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The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo
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The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

I just got back from Tokyo, Japan and I was blown away by the selection of art supply  and stationery stores! Here’s the thing…everything in Japan is so organized and efficient! And that took away a ton of confusion and stress often found when navigating art supply stores.

Since I was on a family trip, I couldn’t hit all of them – but I had a blast shopping in the ones I did get to go into.

Art Supply Reviews_ Best Art Supply and Stationary Stores in Tokyo Japan _ Art Beat Box

I went to Tokyo with a list of stores I’d found while doing my research on travel sites and YouTube. But lucky for me, I have an incredible friend who lives in Tokyo and she took me to the best places around.

At the time of publishing this article, the US dollar is very strong in Japan. This means the art supplies (which we all know are expensive), were way cheaper than here in the US! Also, with a valid foreign passport, most stores are tax free when you spend more than 5,000 yen (around $35). I didn’t head into any mom and pop places because I only wanted stores that took credit cards.

Check out this video for my top three favorite stores!

@artbeatkim

Am I the only one who loves shopping for art supplies in other countries? We had so much fun seeing what Japan had to offer shopping for craft supplies in Tokyo! #artsupplyjunkie #japantravel #tokyojapan

♬ bounce (i just wanna dance) – фрози & joyful

Itoya 

Located in the Ginza area, this is by far the most beautiful art supply store I’ve ever been to. The main store for Itoya is several stories high and overwhelming. I wish I had more time to explore, but I did manage to pick up some gifts and some supplies just for me. My favorite purchase was a set of glitter markers. They are seriously magical and make me so happy!

Each floor has a theme (pens, paints, stationery, etc). We started on the first floor (street level) which housed mainly souvenirs, but then took the elevator to the top floor and worked our way back down to the ground floor. This is a great place for cute stationery, Japanese stationery and different types of beautiful paper. Here you’ll find feather pens, specialty stationery items such as traditional European stationery or your own custom notebook and the largest supply of Copic markers I’ve ever seen! Seriously!! Did you know that Copic markers are Japanese???

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

Plus, they offer free gift wrap and everything is extremely high end. I wish I would have gotten more than just some letter sets, my own notebook and the supplies to mix custom ink! Unfortunately, you have to go to Japan to see Itoya, they do not ship internationally. Side note: leave yourself extra time – this store is overwhelming! But it is definitely a stationery lovers store – like department stores for art supply lovers (like me)!

Daiso

Daiso stores can be found all over Japan. They’re in all business districts, not just in a well known touristy areaThis is a good place to get just about anything! From washi tapes to office supplies, this is the perfect place to stock up on traveler’s notebooks and greeting cards. Daiso stores are the Japanese equivalent to the Dollar Store. I spent a long time inside and I fell in love with their sticky notes, washi tape dispensers and some basic school supplies. 

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

Since the store also features household items, candy and cosmetics, this isn’t the high end art supply store I found in Itoya. However, my friend encouraged me to pick up a traditional pencil case used by all Japanese students. It is adorable! And I love how it has a built-in pencil sharpener! I also bought a giant elastic band – mostly out of nostalgia – I tried to explain to my kids what book belts are, but now I can just show them!

You won’t find different kinds of paper, made-to-order notebooks or fountain pens, but you will find a large selection of gel pens, nice notebooks and, of course, Daiso clay! Yes, I did pick up a few packages. In the US, washi tape is so unbelievably expensive and I could not believe how cheap the rolls at the Daiso store were! You’ll find great gifts here and it’s a one-stop shop if you don’t have time to go elsewhere. They’re all over the city, so use google maps to find one near you!

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

Hands

Hands down, my favorite stationery and art supply shop in Tokyo. Pun intended! So Hands are big stores with a wide range of supplies, so leave ample time to see it all. While art supplies are not the main attractions, this is a large store and often found on a main street. I also felt like it was less crowded and less stressful – overall a great experience. I fell in love with these little miniature Japanese dollhouse kits. I think these would do so well in the US – what do you think? They had leather making supplies, a washi tape wall, paper stock and an entire floor of traditional washi paper and colorful stationery. 

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

The floors with art supplies reminded me a lot of Blick – everything for every type of artist or crafter. I picked up different pens, sushi shaped erasers, different types of paper and an ink stand. This was one of my favorite places and the best part is that they had samples or testers for most products. It’s always a good thing when you can try out fountain pen inks before you purchase! I spent enough here to qualify for tax- free. And no, I do not regret any of it. The only thing I regret is not buying more!! 

Loft

I loved the loft! This is a store filled with paper products and a favorite stationery shop for travelers coming from the United States. I was so immersed in my experience here that I didn’t take any pictures. Now, to manage expectations, this doesn’t have the same products you’ll find at Itoya, but you will find a nice notebook, bullet journals and pens in every color. We went on a weekday afternoon and the shop assistants were incredibly helpful. It did help that I went with my friend who was able to communicate in Japanese! This, like Itoya, is located in the heart of the Ginza neighborhood and therefore not off the beaten tracks. Make sure to bring a shopping list because this store is overwhelming! The best thing I purchased here were little sushi stickers. I am obsessed!

Yen stores

Like the Daiso store, there are yen stores all over Tokyo, I did briefly step inside, but I didn’t have time to do a full study. Similar to Daiso, you won’t find obscure items like tradional Eurpoean stationery or a glass dip pen, but you will be able to pick up a fun pencil case and some pens. 

Fancy Pods

I found this store in the Harijuku neighborhood and while it doesn’t fall into the stationery store category, I need to include it for one reason. For years in my classes I did a project with my classes called Decoden. I looked all over Tokyo for Decoden supplies, but failed to find any…until I stumbled into this store. This is a store for tweens and they had an entire section devoted towards Decoden crafts. They had decoden (whipped clay) in just about every color and a charm bar to choose from. I loved shopping here. On the way out, I also discovered a fabulous selection of fake sushi keychains. Totally random, but I was hooked! I didn’t have much time since we had a dinner to get to, but I would totally take a quick look if you’re in the Harijuku neighborhood!

The Best Stationery and Art Supply Stores in Tokyo

So…that sums up my stationery shopping and arts/crafts shopping experience! Japan has some of the best stationery stores and art supply stores I’ve ever seen! You will find most stores are within walking distance of the train station. You’ll also notice that each one of these stores offer different items depending on what specifically you’re looking to find. While some of the shops have similar types of supplies, each store has its own energy and vibe! So if you’re heading to Tokyo, be sure to grab your notebook, make a list and plan your shopping journey!

Looking for some more art supply recommendations? Check out this post on must-have art supplies for every home!