Upon a Fold

A little peek into the world of paper artistry

paper & tokyo - ito-ya, spiral + more... August 6, 2010

If you only have time to visit one paper shop in Tokyo, make it Ito-ya in Ginza. It’s nine levels of stationery goodness and most definitely the mecca for paper lovers all around the world, so make the pilgrimage people!

Ito-ya have several stores around Tokyo but their Ginza store is the best and it offers the largest selection of stationery you’ll have ever seen before. It’s mind blowing and I’ll confess, that my recent visit there lasted almost 7 hours! Truly, I’m not joking, not at all :) I think the staff thought I was crazy. You might think 7 hours in one shop is crazy too, but this place is huge and there are thousands of paper products to be discovered and admired.

I wasn’t able to take photos inside so I’ve taken pictures of the items I bought instead. Ito-ya’s selection of papers is amazing and surprisingly affordable too.

papershop_13 papershop_19 papershop_20 papershop_22 papershop_21 papershop_23 papershop_12 papershop_25 papershop_27 papershop_29 papershop_30 papershop_28 papershop_26
Another must-visit shop in Tokyo is Spiral Market in Aoyama. It has a great selection of cards and designer paper products and there is always loads happening on all floors of the Spiral building. Inside there is a cafe, record shop, garden, a very big spiral staircase, events hall, lounge, exhibition space and more. On the day I visited there was a student exhibition showcasing some amazing architectural models. Take a look below, they’re incredible.

papershop_6 papershop_9 papershop_4 papershop_3 papershop_10 papershop_11
And here are some of the paper goods I bought from the shop.

papershop_8 papershop_24 papershop_16 papershop_15 papershop_14 papershop_18
And if you’re wondering where this cute little blackboard signage came from, I shot it inside Tokyu Hands. Yep another must-visit shop in Tokyo. Tokyu Hands sells pretty much everything, but their range of craft supplies, stationery and model making is extra special and superb! It’s the ultimate in DIY and a great place to go to find quirky little gadgets to bring back home as gifts. The sushi erasers and sticker sets I brought back, were definitely a hit with my friends.

There are many shops and department stores in Tokyo that sell a great range of paper goods. Below are three more you should definitely visit, if you have the time.

Loft – A cool department store in Shibuya with a good selection of stationery, especially cards.
Parco – This one is also in Shibuya. Just go downstairs to BF1 where you will find a great selection of craft books, stationery and a mini Claska Gallery shop & “DO”.
Haibara – A really lovely selection of Japanese papers and paper goods.


Melinda — 06 August at 05:08PM

Oh my lordy, it looks to be paper heaven. I will start to save for an air fare right now!

Jason Thompson — 07 August at 01:28AM

Always wanted to see inside Ito-Ya, they’re customers of ours. Thank you so much for posting the images. Looks amazing! PS: One of our colleagues told us that the warehouse for Ito-Ya is far from the store, and since the store is so small, and doesn’t have room for a warehouse, the owners came up with the idea to have their inventory in roving trucks. Sometimes parked out back, sometimes not, but the majority of their inventory is on the road, close by for quick replenishments. I think that’s amazing. Thinking outside the box. Also a waste of gas… Thanks!

Ceci — 07 August at 01:37AM

ito-ya! been waiting for this one. :) thanks for all the other recommendations too which are inspiring as always!

Alice — 07 August at 12:33PM

Hyperventilating now…

Justine — 08 August at 11:25PM

Enjoyed reading your comments guys, thank you.

Jason – Wow, roving inventory trucks! That’s crazy!! Amazing, thanks for sharing with me. I’ll look out for those trucks next time I’m there. Might even carjack one if the opportunity arises ; )

Kate — 09 August at 09:31PM

Just made a list of those amazing shops for the next time i visit Tokyo! Thanks!

inge — 10 August at 01:27AM

wow, what a nice shop! so funny, i bought that book ‘ i ride a bicycle every day’ in kyoto!

Justine — 10 August at 12:19PM

Kate – A list is a great idea, more shops to come!

Inge – Yes, I just saw the book on your blog and many other gorgeous paper things too. Look forward to seeing more :)

Kate — 11 August at 06:36PM

Just swoony, Justine. I loved Tokyu Hands (and probably spent about three hours in there! Also can’t go past the Daiso in Harajuku – so much goodness.

Also, how great are are multi-level Tokyo stores?! Builds so much anticipation.

Justine — 11 August at 11:29PM

Kate – I didn’t get to Daiso, but I hear it’s crazy! Next time :)

jacqueline — 20 August at 12:40AM

I know what you mean. I also was totally delighted in Ito-ya and bought some of their wonderful papers just to hang on the wall. Don’t know the Spiral Market and will hastily jot it down for the next time I’m in the area. Thanks for sharing!

Jennie — 03 February at 10:05AM

Oh how I miss you and your stationery stores Tokyo – I could spend all day just looking at the cute stickers at Tokyu Hands!!! I think I have a lifetime supply …. :)

Leslie — 12 February at 03:00PM

Ah stopped by all of these wonderful places when I was in Tokyo last year…We were staying in a hotel just round the corner from Ito-Ya, very dangerous I stopped in there every morning and evening on the way to and from the subway! It is indeed stationery heaven. The Japanese do it so well.

Justine — 13 February at 11:28PM

Leslie – A hotel that close is far too dangerous!! Happy memories :)

Colin Canfield — 09 November at 12:00PM

You know there is a Daiso in Chatswood now? I haven’t been to the Harajuku one so I don’t know how it compares….

( the rest of your shop list though have taken far too much out of days every time I’m in Tokyo! :–)

Justine — 25 November at 01:22PM

Colin I didn’t know that. I thought they were in Melbourne only. I’ll have to check it out.

Hahaha, happy to hear you have been paper shop exploring!!! Hope it was worth it :)

julie haas — 31 January at 02:20PM

thank you.very informative.My dream is to go to Tokyo and just buy paper.I might have a chance soon and will bring this along.great blog.

Leave a Comment

Only the comment field is required. Omitting the ID fields increases your risk of being mistaken for spam.

tweet this
  • UAF_B_HM
  • HOF