Stationery has a large consumer base in Japan. Unlike other countries, Japan takes a lot of pride in their stationery goods, even after leaving school, stationery is still part of their everyday life. Writing letters is still a usual activity and considered as a very thoughtful gift. Gifts are wrapped and personalized with various stationery goods.
So if you're a stationery fan, Japan is definitely a haven for shopping. Generally, you can find stationery being sold everywhere in Tokyo. 100 yen stores have a wide range of stationery goods, even convenient stores have a section where they feature the latest stationery products. Some of the souvenir shops at tourist places do also bring in some of their own design stationery such as Disneyland shops, museum shops, etc. I found some really cool robotic stationery at the Museum of Emerging Science souvenir shop, unfortunately now I live in regret not getting it. I wished I bought the robot washi tape :(
Below are 10 of my recommendations to shop for stationery in Tokyo.
#1 - Bumpodo @ JimbochoOn the top of the list, I would recommend you to go to Bumpodo. This is the very first art supply store in Japan. It has been operating in the same location since 1884. Although it was popular for art supplies, this shop had branched out into craft, journaling and lifestyle products. On the top floor, there's also a gallery cafe where you can sit there peacefully to do your journaling.
- Address: １丁目-21-1 Kanda Jinbocho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 101-0051, Japan
- Business hour: Opens daily 10:00AM - 7:30PM
#2 - Loft @ ShibuyaIf you're looking for general Japanese stationery brands, Loft Shibuya is the best place to go. It has almost everything you need. When I walked into the ground floor, where the stationeries were, I was greeted with an island of Hobonichi goods. This is also where I bought the Paul & Joe La Papeterie washi tapes, also where I left with regret I didn't grab one of the Liberty London Hobonichi and Paul & Joe blank diary. If you don't have the chance to go to Shibuya, the Loft is available throughout Tokyo in Ueno, Shinjuku, Ginza, Marunouchi, Solamachi and Seibu.
- Address: 21-１ Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
- Business hour: Opens daily, 10:00AM - 9:00PM
#3 - Tokyu HandsTokyu Hands is a massive store. Besides stationery, you can also find arts and craft supplies such as canvas frame. This place is frequent by art students and it's available almost everywhere around Japan. Stock up your pens, copic markers, drawing paper and paint here. Tokyu Hands is available in Shinjuku, Shibuya, Lalaport Toyosu, and many more...
- Address: 〒151-8580 Tokyo, Shibuya, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−２ タカシマヤタイムズスクエア南館 (Takashimaya Shinjuku) 2～8F
- Business hour: Opens daily 10:00AM - 9:00PM
#4 - Don QuijoteDon Quijote (pronounced as Donki Hotte) is not a stationery shop (Tokyu Hands too). It's a general shop where you can find anything and everything under one roof. I recommend Donki is because they do have a floor specifically cater for stationery. Things are pretty cheap in Donki and they do pack some best sellers in a bulk pack. You can find things like pens, pencils, tapes or paper in a bundle. Donki is where I bought most of my souvenirs. If you want to save some time for other activities, do visit Donki for all your shopping here. The store opens 24 hours at their Shibuya outlet. Do your shopping around midnight if you are staying near the area.
- Address: Mega Don Quijote Shibuya, 28-６ Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan
- Business hour: Opens 24 hours
#5 - G Itoya & K Itoya @ GinzaAfter Loft, G Itoya is my next favourite. It is located on the famous Ginza strip, right next to Tiffany & Co. You can't possibly miss this shop because it occupies 8 floors of the building. They don't sell solely on stationery only, there's a section of home & living, travel accessories, a cafe, and also an indoor hydroponic vegetable farm. There's a post box on the second floor and I bought my postcard & stamps here to send out some. You can easily take up few hours browsing through stuff. It's a pretty small shop because the floor space is limited. However, you can find almost anything you want. If you don't, cross over the back lane and you will find K Itoya, which carries art supply mostly.
- Address: G Itoya, 2 Chome-7-１５ Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
- Business hour: Opens daily 10:00AM - 8:00PM (except Sundays closed at 7:00PM)
#6 - Traveler's Factory @ Nakameguro, Tokyo Station & Narita AirportIt takes a fan to track down all the Traveler's Factory locations in Tokyo. After the divorce from Midori, Traveler's Factory is getting more popular each day. It has a large following and it can be said that, TF has a cult group of its own (me included). Take note that the Nakameguro outlet is the flagship store, but it doesn't carry any limited edition Traveler's Notebook. The Tokyo Station and Narita outlet has respected limited edition Traveler's Notebook.
- Address: Traveler's Factory Flagship Store, 3 Chome-13-１０ Kamimeguro, Meguro, Tokyo 153-0051, Japan
- Business hour: 12:00PM - 8:00PM (Closed on Tuesday)
#7 - CuteThingsFromJapan @ Ota-kuTowards the south of Tokyo on the border of Yokohama, there's a small family store called CuteThingsFromJapan. For a typical tourist, you might not venture out of Tokyo city, but this store also has their own online store where they ship worldwide, that is why it is worth mentioning here. You can find a lot of Japanese designers' stationery here such as Aiko Fukawa's.
- Address: 2 Chome-13-18 Yaguchi, Ōta, Tokyo 146-0093, Japan
- Business hour: Opens from Wednesday to Saturday only; 12:00PM - 5:00PM
#8 - Sekaido @ ShinjukuSekaido is another stationery haven for art students. This multi-storey shop carries a lot of art supplies, as well as journaling stationery. You can find a lot of rubber stamps and washi tapes here. It is also cheaper to shop here compared to Loft & G Itoya. It takes a while to located the things you are looking for because there are just too many stuff in the shop. Do spend some time here if you are a stationery addict.
- Address: 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−1−1 世界堂ビル1F～5F
- Business hour: Opens daily; 9:30AM - 9:00PM
#9 - Tokyo Kyukyodo @ GinzaTokyo Kyukyodo is famous for its Japanese paper good. Established in 1663, this shop is famous since the Edo period for supplying calligraphy equipment, papers, and incense. You can find traditional handcrafted souvenirs here such as washi paper boxes, origami, etc. I managed to snatched some really cheap washi tape for only 180 yen each (10m) from this store.
- Address: 5 Chome-7-４ Ginza, Chūō, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
- Business hour: Opens daily; 10:00AM - 7:00PM (Opens at 11:00AM on Sunday)
#10 - Gekkoso @ GinzaAlso located in Ginza, the Gekkoso shop was established by a pair of husband and wife in 1917. If you follow some famous journal artists, you probably have seen the famous right hand paper clip. The paper clip is originally from Gekkoso designed by the founders. The Gekkoso shop has all the watercolor you can imagine. The handmade brush is also worth to invest on. The price isn't that expensive compared to other designers' brushed. Of course, I got myself some of the Gekkoso right hand clips as memento for the trip.
- Address: 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chūō, Ginza, 8−7-2 永寿ビル
- Business hour: Opens daily; 11:00AM - 7:00PM
If I were to recommend only one place to shop for your stationery, that would be Loft. In terms of area to go to different shops, that would be in Ginza. There's G Itoya, K Itoya, Gekkoso, Tokyo Kyukyodo, Loft, Tokyu Hands and other smaller shops. If you have limited time to browse around, do check out the pens and papers. Japan is known for its high quality pens and papers goods.
Do comment below and let me know if there is any good stationery shop in Tokyo that worth to visit. I would love to check it out.