Translated by Allie
The Joy of Writing - Kakimori Stationery Store, Kuramae
A 5 minute walk from Kuramae station takes you into a world filled with wonderful notebooks, pens and various types of paper. Visit Kakimori Stationery Store to make your own custom notebooks - a great souvenir from Kuramae!
Written by Reiya Horii
Kakimori, a creative store
Kuramae, a neighborhood close to Asakusa, Okachimachi, Asakusabashi and Bakurochō, is known as an area with many stores selling charming handmade products.
Kuramae is a artisan town whose atmosphere retains something of the Edo era. Among the many traditional handicraft shops in this area, you will find a stationery store where you see the staff working away through the glass windows.
This store is called Kakimori and is famous for the custom made notebooks that are produced based on each customer's individually selected materials.
Once you get inside the store, various colored materials for making notebooks will catch your eyes. Customers can make their own notebooks by choosing the front and back covers as well as the paper type for the inside.
Make Your Own Notebook
Let's see how these custom notebooks are made.
First, you must choose a front and back cover. It may take a little time to decide which one you want for it as there are many colors, patterns and materials to choose from. Some of the materials available here are created by the craftsmen and artists working at the shop.
Once that is settled, you need to choose what sort of paper you would like inside the notebook. There are also various colors and types of paper here, all of which depend on what you are going to use your notebook for.
For example, if you want to write something with a fountain pen, foolscap is a good choice. On the other hand, comic paper goes well with pencils and mechanical pencils. In addition, craft paper is also available, allowing you to make not only notebooks but photo albums too.
The next step is to choose rings and clasps to bind your notebook.
They offer several ways of binding the notebook with rings; you can choose from vertical or horizontal ring binding, with either full rings or top and bottom only rings as well.
If you want to use your note vertically, you should go with the vertical binding. If you want to use your notebook horizontally (which is ideal for drawing), you should go with the horizontal binding. Whole binding ensures that the pages of the notebook won't go apart. On the other hand, top and bottom binding stops your hands from pushing against the rings while you are writing. Kakimori generally advises going with the top and bottom binding.
For clasps, there are three choices which are fūkan bound (*1) , rubber bound or bottom bound. The clasps are the statement piece of the notebook, so it is really important to choose the design that suits you best here.
*1 Fūkan: the string wrapped around a leather swatch type of binding.
Once you have finally finished selecting the parts for your notebook, the staff will start binding it all together. Kakimori uses an industrial American binding machine to put together each notebook.
Kakimori also offers a custom hot-stamping option (*2) for custom notebooks. You can stamp up to 14 letters on the notebook cover; this process takes time and as such your notebook will be ready in 3 weeks from the date of ordering.
*2 Hot stamping: printing method where gold or silver foil is transferred onto a surface via heat and pressure.
When you see your finished custom made notebook, you will feel differently about it than toward a standard notebook you could pick up at any store. It's rather inspiring, so why not pick one up for yourself or a loved one?
Products Sold At Kakimori
Besides their custom made notebooks, Kakimori sells high-quality stationery products which are of particular quality. Now we will introduce a few of their select products.
Kakimori Original "Roller Ball" (1728 yen including tax)
The "Roller Ball" is a ballpoint pen specialized for fountain pen ink. It has a converter inside which absorbs ink allowing you to change colors easily. The "Roller Ball" pens themselves are transparent, which allows you to see the ink inside clearly.
Kakimori has a large selection of fountain pens. The price of these pens starts from 3000 yen per pen up to more than 16,000 yen.
Even first time fountain pen users can feel at ease trying these elegant items as there are detailed descriptions provided for them, including the hardness of the tip and the characteristics of the various pens. If you'd like to have a useful piece of art you can carry with you, then a fountain pen is an excellent idea.
Japanese Style Stationery
One of the features of the products sold at Kakimori is that the majority of the items help you to "feel Japan", to appreciate the Japanese sense of quality. The staff here are always looking for good quality Japanese products.
As many of the things that used to be analog are increasingly digitalized these days, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to write by hand.
Kakimori hopes that by providing high quality stationery, writing by hand will feel more precious and will inspire you to write more often. Kakimori's stationery will make your writing time richer and enjoyable.
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Kuramae 4-20-12
Hours: Weekdays 12:00-19:00; Weekends and holidays 11:00-19:00
Closed: Mondays (It's open on Monday if it is a national holiday)
Credit Cards: Major only
Other Languages: English, French
Menus/Pamphlets in Other Languages: English
Nearest Station: Kuramae Station (蔵前駅) Toei Asakusa Line,Toei Ōedo Line
Access: 3 minute walk from Kuramae Station
Phone Number: +81-3-3864-3898