Okay so… I’m just gonna tell it like it is: this roundup post of Tokyo art stores is going to be long. Why? Because quite frankly, they have the best art stores on the planet and I can’t shut up about it.

So… if you like (k, love) art stores like I do and you feel like doing a little perusing without actually having to leave your house, you’re in luck.

Or, even better- if you’re going to Tokyo and need to know wussup, I got your back. Also, start getting excited… cause it really is as awesome as you’re hoping it will be. (PS: if you only have time for a few, go to Sekaido, Itoya and Loft. You’re welcome.)

Lastly, if you don’t have any plans to go to Japan but you’re a huge stationery/art supply addict, you need to put Tokyo on your bucket list. Like, now.


First things first, if you are following me and/or reading this blog, you are likely interested in the same types of art supplies I am- mainly:

-any and all brush pens
-paint pens
-pretty paper/agendas/stationery
-paintbrushes (but mainly round styles, best for lettering and/or a liiiiittle watercolouring)
-pointed pen nibs
-pointed pen holders
-calligraphy ink
-and basically anything else having to do with calligraphy or lettering or watercolour

SO, for the purposes of this post, I will be rounding up what I found in terms of those supplies specifically. That does not mean you won’t find anything else in all of these stores (cause you will). I just couldn’t have spent any more time shopping and taking photos of other supplies in each store or else I wouldn’t have a boyfriend anymore (side note: turns out I have the most incredibly patient boyfriend on the planet who let me shop for almost two full days).

Secondly, I’m putting these in the same order in which I visited them– which I did based on where I was staying in the city and how close together each store was. I suggest, if you’re going to check all of these out, to put them in a similar order if you can, and make things easy transportation-wise.

And laaaastly, but not leastly- if you see a star (or two, or three) beside a store name, it means it was one of my faves. I’m going to rate my top 3 for you- three stars is the highest!

Sound good? K. Let’s get into it.


1. SEKAIDO***

Sekaido was my first stop, and the clear winner in my mind! It was big enough to have everything I could have hoped for, but small enough that I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. I walked every. single. aisle. of this store and loved every second. It had a huuuuuge variety of pens, papers and paints, and a great selection of paper, too. Definitely a must-visit!

Located in: Shinjuku (but has other locations, too)
Best for: good prices on preeeetty much everything I hoped to find. Pens, paints, inks, nibs, papers, stationery- you name it.
What I got: See below (& click the image to enlarge!)

 


2. TOKYU HANDS

With 7 floors and multiple levels on each floor, Tokyo Hands is a huge department store- so it’s not all art supplies. It has a huuuuuge variety of things, including lots of crafty/nifty things, but because it carries so much stuff, the art section specifically is a bit less specialized. It covered most of the bases, but had a bit less selection. I also got overwhelmed and lost pretty quickly in here! Give yourself lots of time to visit it- it’s massive!

Located in: Shibuya (but has other locations, too)
Best for: Buying your brush pens at the same time as your fishing equipment, toothpaste and party supplies. (Sorta a joke, but not really!)
What I got: See below (& click the image to enlarge!)


3. DAISO

Daiso is a dollar store, so it is definitely cheap! It has tons of stuff other than art supplies, but specific to art supplies it has some surprisingly awesome brands of brush pens for really great prices. They are all pens you can find at other stores, too, but if you’re in a Daiso, don’t forget to look for them!

Located in: Shibuya (but has lots of other locations, too)
Best for: Cheap black brush pens
What I bought: Nothing! (Say WHAAAA?! Ryan was so proud when I came out of this store empty handed.)


4. LOFT*

If you’re a fan of planners, journals, and pretty paper, this store is a muuuuuust. I think it must have literally every kind of journal and planner ever made. It also had a big selection of pens, pencils, pencil cases and some other art supplies- but the main focus is definitely paper products! I absolutely loved this store- highly recommend visiting!

Located in: Shibuya (but has other locations, too)
Best for: Stationery- this store is like heaven for planners, journals, and awesome paper products.
What I bought: See below! I really restrained myself in this store due to lack of space in my backpack… but I got a few things. (See below, & click the image to enlarge!)


5. UEMATSU ART SUPPLY

Uematsu was a pleasant and rare find- this wasn’t one of the main stores I had on my list to visit. It was a last minute addition and I’m so glad I went! It is very much an “artist supply” store- so you won’t find as many cutesy supplies or impractical products, which is sorta nice! If you’re looking for technical/functional art supplies, this store is awesome. It also has an amaaaaaazing wall of pigment colours- every colour you could ever imagine (which is great, because, like you’ll see later in this post, I wasn’t able to make it to the famous “Pigment” store).

Located in: Shibuya
Best for: The basics- high quality, smaller selection of the “right” stuff- no fluff!
What I bought: At this point I’d already bought quite a bit of stuff, so I had to hold myself back a bit. BUT, they had a great selection of high quality paper and nibs, so I couldn’t resist a few. (See below, & click the image to enlarge!)


6. ITOYA**

Itoya totally met my expectations. I’d had a few people tell me to go to this one, and I’m so glad they did! It was totally packed full of people when I got there, and I could tell why. They had a huge selection of pens (including some really nice, high quality fountain pens) on the first floor, where I spent most of my time of course! Heading upstairs I was equally impressed, by their selection of excellent paper, paints, and more. It was really, really awesome. I spent about 2 hours in there! It was a little smaller than Sekaido, but similar in the selection of products. It was also a little “prettier”, if that’s something you care about 😉

Best for: A well laid out, relaxing experience with all the supplies you need!
Located in: Ginza
What I bought: If I had done it earlier in the trip, I would have bought way more stuff. By the time I got to this store, I’d already overflowed my backpack so I had to be really careful! (See below, & click the image to enlarge!)

8. PIGMENT

So, just to end this post off on a funny (but also very sad) note… I gotta tell the story about Pigment.

We had 2 days left in Tokyo, and I convinced Ryan to *pleeeeeease* agree to take me to one more art store. “JUST ONE MORE! CAUSE THIS ONE’S SUPPOSED TO BE AMAZING!”, I begged. He agreed (love him) and off we went, to take 3 trains to get there.

So we finally get there… and…. ITS FREEKIN’ CLOSED ON MONDAYS. I was so heartbroken you don’t even understand. Seriously.

ANYWAY, I have no review or photographic evidence to provide you, since I couldn’t go in. But… check out this video if you wanna see more about it!

Guess I’m just going to have to go back to Tokyo again someday! 😀


So? Do you wanna go to Tokyo now? I THOUGHT SO!

Long story short: if you go, and you have limited time- go to Sekaido, Itoya and Loft. My mind was BLOWN in these stores. Here’s what my entire haul looked like, with all the stores combined! Not too shabby, amirite?! (Click the image to enlarge!)

Have you been to Tokyo? Did you visit these stores? Did you find some I didn’t?! Hit me up in the comments below! 🙂

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