10 Stationery Shops to Visit in Japan
Feed your paper goods addiction in the land of kawaii
Photos: Pierra Calasanz-Labrador, Chinggay Labrador (Loft), Instagram/@_katepaints (Cute Things From Japan and Traveler’s Factory)
Whether you collect stickers and stationery sets, hoard pretty journals, or need specialty crafts supplies, visiting these Japanese stores will make you feel like a kid in a candy shop.
First stop: Japan's oldest stationery store! If you like the small selection of Itoya goods at National Bookstore, you will love visiting its flagship store in glamorous Ginza. Look for the red paperclip logo to find the 18-floor stationery mecca, with eight newly-renovated “selling” floors dedicated to gorgeous letter sets, creativity tools, writing instruments, travel cases, “Good Design” gift items, and a drool-worthy Japanese wrapping paper selection, plus a cafe and workshop areas (make your own notebook!). They also offer bespoke services to personalize stationery or gift items for a special touch.
ITOYA is located at 2-7-15, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo and is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (up to 7 p.m. on Sundays and holidays). It’s 5-minute walk from Ginza Station on Ginza line. For more information, you can visit their website.
Tokyu Hands is a one-stop shop stocked with every nifty gadget you didn't know you needed in your life, plus all the crafts supplies your heart desires! And with a Tokyu Hands in every major district, this “Creative Lifestyle Store” is a great place to pick up last-minute inexpensive pasalubong (insect repellent washi tape, perhaps?). When you need a shopping break, the Ikebukuro branch even has a Nekobukuro Cat's House (take note: it's not a cafe, but the entrance fee gets you unlimited play time with adorable kitties).
Tokyu Hands Ikebukuro is located at 1-28-10, Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a 2-minute walk from East Exit of Ikebukuro Station). Tokyu Hands Shinjuku is located at Times Square Building, 2-8F, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and is openg from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a 2-minute walk from New South Exit of JR Shinjuku Station. Visit their website for more branches.
Cute Things From Japan
From an ETSY shop to a physical store, this kawaii gem is the dream project of two sisters who wanted to meet customers in person while having the time to care for their growing families. Say hello to owners Ayako and Junko, and score your favorite stationery, stamps, washi tape, and wrapping materials, plus unique finds sourced directly from local artists!
Cute Things From Japan is located at 2-13-18 Yaguchi, Ota-ku, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Thursday-Friday) and 10 AM- 5 PM (Saturday). You can shop 24/7 at their web store.
Established in 1987, this household goods specialty store now has 117 branches across Japan (the seven-floor Shibuya branch is a favorite). Proudly offering cool lifestyle items that are not only functional, but “keep up with the trends of the times,” Loft is a must-visit shop for everything from paper products, pencil cases, and scrapbooking essentials, to pretty everyday goods to brighten your life.
Loft is located at 21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a 3-minute walk from Exit 3 of Shibuya Station. Visit their website for more branches.
There must be some secret juju to Traveler's Notebooks, because friends swear it's the best planner and travel journal ever. Pick your notebook style/Midori paper, and customize it your way with special kits, stickers, and accessories, and stock up on all the refills you need. You'll also find travel-related goods, stationery, and postcards (love how you can mail them directly to friends right from the shop!). If you can't make your way to the quaint back alley flagship store, there are branches at Narita Airport and Tokyo Station.
Traveler's Factory is located at 3-13-10, Kamimeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo and is open 12 nn to 8 p.m. except on Tuesdays. It’s a 4-minute walk from Naka-meguro Station. You can visit their website for more details.
An artist's paradise, Sekaido is Japan's top art supplies depot, featuring a virtual rainbow of watercolors, colored pencils, pens, paint brushes, calligraphy nibs, erasers, paper, frames, and holy grail specialty tools for your creative journey. They're pretty reasonably-priced, but beware of hoarding everything in sight and blowing your budget!
Sekaido Shinjuku is located at 3-1-1, Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo and is open from 9:30 a.m.-9 pm. Take Exit C1 of Shinjuku-Sanchome Station. You can visit their website or follow them on Instagram @sekaido_official.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen
The Japanese have an affinity for clean yet quirky Scandinavian design, so it's no surprise Flying Tiger Copenhagen shops have mushroomed across the country (the best stocked branch is the flagship at Omotesando). With a constantly updated range of cute, affordable, and cleverly functional items from stationery, party goods, and gift items, to random “things that make you smile,” you'll find justification for all the things you suddenly need in your life.
Flying Tiger Copenhagen (Omotesando) is located at 4-3-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to and is open from 11 AM-8 PM. It’s a 3-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Omotesando station. For more information, visit their website.
Books Kinokuniya Tokyo
Book lovers are often obsessed with stationery, too—perhaps it's the common love for words, or paper, or putting words to paper. Japan's largest bookstore chain Kinokuniya totally gets it, and offers a lovely array of journals, postcards, notecards, as well as other stationery supplies. Can we live here? P.S. For English language books, your best bet is at the 6th floor of the South Shinjuku branch (Takashimaya Times Square annex).
Books Kinokuniya Tokyo is located at Takashimaya Times Square Annex, 6th floor South Building, 5-24-2 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo and is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is accessible from JR Shinjuku Station or Shinjuku Sanchome Station. For more information, you can visit their website.
Set in the bohemian neighborhood of Shimokitazawa, the row of gashupon (capsule toy) machines at the entrance will tell you you're in the right place. This bookstore chain dedicated to retro geekery may seem like an odd place to score stationery, but do wade through the curious labyrinth of manga, nostalgic children's books, pop culture collectibles, novelty gifts and souvenir gag items (poo-shaped candles, anyone?), to find the corner for quirky notebooks, postcards, and paper products. It's not the most extensive selection, but it'll definitely make for a unique souvenir source and fun shopping adventure with friends.
Village Vanguard Shimokitazawa is located at 155-0031 Tokyo, Setagaya City and is open from 10 a.m. to 12 m.n. It’s a 2-minute walk from the South Exit of Shimokitazawa Station.
While everyone else is scoping out the best-priced cameras, electronics, and home appliances at this popular megastore, make your way to the Stationery and School Supplies section. Pile your cart with all the clever tools for a more efficient work or study space. Do you really need more sticky notes or fancy pens or an electronic label printer? You know the answer is yes.
Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku West Exit Main Store is located at 1-11-1 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo and is open from 9:30 AM-10 PM. It’s a 2-minute walk from JR Yamanote Line and other Shinjuku stations. For more information, visit their website.