Brass at the Big Red Paperclip

midori brass pencil case and ruler If I had to narrow it down…if Naoto said that we could only go to one stationery store in Japan…(that would never happen) I would choose Itoya.

We went there for the first time in 2011 and spent an entire day exploring the NINE floors and picking out a few things here and there to bring home. This vacation, we made time for Itoya again. We stopped there after a disappointing morning trying to go to a few shops that were randomly closed or were pretty disappointing or not what we had expected. The day was kind of a bust, so Naoto offered up Itoya as a “sure thing”. Even though my feet were killing me, I was hot and I was feeling bummed about the day, I took him up on the offer…because who says no to Itoya? (No one.)

Unfortunately, Itoya is in the middle of a remodel, so they moved out of their nine floor building with the big red paperclip sign (pictured here in my 2011 blog post) and into a temporary location about a block away. I didn’t care. It was still fantastic…though I suspect some of their inventory was not on display. But they still had plenty to choose from…which was evident by the seven Itoya bags I brought home with me. (You pay for your items on each floor, so by the end if you’re anything like me, you end up with a small collection of purchases.) I bought everything from washi tape, letter sets and paper to pretty handkerchiefs and some new Deco Tapesmidori brass pencil case and ruler

The one item on my wish list is pictured above. Ever since I saw it at Itoya in 2011, I’ve been thinking about the Midori Brass Pencil Case. So fancy, right? Over the past two years, I almost bought one online several times, but I just couldn’t swallow the large price tag…so I decided to wait until we went back to Itoya so I could avoid the huge mark-up and import fees. Plus, sometimes I just like to buy things in stores, where I can hold the items and fawn over the packaging a bit before making my purchase. And, some Midori products are made in China…I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t spending a lot of money on something that was Japanese without really being Japanese-made. So, once we confirmed the Made in Japan stamp, I knew it would be my “splurge”. While Naoto and I fawned over the Travelers Notebooks and other brass bits, he talked me into buying the Midori Brass Ruler. It measures in centimeters (which is completely confusing for my US-educated mind!) but I plan to use it more for its straight edge than measurements anyway. I am so pleased with both purchases. They are lovely, useful and the brass will wear beautifully over time. midori brass pen case and rulerThanks for your patience with getting back into Japan month…things are winding down–only a few more posts to go! And, I just got access to the pictures from our Honor Flight last week. I can’t wait to share about our amazing day in DC! 

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4 thoughts on “Brass at the Big Red Paperclip

  1. […] I will be adventuring around Tokyo by myself sometimes. I’m dreaming of spending all day in Itoya or Sekaido or spending extra time at Mister Donut for postcard writing and donut tasting. While […]

  2. […] picked up this kanji fish stamp in Itoya during our trip and I’m so excited about it. I’ve seen these stamps in previous trips […]

  3. […] Jess introduced me to Kyukyodo and I fell in love. Located in Ginza and just down the street from Itoya, Kyukyodo is filled with traditional Japanese stationery and paper gifts. The store opened in Kyoto […]

  4. […] in the ritzy Ginza district of Tokyo. (I’ve blogged about Itoya a little bit before, here and here.) Itoya has been building a new store since 2011 or 2012, so for the past few years, we’ve […]

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