Monday, December 25, 2006

Tokyo Shopping: Stationary Mecca

Ito-Ya: A big red paper clip adorns the façade of this 8-story stationary store on the main drag of Ginza making this an easy find in a sea of department stores and upscale designer flagships. After perusing Ito-Ya's dizzying varieties of stationary, writing implelements, rolls of rice paper, notebooks, calendars and greeting cards one can only conclude that there is a passion for paper in Japan. Ito-ya is the destination for all things paper-related. Everything from hand-made “washi” paper, derived from plant fibers and highly absorbent and textural, to multi-colored origami foil sheets ($3 pack of 10) is available. If letter-writing isn’t necessarily your thing you made want to splurge on a leather-bound desk calendar ($45), in both Japanese and English, it’s a handsome addition to any workspace. While you’re in Ginza, also check out Tokyo Kyukyodo across the street from Ito-Ya. Located in an historic brick storefront, this intimate store stocks hundreds of varieties of gorgeous hand-made paper and cards, some with intricate cut-outs and origami pop-ups. The regal rolls of printed paper line the walls and helpful employees will dutifully take down your selections and delicately unfurl and measure the paper making sure not to crease the designs. Prices vary according to selections but be prepared to pay about $5-$25 a square foot.
2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-Ku. 03-3561-8311
7-4 Ginza, Chuo-Ku. 03-3571-4429

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