One of my favourite things to buy in Japan as a souvenir are stationery items. There are many great stores with a huge selection of Japanese stationery – ranging from amazing pens, notebooks, tapes, stickers and many things I have not seen anywhere else before – in Tokyo. I will share a list of stores below, but first, let me get to some of the things that I brought back from my last trip to Tokyo.
1. Mitsu-Bishi Pencils
Who would have thought that Mitsu-Bishi was also a producer of pencils! I have to admit that I did buy these pencils because of the retro packaging. But, can you blame me?
You can buy Washi-Tape all over Europe by now, but I still have the feeling that Japanese stationary shops have a bigger selection of colours and patterns, also I believe they are a lot cheaper as well.
3. Muji Pens
I can never have enough of these pens – they are really my weapon of choice when it comes to writing. I use the 0.38 ones. I also bought a whole bunch of refills, so I will never run out of Muji ink again.
4. Pentone Film Fusen Sticky Notes
This set of sticky notes comes in a pen-shaped tube, so you can conveniently carry in your pencil case. They must be the wet-dream of all note-takers and bullet journal owners. They are transparent, you can write on them and they are easy to remove if you change your mind. They come in very cute shades and are refillable.
5. Twiggy Foldable Scissors
This pair of scissors is my absolute highlight and to me, they are a perfect example of nifty Japanese product design. Now I finally have a pair of scissors I can carry around in case I need to snip off a stray thread from my clothing … well, to be honest, that is the only thing I used them for so far, but look how cute they are!
6. Erasable Text Markers
How cool are these text markers that you can erase if you change your mind! I just love them.
7. Life N47 – Notebook
The selection of high-quality notebooks is immense in Japan. I really liked this one though, it is a simple A5 notebook with vermilion red lines. The paper is quite smooth and heavy. I have been using one of these at the office in the past weeks and I wish I had bought more.
8. Coco Fusen Sticky Notes
More sticky notes, these one come in a handy pouch that you can stick into your notebook or calendar. They are perfect to bookmark or highlight anything you want to get back to later.
9. 28 Corner Erasers
These erasers somehow remind me of the infamous Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo. It turns out that they are another nifty invention, though: the corner of your eraser is always the best part, isn’t it? Well, these eraser comes of those 28 corners!
While these highlighters might not be erasable as the ones I showed you before, they do come in the best colours. Also, they do have a big and a small tip.
11. Sakura Souffle Ink Pen
This pen has 3-D ink, leaving a slightly raised line on the paper – it’s also quite fun to write or draw with it as it feels super smooth!
Places to Shop for Stationary in Tokyo
Stationary is big in Japan, so there are many places where you can get your pen & paper fix. Below you can find some of the bigger places to shop, but don’t miss out on stepping into smaller and more traditional paper or brush stores when you pass them. There are quite a few around Yanaka and other places in Tokyo – just keep your eyes open!
This iconic stationery store in Ginza is one of my favourite Tokyo stores to roam around in and truly one of the main reasons why you should head to Ginza for shopping. This is high-class stationary shopping, dear friends. The main store, G Itoya boasts 8 floors of finest stationery, as well as a small selection of kitchen and travel accessories. Across the street there is K Itoya, offering everything G Itoya lacks.
You will find anything at Tokyu Hands, apart from a vast stationary department, they sell living- and kitchenware, travel goods, souvenirs, beauty products, toys, tools and materials for your next DIY project and even clothes. There are branches all over Japan, but I swear by the one in Shibuya. Plan plenty of time and be willing to spend quite a few Yen, if you go there – which you absolutely should!
Loft is another Japanese chain selling all kinds of everyday commodities, it’s quite similar to Tokyu Hands, but maybe a little bit younger and hipper. The one close to Shibuya Station has a big stationary section that is quite well organised, so it’s perfect if you are in a rush. They also have a great selection of kitchenware and there is a Muji branch in the building as well.
P.S. If this list is not extensive not enough, you can find quite a long list of stationery stores in Tokyo over here.