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Itoya - Stationery & Japanese Paper

Home > Tokyo > Craft | Hobbies | Shopping
by Cressida Ryan (subscribe)
Classicist and traveller
Published November 21st 2016
Stationery can be beautiful, particularly in banks, and nowhere does it better than Tokyo's amazing shop Itoya, right in the heart of the retail area Ginza.

As soon as you walk in, banks of cards attract you, colourful and enticing. Categorised as the 'sense' floor, it certainly attracts by sight and touch. Downstairs is relatively small but offers hints of the fabulous products available throughout the rest of the shop.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Card display

As with so many places in Japan, groundspace is limited, so the shop is built up over eight main retail floors. Each one has a distinct theme. Not all are entirely stationery-related, but they all have beautiful things. Up at the top are even three floors for events.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo

The pen floor includes whole banks of the same pen available in different colours, with huge ranges of inks to go in other pens. There are ample opportunities to try out different pens, nibs and inks on bits of paper around the place. If you are going to buy beautiful paper, after all, you need something beautiful to write on it with.

The paper on offer isn't just for writing on. Whole banks are available for all kinds of possible craft projects. When you arrive on the paper floor the rainbow display of possible colours and kinds of paper is staggering.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Every shade of paper

There is more to Itoya than just stationery, and if you are interested in colourful and often slightly quirky gadgets, then the Homeware floor is a must-stop place. It's close to the top of the building though, possibly in appreciation of the fact that it is not the shop's main draw.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo

Right up at the top is an area where you can get your purchases properly wrapped. Moreover, you can buy wrapping products - ribbons, papers and accessories. Buying beautiful things makes it sensible to have them beautifully presented, and the wrapping corner offers another chance to showcase the high quality, colourful, wonderful papers on offer.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Wrapping station

Spotting the shop means looking out for something more unassuming than its interior - it is marked out by a red paperclip. In all the glamour and glitz of Ginza it would be easy to miss it, but this is a shop where you can spend hours looking around.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Look for the paperclip sign

There are also specific things to help fill your time, with one area dedicated to workshop sessions.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Workshop area

Opposite is a whole shop devoted to pens, K. Itoya. Here the street icon is a pen. Downstairs are the ones one might want to buy as a treat. Upstairs one floor is a museum of beautiful pens, one a back to school heaven and then you move into more art materials.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Smart pens on view

The art of letter writing may not be as much appreciated as it used to be, but shops like this must certainly help. Whether stocking up your schoolbag or looking out for a present for someone special, Itoya is a veritable Aladdin's cave of beautiful stationery. They stock brands from all over the world, with delicate Japanese paper in specially commissioned sets jostling for position alongside sturdy notecards and fine handmade Italian papers.

itoya, stationery, ginza, tokyo
Stationery heaven

The shop is near Ginza station. It has a range of escalators and lifts in it to help get between the floors. There are lavatories available. Some staff speak okay English, but do not rely on it.
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Why? The best stationery shop in Japan
When: 10-8 Mon-Sat, 10-7 Sundays and Holidays
Where: Ginza, Tokyo
Your Comment
This is my idea of heaven I love stationary
by Jay Johnson (score: 3|1368) 1830 days ago
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