The idea of a stationery store will certainly sound appealing to hobbyists, but for many people, it’s probably not a huge draw. Well I’m here to tell you, Itoya in Ginza, Tokyo will change your mind about that. Itoya is a stationery store that is so well-thought, with things you probably won’t see outside of Japan, it’s literally a must-see.
What is Itoya?
Itoya is a 100-year old stationery store that was completely renovated in 2015. The Ginza location (called G.Itoya) is 12 stories (yes, you read that right, 12 stories!) of letter-writing and craft supplies – and the variety is astonishing (for instance, they have nearly 1,000 paper types to choose from!). Itoya carries everything from affordable trinkets such as luggage tags and postcards, to items costing tens of thousands of Yen like customized pens and wedding invitations on imported paper.
Be sure to wander through every floor. They each have their own unique concept and merchandise. For instance, the second floor has a relaxing, open space designed to allow customers to write letters home (and they even have special stamps and their own mailbox!). The modern design of the Pen & Ink Bar is especially intriguing. Itoya also carries supplies for: Scrapbooking, origami, home organization, painting and drawing. (And conveniently, they have an on-site cafe and juice bar, so you can spend as much time in the store as you like!)
History of Itoya
Itoya was founded in 1904 and was designed as an adult’s retreat to be creative. The business has expanded, and now has multiple locations in Tokyo, as well as stores in Osaka, Kyoto and online. Originally called Itoya, the Ginza flagship store changed its name to G.Itoya when it was redesigned and modernized in 2015.
Where is G.Itoya?
Itoya is located in the posh section of Tokyo, just off the main drag, Chuo Dori. To get there, take the Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hibiya or Marunouchi Lines to Ginza Station. Go to Exit A7 and walk north. G.Itoya will be on your right. Look for the red paper clip on the store’s exterior.
Address: 2-Chome-7-15, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
For more detailed information on how to get to Ginza from various parts of Tokyo, check out How to Get to Ginza
So, not only is Itoya a well-designed, unique place to visit while in Ginza, it’s not as well-known as many of the other Tokyo attractions, so it’s not usually crowded. And because the company’s goal is to bolster creativity, each floor is designed to inspire you (and it will completely change your mind about stationery stores!).
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