To be perfectly honest, the art supply shopping options in Japan was probably one of my top reasons for wanting to book the trip to begin with. 😉
I will also say, I did not lend the amount of time nor money that my heart desired on actually shopping and hitting the many beautiful stationary and art supply shops available! But Japan is so full amazing beauty, culture, food, etc., I had to lend my time to those things too!
So, here we are the entrance to the biggest store I got to see that was dedicated solely to stationary and art supplies. Itoya. They had a handful of locations in Tokyo, the one I ended up at was Ginza and it happened to have two stores across the street from each other! I got to go to both and both were about 6 floors big!
I really didn’t photograph the right things here but there were so many variations of sticky notes, many you can get online or locally of course. They had tons of tiny character flags that I’m also sure you may fine online or locally, but seeing this selection in one place was pretty amazing. Lol
The informal Hanko stamps were available in many of the stationary shops. There’s no easy translation to the meanings or names available on these stamps so it was impossible for me to have time to really resend know which stamps to buy. I did select a few pretty designs but have no idea what they mean. Lol I will eventually find the translation! 😉
Here I took pics of some artwork they had hanging in the store. The one on the right was a great sample board of various watercolor papers. 💕
I liked the globes. This entire room was a selection of globes for sale.
I also regret not taking many many more pictures. I’m not sure why I blanked on that because i did plan on doing much more than I got! 🙁 I think I was just in awe of the selection.
The other major art supply shop was Pigment. They specialize in natural paint pigment and also offer a huge selection of brushes and Sumi inks, among other high end paint related supplies.
The selection of brushes was overwhelming, but they have all of the brushes available at a table at the end where you can use water and washi paper to get a feel for how each brush will hold and deliver paint. That was fun and very helpful! I chose 3 brushes here. I bought a few others at other shops.
These jars are filled with the ground pigments from various stones and minerals. The pigment can be blended with your medium base such as oil, acrylic or water! You basically select them based on how finely they are ground for intensity and the type of medium you’re using. For watercolors, the chunkier ones were my choice, though I do intend to use the powders for texture in some pieces also!
Pigment also serves as a small museum and they display many pieces of art that showcase the supplies they offer.
In Japan, all of the stores take their packaging and wrapping very seriously. Everything gets individually wrapped and everything is checked thoroughly to avoid sending you home with anything defective!
Here is a shot of all my goodies still packaged.
Some of my haul, this was mostly day one. I picked up some other random items during my trip but I think I failed to photo those too!
Above is a close up of my items from Pigment. The four larger brushes I got there. The smaller brush I got from Itoya. It also shows the two pigment colors I ended up with, I hard a hard time only choosing two!
The box in the upper left of the photo is a gold leafing set. It came with some glue, two colors and some tools, the tube has a mesh on the bottom for spreading the metal flakes. I’ll do a blog on using that soon!
Above are so,e close ups of my itoya haul. I was apparently obsessed with stickers and stickies 🙂
Some beautiful hand painted washi stationary ina shop in Kyoto. (below)
Some other shops I visited:
Tokyo Hands. This one was high on the list of some of the YouTube vloggers for stationary and art supplies. I did not think to get any pictures here. I did buy some things, mostly postcards and souvenirs I think though. I did not find the store especially extinguisher for items I could not get at home, however they still had a great selection of unique items. Also, the layout of the store was very confusing so the items I had on my list to buy there just weren’t easy to find, partly due to packaging and lack of translations vs the amount of time I had to spend. :(. Also, they carry ,UCB more than stationary and art supplies. They also carry housewares, clothing, hardware, and they do have tons of these little specialized stations in each department where you could get assistance or order special made wares from said department!
Another store I visited based on vlogger recommendations was Don Quijote Known as a $1.00 store, it was on the list for some art items and souvenirs too. The place was cramped, confusing and difficult to find what I was looking for. I left there with only a few items and no pictures! It would be a great place to stock up on a range of flavored KitKats though!
I can’t wait for another trip to Japan so I can spend some more time shopping some of the smaller shops too!