I love Japan. I’ve been there 3 times now and the second time I went I spent the last day wandering around Tokyo on a quest to build my own collection of craft supplies. Home to the some of the best quality art tools, paints and stationary, here’s 3 art supply stores in Tokyo inspire your creativity.
Calligraphy and Lettering
Location: 2 Chome-7-15 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Itoya is 12 stories of bliss. Located in central Ginza, each floor has its own story or theme. I spent most my time browsing different types of speciality paper and pens. With an impressive selection calligraphy and lettering tools such as a nibs, inks and brush pens you’ll find a fancy pen or two and some beautiful paper. Sailor calligraphy tools are my favourite. I swooned after (and purchased) a limited edition calligraphy pen paired with a pretty autumn coloured ink. It’s still in its box and maybe on a whim one day, I’ll write my shopping list with it.
Location: Japan, 〒104-0061 Tokyo, Chuo City, Ginza, 8−7-2
This store is tucked away in a little nook in Ginza. I circled it 3 times before almost giving up then I caught sight of a little sign and finally honed in on its location. Founded in 1917, this quaint family run store mixes paints by hand and binds brushes individually. I picked up a watercolour brush pen and a mixing palette. There’s something special about handmade tools, I like the idea of someone taking the time to hammer out a sheet of stainless steel into a paint palette, it feels more authentic than something slammed together by a machine and mass sold. If you’re in town, find this store and pay a visit, it’s well worth the search.
Draw with Oil Pastels
Location: Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−1−1
Sekaido is an Officeworks for art lovers. This place was so big I spent around 3 hours here. Much like the rest of Japan, everything is very well organised. Move through the floors and you’ll find a natural segue from paints to brushes to paper – all reasonably priced as well. Sekaido has an impressive collection of oil pastels and craft paper too. I found a packet of Rembrandt Oil Pastels which almost ended up in the bin at the airport. Remember to check them in, not stuff them in your hand carry like me. One day, I plan on drawing an apple with them.
What other Tokyo art supply stores can you recommend?