For an updated version of this post, visit my new site Must Have Stationery.
Muji is a popular variety store in Japan offering a wide selection of high-quality and stylish products at reasonable prices such as stationery, household goods, furniture, clothes, cosmetics, food, and many other useful items. You can see my list of must-haves from all of these sections Here.
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It has quickly become one of my favorite stores here in Japan and I never miss an opportunity to go in and browse whenever I pass one (or since 2022 visit a Lawson convenience store). For me, it’s much like Target in the U.S. where I go in just to look, or to buy one small item, and then I leave with way more than I need. But, lucky for me right now, Muji products in Japan are significantly less expensive than the same product elsewhere. And, while Muji sells furniture, bedding, and more, my go-tos are always stationery because with most of the products being about $1-2 I feel like I can pick something up even if I don’t need it right now. I mean you can always use another notebook, right?
Today I’d like to introduce the must-have stationery from Muji stores in Japan. As I said, Muji offers a wide variety of household and consumer goods that are high quality and have a minimalist Japanese-nordic design (You’ll definitely get IKEA vibes from some of the furniture. But because they’re probably the most known around the world, I wanted to focus on the best of the best from their collection. It was so hard to narrow down the best Muji stationery because there are so many great options for planners, pens, sticky notes, and anything you might need for your home office or for studying.
This list will help you make your shopping list for your visit to Muji in Japan, but I’ve also linked some of the products so you can order them right now if you need to.
Read Also: Best Japanese Stationery
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO
The paper is extremely fountain pen-friendly and smooth. If you use a very wet pen such as a Ballpoint pen, or highlighter, the ink never bleeds through. There are so many varieties of notebooks but my favorites are the Double-Wire plain notebooks in A6. I also have the Pocketnote in A6 and Plain Notebook. But all are great options depending on your preferences. This might be one of the best gifts from Muji you could bring home as a souvenir because they’re inexpensive and everyone can use a notebook at one time or another.
Muji pens are absolutely everywhere. From study vloggers to instagrammers, everyone loves the simple clear tube and various colors of the Muji pens. I first tried them to see if they really lived up to the hype and they have since become one of my favorite pens. It also helps that they are so inexpensive at 90 Yen each ($0.70USD) which is outrageous. I pick up a new pen every time I step in the store simply because of this. You can also get ink refills for 70 Yen to cut down on waste and cost. I personally think the best Muji pens are the black in .38.
I bought these inexpensive word cards to help study my hiragana and kanji. They are honestly one of the best Muji products simply because of their simplicity and low price. They are small, easy to carry around, and I don’t have to worry about making my own flashcards or about them getting misplaced. You can also rearrange the cards after a while with the adjustable clasp so you can make your studying more challenging.
Don’t let the simple design of this planner fool you, Muji makes an excellent, minimalist, and inexpensive planner: a wonderful planner in which the days of the week take up a single page, and the opposite is reserved for notes and to do lists. The clear plastic cover is made of a polyvinyl (they say you can recycle it) and is perfect for tucking away extra to-do lists.
Read Also: Guide to Hobonichi Planners
If you’re someone who prefers an undated planner, this is a great inexpensive option. You can fill in the dates yourself to give you more freedom and flexibility when it comes to planning. I like to use these for editorial calendars so I can start when I want to and skip months or weeks if I don’t need them, unlike for a personal planner where I am almost always writing something for each week or month.
If you are looking for something different to the standard sticky notes you can get at Target take a look at these. They are good quality, really sticky and resusible if you need to move them around, and, I think, a really great look. I prefer more neutral tones when it comes to stationery and if you do too these are for you.
These mechanical pencils are inexpensive and great to look at. You can get plenty of lead inserts as well. Muji also has other versions of mechanical pencils like this low-gravity one that makes it more stable to write with. The grip is also knurled to prevent finger slipping. Another smart design is at the top of the pen. The little top cap has a small display window for changing the hardness of the lead core. All you have to do to change the label is to twist the cap.
Muji’s plastic erasers come in black and white but I just love something about the black option. They’re really high quality and super cheap so you might as well pick one, or a few, up while you visit.
These inexpensive pen cases can fit a lot of your pens, markers, rulers, and more. They’re easy to slip into a bag and head out. They also have a hard clear plastic option if you want a little more protection or stability for your stationery.
Muji rulers, I think, are a really inexpensive metal but aesthetically pleasing options for any measuring or line drawing you need to do. Rulers are a necessity for bullet journaling and this one will fit nicely in your pen case. The only possible downside (if you’re American at least), is if you need to measure anything in inches then you’re out of luck. But… centimeters work just as well…
This is a controversial (can a bag be controversial?) item. It’s basically a bag within a bag. If you’ve ever been to Japan or know anything about Japanese organization you know these are pretty essential. It’s a mesh bag that you can put in your bag (there are various sizes) that help you to organize your things. This one is 1290 yen and has helped me to organize my laptop bag so my notebooks, pens, sticky notes, and power cords aren’t just floating around in the bottom.
