Why have I always wanted to visit Japan? The food? The sights? Their amazing bullet train system? No. None of those reasons.
I want to visit because of their stationary culture. “Stationary culture?” you ask. “That can’t be a thing, can it?” Oh, yes! It’s alive and well, as portrayed in the following video examples:
Now they all ordered from different shops than the ones I’ll mention below, and since my hospital bill’s paid off, I’ve decided it’s time to stock up. Here are seven online stationary shops (not all are based in Japan) I wish I could buy from all at once. My bank account can only choose one. Future haul blog post, anyone?
Stationery Pal, based out of Hong Kong, was among the first to pop up in my quest for new writing materials. They spell “stationery” a bit differently, so that’s not a typo. They sell the usual pens & pencils, notebooks & planners, stickers & tapes, but they also carry kpop merchandise – if you’re into that musical genre. The kpop section has minimal offerings for BTS, BlackPink, EXO, GOT7 and NCT Dream. But you’re here for stationary, not kpop, right?
Drawing, metallic, and brush pens. Ballpoint, dual lines and watercolor pens. Erasable highlighters, fountain and stainless steel pens. Circle, square and rectangle sticky notes. Grid memo pads, sticky tabs and black post it notes. Retro envelopes, soft cover A5 notebooks and free cut memo pads. I’m in stationary heaven. Everything is practical; nothing overly cute. Their Facebook and Instagram pages are quite active. I may order from this shop first; we shall see after I investigate the other six more thoroughly!
Next up is Tokyo Pen Shop. The Tokyo Pen Shop was founded in 2008 by enthusiasts who wanted Japanese writing materials closer to home, so they opened up their shop here in the States. Their offerings are similar to that of Stationery Pal, minus the music fandom section.
The main thing which concerns me is they only accept payments via PayPal, and I do not trust PayPal. My aunt had an issue with them several years back and her experience left a bad taste in my mouth. Mostly for her, but their lack of customer service further fueled a distrust in third party money transfer services. Anyway- on to happier things, right?
What’s happier than finding all sorts of writing implements, notepads, whiteboard accessories and more? Even with my PayPal issues, the Tokyo Pen Shop might still be in the game.
Many times writing is just that – therapy. It’s when you write for you and nobody else. Sometimes it’s a short story, a fan fiction, or a chapter you wish could fit in your novel but it just won’t work. Notebook Therapy gets us writers right off the bat with its company name. Notebook Therapy’s doesn’t carry just notebooks. They also have a wide variety of things from bullet journals and stickers to totes and stamps. Wait, stamps?? Any shop which still stocks stamps gets an automatic thumbs up from me. There’s also a triangular pouch pencil bag I have my eyes on.
If you’re looking for all things galaxy, momo cats and hamsters, the Kawaii Pen Shop is the place for you. This shop’s aesthetic is right up my ally. Who wouldn’t want something absolutely adorable to brighten their writing session? I’m especially excited about their bookmarks and paperclips, washi tape selection, and *gasp* even more stamps?! I’m a crafter and a writer. The potential for new supplies excites me, okay? There’s also a super cute Spring collection section, totes and backpacks, and note cards. I love sending snail mail, and my stash needs a face lift. So who knows? Perhaps I’ll choose to order first from Kawaii Pen Shop! (Also, “kawaii” in Japanese means “cute”).
I tried to stay away from big chain stores in this post, but I’ve always been fascinated by Daiso. They’re kind of like a Five Below type store but much nicer and, from what I’ve seen, their prices are decent and worth the money. No company’s without their own “hits” and “misses,” of course.
Because of Daiso’s size, they’re able to stock more variety than the other shops. I’m unsure if any of it is quite as unique as it is from, say Paper Plus Cloth or Kawaii Berry Shop. I am hoping, however, that they’ll be the most reliable in terms of shipping and payment processing.
From what I dug up, they carry every type of notebook, every type of pen, and every kind of pencil you can think of. I got lost in the rabbit hole that’s their pencil case selection, and drooled over their pen stands.
Next up is Toronto based Paper Plus Cloth. Not only do they have an online store for supplies, they also offer workshops. Their rustic storefront looks very inviting – a place I could easily spend several hours in. I’m most intrigued by their pen nibs and inks. I tried using my mother’s calligraphy set a few months ago but they no longer make the same sized ink refills. Paper Plus Cloth is also a strong contender to be the first shop I purchase from. Oh man is this going to be a hard decision….
Finally, here’s Kawaii Berry Shop. Similar in name to Kawaii Pen Shop (which made this post quite interesting to research). They’re different, I assure you! This store carries not only stationary, backpacks and phone cases, but clothing, accessories and plushies. I’m ignoring the clothing section, as I’m, well, curvy. Their pen selection’s the most unique featuring cats, owls, fruits, Potato Rabbits, donuts, leaf pens and more. The owl sharpeners are adorable and I really, really, REALLY want all their Totoro merchandise.
What online shops do you visit for your writing needs? Drop their links in the comment section below. As for which shop won? Find out in my haul blog post!