVELER'S Factory is all thing analogs and filled with all the things we love like maps, books, leather goods, bicycles, coffee, Kaweco and Pilot fountain pens.
We hope partner more with TRAVELER'S Company as they innovate and develop new products. Remember that you can find the entire Midori and TRAVELER'S COMPANY line, including the new products, as well as MD Notebooks and other Midori goods in both studio locations and online.
Need more inspiriation? Check out the Japanese Stationery Tour Part II: Kyoto where the journey continues...You will see and read about these six hot spots that should be on everyone's Stationery tour.
The Stationery Shop
Kyoto Hands (really Tokyo Hands in Kyoto)
Today's Special (in Bal)