Part 2 of the Kyoto Stationery Quest. These three shops are away from the Teramachi shopping arcade, but well worth the visit. (Click here for Part 1)
鈴木松風堂 Suzuki ShōfūdōPossibly the biggest of the stores I visited, though that isn't saying much because all of the stores were pretty cozy. They sell loads of colorful washi of different patterns as well as items like notebooks, boxes, and all sorts of other goodies adorned with this washi.
There is also a workshop upstairs where you can make items like lights, kaleidoscopes and boxes. I was tempted, but self-control won out this time. Though I will definitely keep it in mind if I am Kyoto with friends from overseas. The store is quite aware of foreign tourists and most of the items had English explanations that weren't half bad, which is actually quite a rarity.
I was most afraid of this store when I was planning my trip, but I was able to keep my cool, knowing well enough that if I bought paper, I'd never use it. No, this type of paper must be searched out for specific purposes and as a result, I thankfully went home with just two items.
- Accordion-style notebook - I am in love with this print. I bought a card of it earlier and I wanted more. Instead of buying a sheet of it, I dug through three baskets of designs until I found this one. I already had a purpose in mind for it and I'm still working on it, of course.
- Card case - I was originally only going to buy the notebook, but between Day 1 and Day 2, the store rearranged their displays and started a sale of items with slight defects. I found this one in a huge basket full of card cases. I figure this will come in handy at the Creators Market in June.
ROKKAKUJust around the corner from Shōfūdō is Rokkaku. It's very chic and refined and, to be honest, I found it intimidating. It's not a place that typical tourists would enter. But their products are gorgeous.
One of the items I was most drawn to were the cards, envelopes, and envelope inserts which you could mix and match to your heart's content. I was quite tempted, but I couldn't think of a reason to get them, so I passed. They also had various postcards and letter sets as well as a business card service. Many of their products are letterpress or embossed and really quite simple and pristine. I did feel a bit out of place, but I still bought lots of stuff.
- Striped envelope letter set - This was an item I knew I would be getting. I love the colors and how the lines are embossed vines. The simplicity and color combination speaks to me.
- Set of Round Kyoto-motif cards - I like how a different side of Kyoto is depicted on each card. Each corresponding envelope has a symbol embossed on it as a finishing touch. Not sure if I'll conjure up the guts to actually use them, but I'll try.
- Winter scene with a woman and her cat - The scene is delightfully Kyoto, but mainly, I simply love the cat. This was one of a set of four, one for each season. I thought about getting the set of four, but went with just the winter one. It may be a subconscious effort to give myself an excuse to come back each season.
- Mini card with pearly dark brown envelope - I allowed myself this combination because it was well-worth the 100 yen. I have no idea what I'm going to use it for, but I'm glad I have it.
- Thank you card - The store gives a thank you card for purchases over 1000 yen. I love when stores do little things like this. I could write an entire post on how I judge stores by their packaging. Cool products are cool, but service is what keeps me coming back.
嵩山堂 はし本 Sūsandō HashimotoThis store is down the street a bit towards Teramachi. A small printing press with a choice of seasonal stationery and some year-round items. A bit old-school and I'm sure what my supervisor was imagining when I told him about the stationery trip. But I liked it. Not sure what drew me to the place, but I really liked it. Then again, my taste has always been older than my age. I bought three five packs in the hope of actually sending some cards after this trip (still have yet to do that).
- Pack of strawberry postcards - They looked sweet. That's the only reason I have for buying these. Though I'm going to have to use them soon because Japan is in the middle of strawberry season right now.
- Pack of yellow rose postcards - These I bought with a vague idea of what I wanted to do with them. Not entirely sure, but they won't be going out in any regular way.
- Pack of purple gorgeous postcards - These have a very specific purpose. Anyone who knows my fandom history and sees this pattern and color will know who I'm talking about. Not even my 'favorite" any more, but I still think about what he might like. :) (Totally random, but I almost bought a purple sequined fedora just for concerts. Yep, deep end.)
Well, that's about it for Part 2. Will do my best to get Part 3 up next week.