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Many of you may have heard of those “shopping haul” videos on YouTube, where people post videos of their latest shopping spree purchases.  Well, here is my version of it…sort of.  OK, I just want to put a disclaimer out there that I’m NOT posting this to brag/show off.  I’m merely showing you a little glimpse of some of the interesting things offered in this ever-changing city, & also showing you some things that relate to my hobbies & interests.

Two of my favorite “staple” stores that I always must visit whenever I come to Japan are LoFT and Tokyu Hands.  These two are my absolute “go to” stores for any type of stationery, home goods or souvenirs/gifts that either not available or are too expensive in the U.S.  For those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning, you will probably know by now that I’m a huge stationery (i.e. pens, stickers, office supplies) fanatic.  In one of my previous entries, I posted a photo of my hobby box overflowing with colored pens & stickers galore.  Whenever I travel to Japan, I always make it a habit to stop by these two places.  While I’m there, I try to stock up on a lot of my essential hobby items, since I know I’ll be paying the regular posted price, & will not have to deal with those pesky markups & import prices.  Yes, I understand that quite a lot of the items I purchase here in Japan can also be bought in the U.S., but these items are so much more expensive back in my hometown…so I try to stock up as much as I can (& stick to the items that are not sold overseas).

 

Here’s what I got from LoFT:

1. sticker sets, 2. UV resistant & waterproof decals

decorative border stickers in gold & pink glitter

 

Here’s what I got from Tokyu Hands:

1. miscellaneous greeting cards, 2. decorative paper tape, 3. pen refills, 4. Pilot FriXion Ball Knock Retractable Gel Ink Pens, 5. various sticker sets

1. schedule diary for my sister, 2. my schedule diary, 3. schedule diary for my mom

 

I LOVE stationery & office supplies (& stickers!), especially ones from Japan (because those are the cutest with very practical designs & functions).  I really enjoy shopping for cool pens, cute letter sets & notepads, & fun items like slim staplers & colorful masking tape for gift wrapping & crafts.  My fiancee is somewhat amused with my borderline obsession of these things & sometimes gets playfully annoyed about it, especially when I can spend up to an hour or so browsing the stationery shop at the shopping mall.  (It’s like when you take your boyfriend to go shoe shopping & there’s no place for him to sit down & play games on his cell phone…)  This is even more true when I go shopping in Japan…because 98% of my favorite stationery -slash- home goods stores are all located within Japan (Tokyo).

These are the top 4 stores where I mainly buy all of my stationery & office goods:

  • Maido Stationery SF
    This is my favorite stationery goods store outside of Japan.  There are 3 locations within the San Francisco area which I often visit on the weekends.  This store offers a wide variety of stationery goods such as: pens/pencils/fountain pen sets, art supplies, notebooks/notepads, binders/folders/portfolios/photo albums, various glues, tapes & adhesives, stickers & decals galore, pen cases, photo ID cases & lanyards, scissors & staplers, etc.  This is my go-to store when I need a specific item that I can’t find at any random Office Depot or Staples chain store, or when I want that fun & functional exclusive item from Japan (& I can’t just fly all the way to Japan for it).
  • Tokyu Hands
    This is by far my MOST FAVORITE store of all! (I cannot write enough great things about this place.)  For those of you who have never heard of this home goods mega chain store from Japan, to describe this store I would say it’s like a cross between Home Depot & Target.  Each floor of this mega department store hosts a different home goods category such as: lumber & construction tools, home furniture, electronics, arts & crafts, kitchen & cleaning supplies, beauty & makeup (& the list goes on…)  One of the main reasons why I love this store is because, not only does it carry almost every home goods item I could ever want, but the goods also have IKEA-style affordable prices & are durable/good-quality at the same time.
  • LoFT
    This store is similar to Tokyu Hands, but with less of the Home Depot-style home improvement items.  So, they still carry home goods (ie. kitchen & bath goods, furniture, bed linens, etc.), but no power tools or home DIY stuff.  To me, this store is like every Stationery-phile or Arts & Crafts lover’s dream store…lots of DIY craft kits & supplies, greeting cards/cardstock/letter sets/stickers by the ga-zillions, as well as the standard office supplies (ie. staplers, pens, paper clips, tape, scissors, desk sets, calendars, datebook planners, etc.)  They also have a photo-printing department that can custom print greeting cards for the Holidays or any special occasion.  I can practically spend hours in this store…which my fiancee cannot stand.
  • JetPens.com
    This is an online webstore where I buy most of my pens & pencils.  There’s not much to say other than this webstore has a HUGE variety of pens, pencils & writing accessories that will really amaze you.  This website should be on the “favorites list” of every pen fanatic!  Not only do they carry a large selection of pens directly from Japan, but their prices are extremely reasonable, & if you make a purchase of $30 USD or more, your shipping cost is FREE.  How awesome is that?!  Here is a better example of how to describe this webstore:

    Kanji (Chinese characters) are much more complex than the English alphabet. A single character can have up to 30+ strokes! As a result of this intricacy, many writing instruments in Asia are much more precise than those available in the United States. At JetPens you’ll be amazed to find fine point writing instruments that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. In addition, we have mind-boggling colors that will beat the selection at any local office store. JetPens is a home for pen fanatics.

Now down to the real reason why I posted this blog…

My Top 5 Stationery Goods





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