I love Japanese Stationery. And I know I’m not the only one who does. Even people who don’t have a crazy stationery fetish come to Japan and find themselves wandering through the endless aisles of stationery and marvel at their unique and aesthetic designs. Last week I talked about where to buy stationery in Japan. But, not everyone lives in Japan—like me—or is even able to visit. SO, I wanted to put together a list of where to buy Japanese Stationery online so you can get your stationery fix without ever leaving the house.
There are so many Japanese sellers on Etsy selling stationery and you can find just about anything you’re looking for: memo sheets, stickers, stamps, journals, pens… I could list forever, but if you can dream it it’s likely Etsy has it. I find that for the most part Japanese sellers are very honest with their prices and don’t drive up the profit margin to an extreme. There are often times I find sticker packs or washi tapes for only about $1 more than what they retail for in Japan! Just start searching!
Some of my favorites are: Muji Gel Pens, Kokuyo Jibun Techo, Kokuyo Jibun Techo Index Tabs, Zebra Mildliners, Tombow Mono Eraser, Kokuyo Karu Cut. You can also see my favorites on this post or on my Etsy Profile Page.
eBay requires a bit more hunting than Etsy, but it’s still a good option. Beware that a lot of options for cheap washi tape and stickers come from China, where the quality is less than ideal. I made the mistake when I first started journaling of buying a bunch of cheap $1 washi from Chinese eBay sellers, only to have them arrive and they hardly even stick to the paper, making them useless. There is a huge difference in quality between these cheap tapes and proper Japanese tapes, so try to find items that come from Japan! You can use your search term + “Japan” or “Japanese” to help narrow down results.
Jet Pens doesn’t carry just pens, but a wide arrange of notebooks, washi tapes, pencil cases, and more! Best of all, free shipping over $25, so you can shop guilt-free and get a great haul for a good price! I highly recommend JetPens as they have a lot of great options for decent prices. Their Youtube videos are also oddly satisfying to watch and will make you want to buy every pen ever.
Stationery Pal is a relatively new find for me. Based in the U.S., they have free shipping and really decent prices. While most things are slightly more than what you would pay here in Japan, they’re not as bad as some other sites I’ve seen. They have Japanese favorites like Muji pens and notebooks, Kokuyo Campus notebooks and planners, mildliners, Zebra Sarasa, Pilot Juice Pens, and the list goes on. They also have a range of their own for inexpensive products like bullet journals. Use the coupon code: MACKENZIEJERVIS for 10% off your order.
Online Japanese Shops
This is undoubtedly the best and cheapest way to buy Japanese stationery if you want to buy a lot, but is also a bit more involved than just buying from any of the shops above. You can buy directly from Japanese stationery shops like LoFT and Tokyu Hands to get items for what they retail for in Japan. The process to do this would be paying a proxy (like FromJapan) to order the items for you and then ship them from their warehouse to you. To me, this is worth the hassle because there is so much more on these websites than what you’ll find on any of the websites above, and once you have the ability to proxy, you can buy from all sorts of various Japanese websites with confidence!
Did you know there’s a USA store for popular Japanese brand Muji? You can get all of the popular stationery that the simplistic brand carries right on their store, along with a bunch of other clothing and home goods that emphasize the importance of simplicity.
You can buy anything on Amazon, right? Seriously, go look, I bet you can find some random, unique thing that no one would ever really need. But you can get it in two days with FREE shipping. So, I had to include Amazon on here just because it’s easy to use and you probably have items in your cart already. There is one caveat to buying Japanese stationery on Amazon, though, and that it’s probably going to be expensive, and/or you might not be getting an actual Japanese product. As you know, you can buy Pilot, Uni, and even Zebra products in the U.S. But, they are the American version of the products. While they’re still nice, they’re not the Japanese versions you’re probably looking for otherwise you would just run down to walmart to pick up an inexpensive option.
I wanted to add these two stores to our list for those who really can’t find Japanese stationery anywhere else. Michaels and JoAnn carry a wide range of crafting and home supplies and that includes stationery and paper crafting. While they aren’t known for having a huge selection of authentic Japanese stationery, they will carry items by brands like Pilot, Uni, and Zebra and It’s also fairly common for most to carry washi tape and stickers (even if they may not be Japanese imports) so you can get started on your stationery stash while you wait to travel to Japan.
While shopping online is great, there is a simple pleasure in going to a store and picking out something for yourself. Depending on where you live, this can be difficult or a piece of cake. It’s worth looking up your location to see what kind of stationery shops are around.
Kinokuniya / Maido
If you are lucky enough to have a Kinokuniya or especially a Maido near you, count your blessings. Kinokuniya alone carries a bunch of Japanese stationery like washi tapes, memo pads, pens, and fancy tools – but Maido is a store solely dedicated to Japanese stationery. However, as one might expect, these stores are pretty expensive and the markup can often be well over double.
Daiso is a Japanese shop that acts on the dollar store model where most items are under $1 (~¥100 in Japan). They have loads of adorable stationery for cheap, mostly paper goods with adorable characters on them!
Paper Source has a great assortment of washi tapes, including popular Japanese brand MT. I haven’t had much luck with anything other than tapes and various journals, but it’s worth a browse.
Mitsukoshi at Epcot
This one only applies if you’re going to Disney World in Florida, but the shop inside Japan’s part of Epcot is fantastic for stationery! The prices are surprisingly reasonable (considering it’s Disney World), so don’t miss it if you’re planning a trip there!
I hope this little stationery guide was helpful to you and helps ramp up your stationery collection to the next level! If you have any suggestions to add to this guide, please let me know in the comments!