Monday, March 30, 2009

{ things I love about Japan #2 }


Not only do they have designated smoking areas but people actually use them! No walking down the street through clouds of the smoke from workers standing outside every building or inhaling smoke every breath as you walk behind someone smoking (both these things I HATE and have to endure every work day).

The streets are also free of cigarette butts - beautiful!

Friday, March 27, 2009

{ new additions to my ETSY store }

I've just listed 7 new books in my ETSY store, all of them using papers purchased on my recent trip to Japan. A sample below or head over here to check them all out.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

{ things I love about Japan #1 }


Japan is of course home to beautiful Chiyogami papers. In Tokyo, Tokyu Hands in Shinjuku has a nice little selection and the prices are very good. The Chiyogami papers can be found on the stationary level, on the back wall about half way along.

If you love stationary, you really need to set yourself some time to wander this whole floor - it’s full of things you need and want and plenty more that you didn’t even know you wanted! It’s a pen enthusiasts dream come true as well.

I also went to the Tokyu Hands in Shibuya but didn’t find that as good as the Shinjuku store. There are about 7 floors to this ‘Creative Life Store’ with pretty much everything you could ever want - furniture, hardware, homewares, luggage, craft supplies, and on and on….

Loft is another great store for stationary. The store in Shibuya is wonderful with the ground floor full of beautiful diaries, pens, folders, bags, stamps, stickers, cards, etc. I’m not sure if this happens throughout the year in Japan or not, but being there in March I thought I had missed the opportunity for a diary. No, they have them starting in March - Spring diaries! They truly think of everything!

Ito-ya is a huge stationary store in Ginza. The main shop (building 1) is 8 floors of stationary, office supplies and a small but beautiful selection of Chiyogami and other traditional Japanese papers. Building 2 is out the back and stocks scrapbooking supplies.

Kyoto has a lovely area with a number of Chiyogami stores. Many artisans set up shops near Kyoto Imperial Palace and some remain there to this day. I don’t have the names of the shops but wander along Teramachi and you’ll come to them.

Kyoto also has a great Loft store.


TOKYU HANDS, SHINJUKU: The closest exit would be the New South Exit I believe however I always get lost going that way so my directions are probably the long way! Take the East Exit and at the exit turn hard right, walking along the side of the building. After the department store ends you’ll pass the Kirin Beer Pub and then Gap, both on your right. Next on your right is a large set of stairs which takes you up and into the station eventually. Ahead will be an underpass, take this and continue straight, you’ll pass a Uniqlo outlet and then the next main building is the Takashimaya department store. Tokyu Hands is at the back of this store. Either take the outside escalater that you will see at the entrance and at the top walk left all the way to the end - this is an outside walkway. You can also access by walking inside and upstairs within Takeshimaya.

ITO-YA, GINZA: It’s on the main shopping thoroughfare in Ginza - Ginza Dori/Chuo Dori near the Matsuya department store. There’s a big red paperclip hanging off the building!

LOFT, SHIBUYA: At JR Shibuya station take the Hachiko Exit. This will bring you out at the main crossing with Starbucks ahead of you (by the way, recommend a quick stop here on the 2nd floor for a fantastic view of the main crossing - sounds like and odd thing to look at but it’s amazing at rush hour, you’ve never seen such a mass of people!). Anyway, take the road to the left of Starbucks as you’re facing it and Loft is in between the Seibu stores A and B. Look for the large yellow sign with ‘Loft’ in black.

LOFT KYOTO: Sorry, I didn’t take down the street name for Loft, but starting from Shijo, walk up the Shin-kyogoku Shopping Arcade and down one of the laneways you’ll see the distinctive yellow and black sign.

KYOTO: There’s a number of paper shops on Teramachi, between Nijo and Takeyamachi

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

{ hello... }

Thank you for stopping by. Most of my time is spent at my day job (travel agent) or my night ‘job’ (bookmaking) so it’s no wonder I expect this blog to be about travel and books!

I’ve recently returned from a trip to Japan so I’ll start with some of my experiences in this wonderful country. I’ve been to Japan twice before this recent trip and I think it’s the most wonderful place. For anyone with an interest in paper and fabric, as I have, it’s pretty close to how I imagine heaven would be!

I hope the posts that follow might even help some of you planning a trip there - if there’s anything else you have questions about let me know and I’ll try and help.