In Kyoto, a city full of items made with traditional Japanese aesthetics and design, you can find a lot of fashionable stationery as well. Why not find some elegant memo pads, letter paper, or writing utensils while you're here? Here are some recommended stationery items.
1. Buy pleasant incense at Kyukyodo
Incense is very popular in Japan due to its gentle fragrance and has been used since ancient times. Teramachi, a historical street in Kyoto that's partly a shopping arcade, is home to the main store of incense and Japanese stationery store Kyukyodo. They are very particular about using natural ingredients in their incense, so the quality of their products is highly-rated.
There are two types of incense, Japanese-style and Western-style. The Japanese-style one uses natural ingredients derived from Chinese medicine to create a traditional calming Japanese aroma. On the other hand, their Western incense uses perfume to create a more florid scent. You can enjoy both kinds depending on your mood, so consider picking up both.
If you're going to buy them as souvenirs, the Nihohi-bukuro is recommended. The word "nihohi" means "aroma" in ancient Japanese, and the incense is placed inside a little bag. The incense inside the bag is gentle and mild. You can also use it as an accessory!
*The photo is of an incense stand.
2. Buy fashionable and distinctive Japanese accessories at Uragu Hatch
Uragu Hatch is a fashionable Japanese stationery store on Yasaka-dori. They have a lot of stationery for letter-writing as well as a lot of Japanese-style accessories that are a little out of the ordinary. They carry items that use Japanese designs and patterns beautifully that are also fun to use. Among those items the most recommended is the Kotomori message card and the Mamemo note pads.
The Kotomori is a message card set where the envelope is shaped like a traditional Japanese omamori, the charms that you can buy from shrines. There are many ways to use it, like writing a wish on it, or writing a message on it and giving it to someone with a gift.
The Mameno note pad is a small pad printed with Japanese patterns. Since you can remove them one-by-one, you can also use them as a message card. There are many patterns, such as an elephant carrying a tower, that are Japanese-style but slightly out of the ordinary.
*Photo is of Kotomori message card
*Photo is of Mamemo note pad
3. Bijutsu Hagaki Gallery Kyoto Benrido is like a small museum
Bijutsu Hagaki Gallery Kyoto Benrido recreates works of art as postcards after obtaining permission from various art galleries and museums. Inside, one wall is completely covered in beautiful postcards to make a breathtaking sight. There are postcards with Japanese patterns as well as postcards featuring famous Japanese art pieces; the total variety of postcards on offer is more than 1000. They're all so lovely you'll feel like you're in a tiny art gallery.
There are postcards that feature Kyoto's name on them, so you can buy them as a souvenir of your trip. They also have beautiful stationery, clear files, business card holders, card cases, and more. This is one store you can't miss on your trip.
4. Buy Kyoto paper items stamped with gold or silver leaf at ROKKAKU
ROKKAKU is a Kyoto-made paper item shop that has gained immense popularity due to the fact that each item one-by-one with care rather than in huge batches. Since you can order wedding invitations there as well, people who want to send beautiful Kyoto-style invitations should stop by. Their products are known for their colorful designs stamped with gold/silver leaf. The technique is called "hakuoshi" and a hot press stamps the paper using heavy pressure to make it permanent. It shines beautifully and creates a gorgeous, high-quality item.
There are postcards, letter stationery, envelopes, and more created by exclusive designers. When you come to ROKKAKU, please get your full of beautiful paper items that you can only find in Kyoto.
5. Traditional Japan and modernity are mixed at Shogado
Shogado earned the Kyoto Design Award for its stationery that mixes modern illustrations with Japanese design to create a new style. The recommended products are the wahon and the Goshuin-chou. The wahon is a notebook that has Japanese designs on the cover, and is very good to use as a travel diary or a notepad. If you use it as a travel diary, you're sure to make good memories. The Goshuin-chou is a particular kind of notebook called a goshuin that you bring to temples and shrines and have the monks stamp it as a sign of your visit. If you bring this goshuin-chou with you to the temples and shrines you visit in Kyoto, you can get it stamped and have even more fun as you sightsee.
*The photo is a sample of a Goshuin-chou
Kyoto is full of beautiful Japanese-style items that will be perfect as souvenirs. Please stop by a Kyoto-style stationery store on your trip to find the perfect gift.