Japan Stationery Roundup Part I

Japan was refreshing and mind opening. There are people everywhere, yet everything operates so well and time keeping is down to the second. There are organized lines to get on/off the trains! No one pushes or rushes, but people will squeeze as much as possible to get on a train. People use only their cafe locks on their bikes! Stations in Tokyo each have their own 10 second jingle and some even have their own custom stamps (Eki Stampu, more on that later.). The Skinkansen, their bullet train is amazing and wonderful and I just want to ride it all over the country eating out of bento boxes... People are mindful, considerate, and thoughtful. When I leave the house here, I usually leave with a cloud of anxiety over me, but in Tokyo, I could not wait to interact with the world. The mindset here is so different and I'm always trying to keep the mindset of places like Tokyo or Scandinavian countries as much as possible when I return. This is always the biggest takeaway when I visit other countries, but enough about that - let's talk stationery!  

Everyone is always going on and on about stationery stores in Japan. I did go to a few, but wanted to start off with two that usually don't get mentioned first.

I did not do this on this trip, but if you plan on visiting temples and want an amazing souvenir to bring home, buy a Goshuin book. At the temples and shrines, for about 300-500 yen, the monks will sign and stamp your book. I was planning on collecting Goshuin, but we also went during New Year and the lines were very long for the stamps/signings. I ended up just stamping my Traveler's Notebook with as many souvenir stamps as I could find. If you do intend on collecting Goshuin, Loft had the best selection. I mean, I almost just picked one up to have one - check out these photos! You can also buy these books at the temples. 


Loft / Shibuya 

Loft / Shibuya, Tokyo

My favorite store of all was Loft in Shibuya. It's six floors of "just let me hand over all my money and I need an extra suitcase for my return back home, please..." I had left my last day in Tokyo for shopping and it was the last store I decided to pop into. It was worth the wait, but wish I had had more time. It was also a holiday in Japan called, National Coming of Age Day. So, the store, especially the stationery/planner section was packed with young people most likely purchasing their 2018 planners. Could you imagine if San Francisco's stationery stores were packed with young people? That's what I love about Japan. There's a love for technology, but an even greater one for tradition. 

Loft even had a small letterpress at the door! Not sure what they were printing, as I do not speak Japanese and the kind man operating it did not know English, but he seemed happy I was excited it as I entered. Once getting past the press, I was in heaven. I did not get a chance to go through the entire store, but it's worth taking your time to climb up the floors. 

housewares / Small printing press at Loft

housewares / Small printing press at Loft

Yes, that is capybara stationery

Yes, that is capybara stationery

I did not do this on this trip, but if you plan on visiting temples and want an amazing souvenir to bring home, buy a Goshuin book. At the temples and shrines, for about 300-500 yen, the monks will sign and stamp your book. I was planning on collecting Goshuin, but we also went during New Year and the lines were very long for the stamps/signings. I ended up just stamping my Traveler's Notebook with as many souvenir stamps as I could find. If you do intend on collecting Goshuin, Loft had the best selection. I mean, I almost just picked one up to have one - check out these photos! You can also buy these books at the temples. 

Loft_1.jpg
Loft_2.jpg

Aren't they gorgeous? i don't know how I would pick just one. This is definitely a must for my next trip to Japan. 

Top floor of Loft

The top floor of Loft has a lot of Japanese pop culture and omiyage gifts. Check out this amazing Shiba-Inu / Maru set up!

Kinokuniya Bookstore 

There is also a Kinokinuya inside, but I restrained myself since we have a Kinokinuya here in San Francisco. Next time I go to Tokyo, Loft is the first store I am hitting up.

Loft

21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0042, Japan

 


Yurindo / Ebisu Station

Limited edition Suica products and small Japanese envelopes at Yurindo in Tokyo

Limited edition Suica products and small Japanese envelopes at Yurindo in Tokyo

We happened on Yurindo by chance and I am glad we did! We ended up there twice. It's on the 5th floor of the shopping center at the station. It's a bookstore with a small stationery section, but it's worth checking out if you are in or out of the station. Not sure how often this happens, but they had a limited run of Suica products with the Suica penguin. (Check out some of the commercials. OMG, cute.) Most of it was sold out when I saw it, but came back with a few treats. He's the mascot because penguins can swim so smoothly through water. Have a Suica card is like gliding through the metro stations, which is totally true. I don't think we waited longer than 2 minutes for a train in Tokyo. 

I also bought a few coin size envelopes. In Japan, handing money directly to someone is considered rude, so many times an envelope will be used. So many shops had packs or individual envelopes for this purpose.  

Suica products: stamp, small ceramic dish, keychain, and furoshiki wrapping 

Suica products: stamp, small ceramic dish, keychain, and furoshiki wrapping 

Would it not be awesome if the Bay Area had a seal as their Clipper mascot? Much like the Suica penguin, it could be like "gliding through the public transit". 

Can't wait to share the next few stores, along with a trick to NOT getting lost at Tokyo Station! 

Yurindo

5th Floor of the Ebisu Station, Shibuya, Tokyo