Japanese Stationery UK from the unusual, to refined to kawaii
When The Journal Shop first started, we had a real love affair with Japanese stationery. We were after all the first stationery shop in the UK to offer the cult Midori Traveler's Notebook and its accessories to Japanese stationery fans in the UK.
Why is Japanese stationery different? Whether it's minimalist and beautifully refined or adorably kawaii, Japanese stationery stands out from the crowd. In the near future we'll write a post about our favourite Japanese stationery shops so you can take a virtual Japanese stationery pilgrimage through them all. There are so many that you could easily spend the best part of a trip to Tokyo just looking at stationery shops. The obvious takeaway from that is that stationery seems to be something that is ingrained in the culture in Japan; it is appreciated. We are definitely noticing a move in that direction here in the UK.
For now, we've created a list of go to Japanese stationery brands, depending on what you're looking for.
Japanese paper / notebooks
You can't really beat Life Stationery's heritage here. Life has been making japanese notebooks for decades; their most well known notebook outside of Japan is probably the Life Noble notebook, with its distinctive covers and subtly foiled LIFE logo.
Tsubame is another Japanese notebook brand with rich heritage. Despite making notebooks for over 70 years, Tsubame don't seem to want to make much of a fuss about themselves. Picking up a Tsubame notebook, you'll find no reference to their name on it. The only clue is a small swallow printed or embossed onto the notebook. That is Tsubame's logo and the only branding you'll find on their notebooks.
If you prefer your notebooks completely minimalist in design, we recommend Mnemosyne notebooks. They come in a variety of sizes each aimed at a different stage of the creative process. Midori's MD Paper line has superb paper (fountain pen friendly of course) with completely minimalist design. You can accessorise them with a variety of covers (leather, paper or plastic). That same paper is what you'll find in the cult Traveler's Notebook.
And of course let's not forget legendary Tomoe River paper, known for its exceptional ink handling properties despite being amazingly thin.
Washi Tape / Masking Tape
Cute stationery and others
Midori is definitely top of the list here for cute stationery. For anything retro, check out Hightide (some of their products are branded as Penco). Check out Yamato glue for classic glues which anybody who grew up in Japan will immediately recognise from their school days. If you want to plan your life you can't do much better than a Hobonichi Techo planner, which has achieved cult status around the world. For writing in it we have a range of beautiful Japanese fountain pen inks from Kyoto Ink, Pilot's Iroshizuku and Namiki inks and more.
What's below is just a tiny portion of our Japanese stationery - click through to the brand pages to find the complete stationery collection from each brand.