7 Useful Stationery Items You'll Want to Pick Up in Japan!
Japan is heaven for stationery lovers! Affordable, lightweight, and fun to buy, Japanese stationery also make for perfect souvenirs. Whether you're a fan of Japanese favorites like washi tape (Japanese masking tape), or just want to take your note-taking to the next level, read on for some of our picks for the most unique Japanese stationery for this year!
May 24 2019 (May 12 2021)
1. Kokuyo Karu-Cut Clip-On Masking Tape Cutter
Kokuyo Karu-Cut Clip-On Masking Tape Cutter is a must-have for all fans of washi tape. Just clip onto the roll and the built-in cutter gives you a clean edge - no scissors required!
These lightweight and solid cutters are easy to keep in your pencil case. Another great feature is that unlike other tape dispensers, their unique cutting edge gives a sharp and clean cut so you won't have to worry about having uneven edges.
If you're a fan of washi tape, these are inexpensive enough to buy a few for any washi rolls you might have on you on-the-go. They come in two sizes: 10-15mm and 20-25mm. The clip-on design makes the sizing quite flexible, though!
2. Uni KuruToga Mechanical Pencil
Mechanical pencils are great for a lot of purposes, but they have their annoyances. Since you can't manually sharpen them, they wear down flat on one side as you write. This means that your letters can vary in thickness, either getting too thick or scratchy and hard to write with.
The Uni KuruToga solves this problem with a unique gear system inside the pencil itself. Kuru means "turn" and Toga means "sharpen". Just like the name suggests, when pressing the pencil to paper, the pressure causes the gears to slowly turn, rotating the lead as you write so that it always has a sharp tip.
You get neat, even letters and the precise line of a smaller lead size without the breakage!
KuruToga mechanical pencils come in lead sizes 0.3mm to 0.7mm in a range of colors. You can also get them in different designs with characters like Hello Kitty or Pokemon, which make them great souvenirs for kids.
These are particularly good if you have small handwriting or are writing in a language with a lot of small strokes like Japanese. If you're a Japanese learner writing a lot of kanji by hand, definitely pick one of these up!
3. Uni Nano Dia Color
Made by the same company, Uni colored leads are the perfect companion to your KuruToga pencil. These multi-color leads can replace regular graphite leads in any mechanical pencil.
Nano Dia leads are also designed to erase cleanly, making these perfect for note-taking in books. You can use the bright colors to highlight and make easy to read notes, and simply erase them when you're done. They're perfect if you want to re-sell your textbooks at the end of the school year!
These leads come in pink, red, orange, green, blue, mint blue, and purple. Pictured here are the mixed type, which gives you a sample of all the colors!
4. Kutsuwa Zi-Keshi Eraser
Kutsuwa Zi-Keshi is a unique eraser made with iron powder which makes the residue magnetic! The case contains a neodymium magnet so you can use it to clean up after erasing.
Just run the bottom edge over your paper after erasing to quickly collect all the residue, then lift the tab at the bottom to release the waste right into the bin.
If you've ever felt like you're surrounded by eraser waste after a long drawing or studying session, this will help keep your workspace and your documents clean!
5. W-Craft Schedule Masking Tape
These set of three masking tapes are printed so you can easily make a weekly or monthly schedule with any paper you have on you! These are great for note taking or planning - just paste them on and use the tape for days of the week and days of the month to create an easy calendar.
The days of the week are printed in Japanese, but since Sunday is marked in red and Saturday in blue, you can keep track even if you can't read kanji. (Plus, if you're learning Japanese, this is a handy way to practice the days of the week!)
These are a great way to add functionality to a regular notebook. If you're a visual person, they're great for note-taking during meetings, or when you're trying to hash out a complicated schedule.
There is also a checklist type tape, which is great for instantly turning any notebook into a to-do list or grocery list!
6. Kokuyo One Line Eraser
Have you tried to erase some notes, only to wipe out way more than you intended?
This star-shaped eraser is cleverly designed to perfectly fit the line height of any notebook, form, or handwriting size. Just match the edge to the height of the line to neatly erase only the parts you want!
There are four tips that range from 3mm-6mm, and a fine-tipped "corner" size, which is great for drawing, geometry calculations, or graphing.
7. Okawa Hokori Tori / Marna Silicone Keyboard Brush
Japan has some cute items available in stationery stores for your computer, too! The Okawa Hokori-Tori and Marna Silicone Keyboard Brush are lightweight and eco-friendly solutions to the eternal hassle of keeping your computer clean. Both disposable screen wipes and microfibre cloths have their downsides. Neither last forever, and they definitely don't add any charm to your desk!
These silicone brushes can be simply rinsed with water, so you can keep using them again and again. Their flat design also means they're perfect to keep in your laptop case with no bulk.
The Marna Silicone Keyboard Brush comes in a set of two sizes. Both have curved, brush-like ends that can get right into the grooves of your keyboard. No more sticky keys!
Be sure to check out some stationery stores while you're traveling in Japan to get your hands on some super useful (and cute) stationery items!
If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.