More Great Options for your Home Office
- Countertop Dust Pan
- Erasible Pen
- Heat Proof Glass Teapot
- Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
- Drawer Organizers
- File Boxes
- Storage Containers
- Handheld shredder
Read Also: English Bookstores in Tokyo
Tips for Shopping at Muji
Where is Muji?
Lucky for you, Muji stores can be found in almost every shopping mall in Japan. There are also standalone locations in big cities like Tokyo. The map below shows the locations in just Tokyo, and if you zoom in on the Muji store locator you would find even more locations pop up. So you’ll most likely find one just wandering around or searching for a mall close to you.
Also, as of May 2022, select Muji items, especially stationery, packed sauces, and baked goods, as well as beauty products and some clothing basics will be available in Lawson convenience stores. As of writing (June 2022) they’re primarily in Tokyo prefecture and the Kanto region but will be in every convenience store in Japan by 2023.
However, some of the best locations are:
- The 7-story flagship store in Ginza (about 10-15 minute walk from Tokyo station), with a diner in the basement level, bakery, huge book selection, bicycle rentals, kid’s play area, and hotel on the 6th floor. If you love Muji this is your dream.
- Muji Shibuya. The great thing about the Shibuya location is it’s connected to huge Loft store. So you can get your fix of great Muji Stationery, as well as stationery like Hobonichi and Traveler’s Notebook as well as other home goods.
- Muji Ariake is location in the Tokyo Bay Area (great if you’re visiting Disney) and is the largest Muji in the Kanto region. This store has all of your favorite Muji items plus home building (?) bulk food (nuts, rice, pasta, candy), a tea blending service, and bulk cleaning and detergent purchases.
If you can’t make it to Japan yet, there are locations in North America (New York, Boston, Toronto), as well as Europe, and Asia and Australia. Find a location near you.
Another thing to note is that many Muji stores, especially smaller ones outside of tourist areas, won’t have “MUJI” written on their storefront. Instead, it will be a deep red sign with “無印良品”This can confuse people at first when they’re unsure what they’re looking for, so just be on the lookout for the image in the photo below.
Where to buy Muji products
If you’re not near a Muji store you’re not out of luck. You can find Muji products online on the website, or on Amazon.
The great thing about Muji is all of their products have English on the tags so you’ll never be confused about what you’re looking at or what scent, style, flavor, etc. you’re choosing.
If you visit one of the major stores in Tokyo, especially one of the 3 I mentioned above, you’ll most likely have English speakers help you. However, if you visit smaller towns, you’ll be spoken to in Japanese.
Some things to know is they’ll always (in my experience) ask 2 questions when you’re checking out.
1. If you have a point card (ポイントカードはお持ちですか?/ぽいんとかーどはおもちですか?/pointo ka-do wa omochi desu ka?) If you’re just visiting Japan, you’ll most likely not have a point card (if you do want a point card you have to change your app store region Japan) so you can say no or “Nai desu” (ないです).
2. They’ll ask if you want a bag (袋にお入れしますか? / Fukuro ni oireshimasu ka?). You can answer “Hai, onegaishimasu” (はい、おねがいします) for yes, or “Daijobu desu” (大丈夫です), for no.
If you’re not sure what they said, you can always say “Sumimasen, Nihongo wakarimasen” (すみません、にほんご わかりません.) meaning “sorry I don’t understand Japanese.”
Read Also: Our Basic Guide to Japanese
In some stores, the workers will take their time and bag your items for you. In others, you’ll be handed a bag. In this case there is usually a small counter near the checkout with paper to wrap your glass items as well as tape. You can take your items there to bag them yourself.
This list is by no means exhaustive of the products you could get from Muji japan because there are just so many great things to find. But you can always come to Japan or search their online catalog yourself to see what sparks joy (yes I did just quote Marie Kondo because Muji just reminds me of her so much.).
Are you ready for Japan?
- Book Your Flights– To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is a must. Some great options are Google Flights for the calendars to find the cheapest options, Skiplagged, and Skyscanner. For more options see our resources page. For Japan, check flights for both Tokyo Airports (Haneda and Narita), as well as Osaka (Kansai).
- Find Transportation- Buy your JR Pass for your bullet train and inter-city travel before you leave home. Research a Suica card, the public transportation card you can either buy before or as soon as you arrive.
- Book Your Accommodation– Look at Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia for hotels in Japan. You can also look at AirBnB or VRBO as we’ve had great luck finding inexpensive, large, and clean homes to rent.
- Book Tours and Experiences- Check Klook or Viator for some of the best tours and attractions for a great price for experiences like Tokyo Skytree, TeamLab Borderless, and Universal Osaka. For Tokyo Disney Resort, check my guide here.
- Stay Connected– Order a pocket WIFI for airport pickup if you’re with a family or group, or order a SIM card just for your phone. Check out our guide to staying connected here.
- Buy Travel Insurance- I always recommend World Nomads for insurance. It’s better to protect yourself in case of mishaps. Learn more about World Nomads in this FAQ post.
- Pack Your Bags– Check out my packing lists, or my favorite travel gear to help you remember all of the essentials.
- Learn About Japan– Learn about Japan with guidebooks like Lonely Planet, or, shameless plug, search around my site for more info.
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN COMPENSATED LINKS. PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO