If there’s anything else I end up doing as part of my itinerary every time I travel, it would be to go shopping for books and art materials.
This time last year, I spent a whole day wandering around the streets of Singapore (good thing I was alone) – particularly in Bras Basah Complex for my art materials fix. I also stopped by the same stores in Singapore during Life in Transit (and ended up buying…wait for it…around 8 books!) and found myself spending hours at the nearby bookstore (Tsutaya was the only bookstore there, but it sufficed) during my holiday trip to Kyushu. Recently, I visited one of the notable supplies stores in Paris (and cried internally), Sennelier.
Today I’ll be sharing some of the art stores I managed to visit in Japan (particularly in Tokyo) during my trip with Kaila a few weeks ago. Hopefully this helps in case you’re planning to visit Tokyo anytime soon!
For those of you who are particular with the materials and brands you need (aka looking for a National Bookstore meets Fully Booked in Japan), Sekaido is a must visit. A building located roughly a few meters away from Shinjuku station houses 6 floors full of art materials you can only imagine – paper, paint, ink, notebooks etc.
Some cool things about this place:
- They have a lot of watercolor brands to choose from! Holbein, Van Gogh, Windsor and Newton, Schmincke, Daler and Rowney, etc. I currently use Schmincke and Daler & Rowney, which are both great (more on the art materials I use on this post). But this time, I bought a few Holbein pans – especially ones with the vibrant colors I needed (wallet is crying though).
- All floors are PACKED with EVERYTHING. E V E R Y T H I N G!
- It’s also nice to know that each floor has a designation (i.e. 2nd floor is for acrylic and oil, etc)
- It is safe to say that if you’re like me who secretly gets overwhelmed with art stores, you will take around half a hour minimum before you can figure out what you’ll be buying.
Purchases from Sekaido! In other news, I also got myself some unnecessary things such as a Project Paper pad, lol. Nevertheless, it’s being used a lot now so at least I’m giving it some justice.
While in Shinjuku, also visit Kinokuniya‘s 7th floor if you’re looking for books and foreign magazines. Got myself a Frankie issue and a copy of Tokyo on Foot, aka visual feast!
If you’re short on time and you won’t be visiting Shinjuku during your trip, Yuzawaya can be found at selected malls within Tokyo. It’s basically a mini version of Sekaido and comprises more of craft/DIY materials than traditional art materials. Nevertheless, I also got myself a few things here.
In the midst of Harajuku’s lineup of fashion stores, arcades and crepe shops in busy Takeshita Street, there is a pink building housing inexpensive goodies that are sure to make you want to go up all floors (despite it not having an escalator, lol). No photos because the area was pretty packed and I was panic buying the whole time. But there’s Daiso, aka your one stop novelty items shop. In my case, I ended up buying cutesy stationery, lots of envelopes and notebooks. And plastic containers. (Sorry not sorry)
Located in busy shopping ward Shibuya, Loft is a gem to art lovers, stationery hoarders, travelers – you name it. In general though, it would be similar to a department store sans the clothes and shoes. Of course, my priority was visiting the LG floor for all the stationery items and a few art materials.
I ended up getting a Task Manager pad (!!!), Meeting Planner pad (I am so happy I can’t contain it), MT tapes and this really nice vintage Mickey iPhone case with my favorite color combination on it (of course, I had to get it).
I wasn’t able to visit Tokyu Hands because I told myself that this is enough – BUT I suggest visiting there as well, especially if you’re needing more DIY materials.
Anyway, I hope this mini guide helps in mapping your route for art hoarding in Tokyo! I promised myself to keep doing this every time I travel because y’all are asking where I get most of my art stuff – and sadly, I don’t buy in Manila. Everything’s abroad. If you have places you recommend going, let me know in the comments below! :)
Until the next ~art hoarding~ sesh!