Issue Index

Features
  Mini Features
  Cultural Features
  Life in Japan
  Big in Japan
  Rant & Rave
  Cars & Bikes
  Health & Beauty
Jobfinder
  Money Talks
  Tokyo Tech
  Web Watch
  Food & Drink
  Features
  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
  Travel Features
  Japan Travel
  International Travel
  Travelogue
  Art
  Artifacts
  Fashion
  Tokyo Talk
  In Store
  Buyline
  Japan Beat
  CD Reviews
  In Person
  Concerts
  Clubbing

 

 BUYLINE
Shibuya’s Zenmall (29-4 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; 03-3770-1641), known for offering large clothing for men, is holding a two-day Early Bird Pre-Summer Sale. The sale will take place on the mornings of April 12 (Sat) and 13 (Sun) for three hours (9am-noon) each day. During these times, nearly everything will be marked 20-80 percent off. Some of the bargains include suits with a spare pair of pants for \9,800 (sizes 3-8L), and summer casual jackets for \8,000 (3-6L). Imported designer suits by makers like Calvin Klein and Boss are also marked down to \39,000 and \59,000, respectively. Those who spend over \10,000 can take part in the Cash Grabbing Contest, where shoppers can dig into a box full of cash. Spend over \30,000 for two chances to grab, and \50,000 for three. Don't miss this rare opportunity, as it could be one of the few chances for those looking to buy large sizes in Japan, especially at affordable prices.
 PAST ISSUES
ADVERTISERS:
Ash 03-3770-3755
Biodanza
Boots
Clinique TCA
Club Boy Beau
Crunch 03-5459-123-
Dr. Allen Leroy Robinson
Hair Dressers Archecal 03-0449-6106
Hayato New York 03-3498-9113
Hugo BOSS
Japan Electrolysis Clinic (Ginza)
Maiko Make Over Studio Shiki
My Boo Nail Salon 03-5428-1121
Neal's Yard Natural Therapy Center
03-3405-7216
Roksen Bar Cosmetic 03-5658-7675
Sin Den
Takagi Skin Clinic
Tamariba.inc.
Tokyo Skin Clinic
Toni&Guy Japan 03-3797-5790
Watanabe Hair Dressing 03-3405-1188
Who Ga 03-5570-1773

IN STORE ARCHIVE:
535: Anything goes
Add a little spunk to your life at Tokyo's zakka housewares shops. Hanna Kite visits five of the best.
531: To a tee
Tokyo’s hottest T-shirt shops boast designs by some of Japan’s top talents. Hanna Kite dresses down.
527: Treasure chests
Hanna Kite checks out five Tokyo jewelers that offer the perfect setting for your next shopping excursion.
523: Arts and crafts movement
Trina O’Hara goes in search of the Japanese creative spirit.
519: Bra-vo
Move over, Hello Kitty. Sexy has finally replaced cute in Tokyo's lingerie stores. Hanna Kite reports.
515: Bowled over
Trina O'Hara tracks down the latest tableware to suit any time of day.
511: East meets nest
Trina O'Hara finds that Tokyo's flea markets and shrine sales suit all types of personalities and interests.
503: The write stuff
Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.
499: Blasts from the past
Tokyo trendsetters have a knack for making old fashions new again. Jennifer Au goes back in time at the city's coolest vintage clothing stores.
495: In the bag
From haute to mass-market, designer to dowdy, Tokyo has a tote to suit every taste and budget. Jennifer Au tracks down the best.
491: Paper chase
Steve Trautlein goes on a search for Tokyo's best English booksellers.
487: Happy trails
A love affair with the great outdoors is easily consummated at these Tokyo retailers. Steve Trautlein gears up.
483: Top hats
Whether it’s a rooftop barbecue, a riverside picnic or an afternoon stroll, there will be times this summer when you’ll want to keep the sun off your face. †Martin Webb hunts down Tokyo’s best headwear suppliers so you can stay shady in style.
479: Oriental express
This summer, all things Asian are hot stuff. Martin Webb finds out how to get the look without breaking the bank.
474: Haute haven
Forget Roppongi Hills’ aspirations to be the city’s cultural hub. This is the consumer capital of the world, and it’s all about shopping. Martin Webb reports.
468: New kit on the block
Backed by street-wise fashion chain store Beams, these seven new stores are upping the style quotient in Daikanyama. Martin Webb sizes up this brand new shopping experience.
463: Can buy me love
Stuck for ideas about how to make Valentine’s Day extra memorable this year? Martin Webb shops around for some great gift ideas for lucky ladies.
452: Perfect timing
For the rushed residents of our fair metropolis, keeping an eye on time is one of life's little necessities.
448: House of style
The newly open Marunouchi Building is drawing legions of eager shoppers from all over Japan
445: Present perfect
Tired of wasting your yen on last-minute gifts at duty free?
441: Toy story
Martin Webb tackles every parent's annual ennui and finds playthings that could earn you more peace and quiet than you bargained for
437: Natural selection
Seven new "select shops" are giving style seekers an excuse to keep spending
433: Window shopping
Stephen Cotterill indulges his yen and peers into the retail oasis that is Glassarea Aoyama
429: Jet, set, go!
With the holiday high season just around the corner, trendy travelers are in hot pursuit of packing accessories
425: Loud and clear
No home is complete without a sound system, and for audiophiles, time at home revolves around those little black boxes
421: Red brick revival
Once at the heart of Yokohama's bustling port industry, Akarenga Soko has a new lease of life as an exclusive entertainment and retail complex
417: Eye browse
An eyewear boom has seen new stores open and old favorites prosper
413: Sporting goodies
Shibuya sportswear
409: Go Figure
An army of action figures
405: Puff 'n' Stuff
Tokyo's best cigar shops
381
379
377
375
373
371
368
367
366
364
362
360
357
355
351
349
347
345
343
341
338
336

The write stuff

Hanna Kite takes notes at Tokyo's finest pen and paper boutiques.

