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Itoya: Ultimate Japanese stationery shopping


Guess I've been a sucker for stationery, paper and ink my whole life. From kindergarden cardboard art through art-school grade calculus notes featuring highlighter and metallic ink, you could see my taste for harmonious colors and graphic art breathing through my technical education. Also worth noting is my limited memory, as Chris calls it "the cheap RAM" - where pictures stick far longer than text.

Then, I moved to Japan. The country where paper folding art, origami「折り紙」 has been practiced since the Edo Period (1603-1867). The country where my beloved gel pens were invented by Sakura Color in 1984 - the year I was born. The country where erasers are art and envelopes a core aspect of the main events in life (birth, wedding, death).

Itoya store in Ginza has a 113 year history, is the mecca of stationery. Now spreads accross 2 buildings (G.Itoya in the main street of Ginza, with more refined things which you can see in this post; K.Itoya right behind, with common items like notebooks in B4 sizing - which I love). The store has it all, from pens through agendas, greeting cards or speciality paper. Just like you cannot leave Scandinavia without browsing through a furniture store, you cannot leave Japan without browsing through Itoya.

Itoya Ginza [floor plan] open 10AM-8PM (Sundays until 7PM)
Ginza Station (Marunouchi, Hibiya, Ginza lines)

Sometimes I use these stickers - and I am not afraid to admit it.
Japanese are 100% into planning. Hence the importance of a schedule in their life is huge. Typical answer when you ask to a Japanese friend whether it is possible to meet is "I need to check my schedule..." which sometimes sounds funny to us in Southern Europe, we are not good at planning, specially for off-work related matters - this reflection is about myself, I exhaust my planning brain at work so I am terrible planning for leisure matters :P.
Itoya arranges weekend are events were local artists' work is showcased and sold to new customers.
Delicate paper, delicate wrapping.
Erasers come in packs but sometimes pick n mix is allowed, assuming you can find what you want in the large boxes laid around the "eraser" area.

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