Translated by Allie
Great as Souvenirs! 10 Selected Kawaii Japanese Stationery Items
Japanese stationery is a popular option for souvenirs form Japan. Cute and functional, these 10 items are sure to bring a smile to your face.
Written by Mayu
Japanese Stationery! Popular things to Bring Back from Japan as Souvenirs!
When you have no idea what to bring back home from Japan, why not check out Japanese stationery, which is really easy to find anywhere in Japan? It is also light and will easily fit in your suitcase. Japanese stationery has a good reputation among international visitors for its functionality and cute designs. In this article, we will introduce ten of the most popular stationery products to buy for yourself, your family and your friends.
Small and colorful erasers are one of the most popular souvenirs for everyone from children to adults as there are a lot of variations offered, including scented and character-based types. The most popular brand is IWAKO, located in Saitama prefecture. They reproduce sushi, sweets, Hello Kitty and various animals into small erasers.
Erasers by IWAKO are sold at stationery stores all over Japan.
A very popular item among craft fans, Japanese washi tape or patterned masking tape, is well-known not only in Japan but overseas as well. Patterns can range from simple polka-dot designs to sweets, flowers and more.
Masking tapes can be used for:
・Decorating stationery, notebooks and letters
・Sticking to your planner like a sticky note
You can create your own style and customize your surroundings using these various types of tape as you see fit.
Masking tape is available at general goods stores like Tokyu Hands, stationery stores and even at 100 yen stores such as Daiso. Nyochikudo, located in Kurashiki, Okayama, sells masking tape with its regional specialties printed on it.
Why not take a trip to the shops and see if you can find a pattern that really catches your attention?
Cute Sticky Notes
The best souvenir option for students and people on the go are cute sticky notes. Japanese sticky notes come in an abundance of designs such as animals and characters. An average pack costs 300 yen, which is pretty reasonable, isn't it? Sticky notes are found in any stationery stores in Japan, but we highly recommend you check out Tokyu Hands as there have a wide selection of illustrations to choose from. Sushi, sumo, Mt. Fuji and others with a Japanese flare to them would be great to take overseas with you.
FriXion Ball Pens
FriXion Ball is a pen whose ink can be erased! The special rubber eraser included on the end of the pen means that you can erase and rewrite your text in the same spot, without having to wait for anything to dry! Useful for busy students and office workers, these pens are gaining popularity with travelers, and now come in a growing variety of colors and types. Why not pick some up and see for yourself how useful they can be?
One thing to keep in mind though, as these pens' ink can be erased through friction, writing names or addresses on letters and signing contracts with them is not a very good idea.
FriXion Stamps are also getting popular among Japanese young people these days. These are stamps that you can use in your planner or notebook. They can also be erased by friction, just like the pens mentioned above.
With designs ranging from simple shapes to birthday presents, school shapes and more, these stamps make it easy to express yourself - just like emoticons on your phone!
One stamp costs about 100 yen; they can be found at stationery shops and in general goods stores like Tokyu Hands.
Japanese notebooks lived up to their reputation for good quality paper and cute designs. Notebooks are sold almost everywhere: 100 yen stores, general goods shops and of course in stationery stores.
Our recommended shop is the Kakimori Stationery store located in Kuramae. You can create your own notebook there by picking your favorite materials for the front and back covers, choosing the inner paper that best suits your needs and even selecting what sort of binding you would prefer for your ideal notebook. You can even have your name or a short message stamped into the cover for an extra charge.
If you want a truly one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your trip by, then a custom notebook is a perfect choice.
Clear Plastic File Folders
Clear plastic file folders for your office and school documents come in a wide variety of different colors and patterns in Japan.
The most popular ones are character file folders featuring characters such as Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Yo-kai Watch, Pokémon, Kumamon and Funassyi. You can find them at stationery stores and character goods shops.
Image from 6 Unique Souvenirs From Japan For Everyone
Just like in other countries, magnets are used to post items on the refrigerator door or whiteboard. Magnets shaped like sushi, kokeshi (Japanese traditional dolls) and the beckoning cat are really good for souvenirs, aren't they? If you go to Kappabashi in Asakusa area, which is well-known for its detailed plastic food samples, you can see very realistic sushi, sweets and vegetable magnets.
Your friend will be surely surprised if you give magnets like this as a gift.
Washi - Japanese Paper
Registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, washi (Japanese paper) is an excellent souvenir of your time in Japan. You can use this beautiful paper as stationery or to decorate your home.
Washi is made using fibers from the mulberry tree. As this process is done by hand, each of the finished products has its own unique appearance and delicacy - though washi is a lot stronger than it looks, making it ideal to use for wrapping paper, origami or for decorations.
Image from Hobonichi Planner: a Japanese Journal
Having a planner is absolutely essential for those who come and visit Japan many times.
The reason for this is that Japanese planners have the details of Japanese national holidays printed inside them, making it far easier to plan your next trip to Japan. If you come to Japan quite often for business or vacation, then having one of these handy reminders will make your travel arrangements that much easier to organize.
One of the most popular planners among Japanese people is the "hobonichi planner".
Hobonichi Planners come in various designs. An original hobonichi planner allows you to write down schedules and keep the details of your day organized as you can record one day per page. The Hobonichi planner is also available in English, so please check them out too! You can find these planners sold at bookstores and stationery shops.