Besides runny noses, fall weather also carries with it a more contemplative mood. It's the season that our inner writer leads us to the window-side desk with a cup of tea and pen and paper. Kawaii Japanese letter sets are a dime a dozen, but when you're jotting in a journal, composing a long letter, or giving the gift of words this autumn, the corner stationery store and ¥100 yen shop just won't do. Listen carefully and let the delicate scratching of a fountain pen on handmade paper lead you to these five stationery boutiques in Ginza and Aoyama.

 

Pen Boutique Shosaikan Aoyama
Shosaikan (pictured above) is one of those stores that reminds foreigners and internationally minded Japanese why they're living in Tokyo. The harmony of its architecture, lighting and displays creates a breathtaking backdrop for a distinctive collection of 25,000 antique stationery products, including blotters and inkwells dating from the 1890s to the 1920s. Shosaikan's well-trained staff can help customers find a fountain pen that suits them, whether it's a Parker and Waterman for those who press very firmly as they write or, for lefties, an Omas or Pelican pen with a softer, thinner nib. Like the best specialty stores, Shosaikan is a tad hard to find: If you're walking from Omotesando station towards Shibuya on Aoyama Dori, turn left at Max Mara and walk three blocks until you see the Nikka Whiskey sign. The side street leading to Shosaikan is directly across the street.

Panse Bldg 1F, 5-13-11 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3400-3377. Open daily 11am-8pm. www.shosaikan.co.jp

 

On Sundays

Downstairs from the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art near Gaienmae station is On Sundays, one of Tokyo's best museum shops and one that stands alone as a premier stationery store stocking uniquely arty items. In addition to handmade greeting cards (some decorated with beads, eggshells, and kiri-e), 31 types of marbled paper, letter sets, and designer-quality portfolio files, On Sundays's most impressive selection is its art and photography postcards-over 10,000 types, organized alphabetically by artist. On Sundays has for the past 13 years commissioned local designers to create original day-planner covers; 2004's selection is already on sale. Other unique gifts stored in On Sundays's ceiling-high wooden cabinets and shelves include seal, gorilla, and goat facemasks, confetti, and travel games. A café and bookstore are located downstairs.

3-7-6 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. Tel: 03-3470-1424. Open daily 11am-8pm, until 9pm on Wed. Nearest stns: Gaienmae or Meijijingumae. www.watarium.co.jp

 

Ginza Ito-ya

Spread out over several buildings and occupying numerous floors, Ito-ya is the Kinokuniya of stationery stores. Their Ginza location comprises three buildings for a total of 18 floors of design materials, personal organizers, office supplies, picture frames and, during winter, a beautiful selection of imported Christmas cards. One of their most impressive features is a collection of over 600 types of fountain and ball-point pens on the M floor of the main building. Ito-ya stocks Mount Blanc, Cartier and Caran d'Ache, but its prize is the Pilot Namiki line, a foreign-targeted brand that Ito-ya spent over two years convincing Pilot to sell domestically. Namiki pens (up to ¥1.5 million) are decorated with exquisitely detailed raised lacquer work that can only be completed by two or three artisans in Japan. Another Ito-ya specialty: anyone waiting to enter their doors before they open each morning is greeted with free hot coffee. (Cold tea is served in the summer.) Ito-ya also cleans and services fountain pens.

2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3561-8311. Open Mon- Fri: 10am-7pm, Sun and hols 10:30am-7pm. Nearest stn: Ginza. www.ito-ya.co.jp

 

Kyukyodo

The ground for the first Kyukyodo store was broken in 1633 in the Teramachi district of Kyoto by a descendent of a warrior whose deeds are chronicled in The Tale of the Heike. More than 300 years later, Kyukyodo still stocks incense, sumi ink, and calligraphy brushes. But they also sell rubber stamps in kanji and English, washi photo frames, and gold wedding albums. Customers are just as apt to be foreign tourist groups strolling Ginza's Chuo Dori as kimono-clad women looking for that perfect New Year's card, scroll hanger, or shrine book. The first floor of Kyukyodo's main Ginza branch stocks more than 250 different rolls of washi in every color and style imaginable, from delicate two-color patterns and in-your-face sakura motifs to thick lacquer-like red and black paper. Washi letter sets and more expensive Chinese types for calligraphy are also on offer.

7-4-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-3571-4429. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7:30pm, Sun and hols 11am-7pm. Nearest stn: Ginza. www.kyukyodo.co.jp

 

Montblanc

One symbol of status and success is a star-topped Montblanc pen clip just visible in a breast pocket, but the high-end brand has just pushed its logo design to another level. On their new StarWalker series, the six-pointed star literally floats in a transparent cap, and the bodies of the pens are a sleek black resin with three platinum stripes around the middle. The StarWalker stays away from Montblanc's typical-and sometimes a tad corny-composer- and musician-themed series. The ballpoint twist-in pen runs close to ¥30,000, while the nib of the fountain pen version comes in four different widths. Montblanc's small-scale, two-story boutique, tucked in the back streets of Ginza, doesn't stock the new diamond-inlaid gold or platinum Palm Pilot stylus, but their other products are a stylish option for those impossible-to-find male gifts. Check Montblanc's website for details and for their three other Tokyo locations.

7-5-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Tel: 03-5568-8881. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-8pm, Sun and hols 11am-6:30pm. Nearest stn. Ginza. www.montblanc.com

Photos by Martin Hladik

top