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【2018 Edition】Perfect as Souvenirs! Five Japanese Stationery to Purchase in Kyoto

A city that cherishes tradition, Kyoto offers a wide selection of stationery that have a distinct Japanese style. Below are five stationery that are perfect as souvenirs.

1. Shiori-Ichi Bookmarks by Uragu

Uragu is a store that sells original stationery that combine the beauty of traditional Japanese style with modern elements. Located in a renovated wooden house, it stocks a variety of items, centering on paper goods. The recommended product is its Shiori-Ichi bookmarks (pack of 4 / each approx. 3 cm wide and 15cm high / 300 JPY (excl. tax)). They are popular for their elegant design. There is a section on the back for writing messages.

1. Shiori-Ichi Bookmarks by Uragu

4-297 Miyagawa-suji, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. SOU・SOU Tabi's Masking Tape

SOU・SOU is a Kyoto-based textile brand that is famous both in Japan and abroad. It sells a variety of products, ranging from tabi (split toe shoes) and clothing to daily necessities and sweets. There are multiple stores in Kyoto with different concepts, but the recommendation this time is the Masking Tape (1.5cm width / 324 JPY (incl. tax)) sold at the SOU・SOU Tabi store. These tapes are made with washi (Japanese paper), which have poppy SOU・SOU textile designs depicting Japanese seasons and traditions.

2. SOU・SOU Tabi's Masking Tape

583-3 Nakano-cho, Shin-kyogoku-dori Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. Kyo Ufufu Stamps at Tamaru Inbou Shin-Kyogoku Branch

Tamaru Inbou is a well-established store selling name stamps that was founded over 100 years ago. It is filled to the brim with a variety of original stamps. Among them, the Kyo Ufufu Stamp series, which has more than 2,000 different designs, is especially recommended. There is a full selection of designs, such as ones with historic figures, ukiyo-e designs, and seasonal flowers. The pictured product is 1,026 JPY (incl. tax).

3. Kyo Ufufu Stamps at Tamaru Inbou Shin-Kyogoku Branch

537 Nakano-cho, Shin-kyogoku-dori Shijo-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. Woodblock Postcards by Suzando Hashimoto

Suzando Hashimoto is a store that was established in 1953. It primarily sells paper goods such as writing paper and envelopes. Its products have a variety of designs, but the most popular is those depicting rabbits in the Choju-giga series. “Choju-giga” is a scroll created somewhere from the end of the 11th century to the early 12th century that depicts anthropomorphic animals, such as rabbits and monkeys. It is considered to be Japan's oldest comic strip (currently kept at Kosanji Temple). Suzando Hashimoto sells a variety of products that depict the cute and humorous rabbits in the scroll. The pictured product is the Woodblock Postcards Set of 5 (1,000 JPY (excl. tax)) that is available only at the main store in Kyoto. It is a special set of traditional woodblock prints created by skilled Kyoto craftspeople using thick, smooth paper.

4. Woodblock Postcards by Suzando Hashimoto

110 Yaoya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. Takezasado's Pochi-bukuro

Takezasado has its shop and workshop inside of a wooden house that was built approximately 100 years ago. It is run by Takenaka Mokuhan, which has passed down the traditional art of woodblock printing* since its establishment in 1891. Its products range from original woodblock prints to small items on washi that draw on the art of woodblock printing. The recommended product is the Half-Folded Pochi-bukuro (approx. 9cm x 9cm / 864 JPY (incl. tax)) series. “Pochi-bukuro” are small envelopes traditionally used to put bills in when passing them over by hand. These pochi-bukuro are made with strong yet elegant washi and are great for putting letters and jewelry in.

*A traditional printing method of hand-carving letters and pictures on wood and printing them out on paper.

5. Takezasado's Pochi-bukuro

737 Shin-kamaza-cho, Ayanokoji-dori Nishinotoin Higashi-iru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Above are five Japanese stationery from Kyoto that represent the skills of Kyoto's craftspeople. Be sure to stop by these shops when in Kyoto!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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