In February 2019 I went to Japan partly because it was a big birthday and wedding anniversary (That is what I told my husband so we could go on a paper tour to the stationery capital of the world, Japan!) I have him hooked now, so we want to go back in 2020, who wants to come with?
Part I of this post featured five stores in Tokyo (this previous post can be read here.) There were so many images and text, I had to split this up. Here are the places in Kyoto that we read about and also stumbled upon. Stationery stores are almost as prevalent as vending machines in Japan. Some of my favorites from this trip were found in Kyoto, maybe because they were smaller or because we loved it so much there but probably because we hope to carry these paper products very soon! Enjoy the Kyoto tour and let us know where else we should visit in 2020.
We stumbled upon this adorable shop in a market close to our ryokan on our first day in Kyoto. SO LUCKY. (That is not what my husband said.)
They have done a collaboration with Disney World! We didn't make it to Tokyo Disney but next trip. They love Disney as much as this Florida girl does. So even closer to our hotel was the flagship store! Bigger and badder. They have classes and a showroom. I truly had to contain myself. They design and make their own paper and put in everything. I mean everything: coasters, books, journals, tea tins, lamps, boxes, pens, and of course in single sheets. Their logo is a super cute Keroppi looking frog that reminds me of a Japanese Kermit the frog.
This stunning shop was literally a few steps from our ryokan! It was closed everytime we went by but finally it was open. Kae, the owner, has an antique letterpress and makes beautiful things. She also has fountain pens and some of the pretties Italian leather journals I have ever seen. She has been to the same store in Venice that we went to a few years ago. It was fun to geek out on paper with her and well everything was so exquisite and elegant like her. Check out the photo of Audrey...And lastly, the packaging and receipt, divine.
Kyoto Hands (really Tokyo Hands in Kyoto)
Is a department store that we love, the one in Tokyo was packed and super busy, this one less busy and the layout much more inviting. All the usual suspects were there but the washi tape section was so much bigger I couldn't believe it. So those are the images here. I mean it was giant. It is hard to photograph the scale of the displays compared to the whole stationery section.
This very modern looking letterpress shop has been making paper goods for 100 years. Rokkaku had the most unusual designs I have ever seen. Very elegant, restraint and delicate. The designs reminded me of engraving with a Japanese twist.
Ok this is a stationery store that looks like an Office Depot but don't be fooled by the layout, there are all your favorite finds, but also ones not found everywhere, so it was a interesting mix. Here is where I bought my first Sailor fountain pen and ink made in Kyoto. They have four equal seasons in Japan, so lucky, and they celebrate it in many ways: the food they eat, they things in bloom and the inks they put in their pens!
Today's Special (in Bal)
This fun lifestyle marketplace was found as we were looking for Muji, one of our favorite stores. In Kyoto it is in a swanky department store called Bal. We ate at the Muji cafe (organic and delicious, who knew?) And next to that we were delighted by this very well curated market of everyday life. Their stationery section had alot of Hightide | Penco, which is a new line for me and one I hope to carry soon.
OK so I could have added way more photos and text, but I actually wanted you to read this too. So seriously, tell us what you liked, what you think we should carry and where should we go next?