5 Kawaii Stationery Shops in Tokyo That Will Bring Out The o(≧∇≦o) in You

5 Kawaii Stationery Shops in Tokyo That Will Bring Out The o(≧∇≦o) in You

Awaken your inner obsession at these amazing Japanese stationary shops. WARNING: They may be harmful to your wallet.

What is it with cute stationery that makes it so appealing? Is it because of our obsession with colour? Our instinct to collect pretty things? Or because buying cute stationery gives us the momentary illusion that we are finally about to do something productive?

Who knows? Whatever reason you cite for your stationery obsession, the truth is, you want more. You have spent hours on Instagram lusting after adorable yet functional planners, watching in pure satisfaction as calligraphers load their inks and create a perfect cursive and now, you want to have your life as organised as their bullet journals.

Japan has always been innovative, especially with their stationery, and a lot of the things we barely spare a glance at today were designed by Japanese companies. Pentel was the first to develop 0.5mm mechanical pencil lead and Mitsubishi Pencil Company came up with the first Uniball pen.

If you have traversed the entirety of shops like Typo, ArtBox, Kikki K and still want more, why not check out the epicentre of stylish and functional stationery? Ready for your fix of creative stationery? Here are some stationery havens you have to check out:

1. Kakimori

Image credit: Kakimori Facebook

Image credit: Kakimori Website

Located just a stone’s throw away from the Kuramae Station, this charming store can be found at the street level. Decorated with a woodsy feel, the store has a warm and welcoming vibe enhanced no doubt by the strategic and organised way of presenting pens, pencils and paper stock that encourage you to try them out.

Image credit: Kakimori Facebook

One of the main attractions here is that you can customise your very own notebook. Are you particular about the quality, style and size of paper or exactly how you want your notebook arranged? The people at Kakimori understand the importance of writing and they have very helpful guides all over the shop who will tell you which writing instrument goes best with which paper. Not only that, you can choose between having your paper plain, ruled, in graph grid or dot grid. What a paper paradise! You can also add envelopes to your notebooks or letterpressed calendar pages.

Not a writer? They have got artists covered as well; you can browse through their collection of papers suitable for drawing, scrapbooking and even water colouring. Do not forget to choose a stylish front and back cover! These designs change from time to time as Kakimori sources for different designers.

The shop also hands out maps of Kuramae city which you can take to explore the rest of the city.

Image credit: Kakimori

2. Ink Stand

Image credit: emi moriya

Now that you’ve designed the perfect notebook, you can get yourself custom ink as well. Situated right next to Kakimori, Ink Stand is a partner store of Kakimori that specialises in ink mixing. The interiors of the two stores could not look any more different though. Seemly modelled after a laboratory, Ink Stand greets you with white counter spaces and lots of glass beakers and bottles. You have to make a reservation first because there are limited spaces available. Once you do, the staff will explain to you how the process works and you are then free to experiment. As you experiment with the ink mixing, make sure you write down your formula so the staff can produce your desired ink colour in the end!

3. Bunbougu Cafe

Imagine a cafe where, while waiting for a table, you can meander through a selection of pens, pencils, notebooks and various gift items. No more standing around and no more eyeing diners who shift in their seats. That is exactly what you will find in Bunbougo Cafe.

Bunbougu Cafe, which is Japanese for stationery, is not just a cafe, a bar, or a stationery shop. It’s the best of all three. The waiting area that is also a shopping area is a sweet trap that your stationery-obsessed self will willingly fall into. The best part is that there are tons of books, pens, files and crayons available for diners to use while dining. If you plan on going there often, you can get a membership which gives you a key that opens the “members only” drawers filled with a plethora of exclusive stationery and notebooks.

4. Itoya Stationery Store

japanese stationary shops

Image credit: Itoya Facebook

Image credit: Itoya Facebook

You use stationery every day. You want it to be something designed with thought, to look good and to feel even better to use. Ginza Itoya has a hundred years of such experience.

Established in 1904, this store was recently reopened after renovations in 2015 and this is something a stationery lover cannot miss. With eight floors of stationery to explore, it is easy to see why. Each floor is designed according to a theme. For instance, the second floor’s theme is “share” and this floor is full of letter paper, postcards and pens which you can use to share your thoughts and travels with people. They even have places for you to sit down and write your letter. Another floor’s theme is “meeting” and unsurprisingly, you can get planners, notebooks and other such materials. You can make your own customisable notebooks too! If you get tired from all the shopping, don’t fret. They have their own cafe – Cafe Stylo – which uses vegetables that are grown hydroponically on the building’s eleventh floor. How cool is that?


japanese stationary shops

Image credit: LOFT Facebook

Right by the main Shibuya crossing, there exists a stationery wonderland known as LOFT. LOFT is a chain store that has several branches throughout Japan but the Shibuya outlet is the one that is more popular with travellers. Not only does it have an entire floor full of stationery, the upper floors also sell health and beauty products, travel essentials, and even household goods. So even if you are travelling with friends or family who do not understand your colour coded way of life, they will not groan at the hours you spend here because they can shop too! The stationery floor is stocked with Japanese brand pens, rows and rows of washi tape, notebooks, cutely designed paperclips, stamps and inks and basically everything your stationery infatuated heart can desire.  Plus, foreign travellers get tax exemption once they spend a minimum amount. Need I say more?

If you get heady at the thought of being surrounded by reams of paper, the best quality of pens and the best selection of sticky notes, notebooks and more, these are stops you cannot miss on your Japan adventures. Not only will you find loads for yourself, these quirky or stylish stationery make for great souvenirs.

About Author

Annmaria Patteri
Annmaria Patteri

Annmaria likes all the usual things a writer likes; books, coffee and nice notebooks. She reads her way through the world one book at a time. She also likes naps and is trying to strategise the best way to get as much done while moving as little as possible.


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