In Echizan, Japan, they honor the paper gods as it is a revered paper making village. Unfortunately, many of the talented papermakers are aging out of the business without young apprentices to teach the art. The Japanese government is funding stipends to encourage young artisans to move to the rural areas where the crafts are situated. They are also funding cross cultural programs with other countries to bring artisans to these areas. This is a U.S./Japan cultural exchange, for example.
The horse plays an important role in Japanese culture and history, and hence also the history of papermaking.
Even department stores have nice selections of pens , stationery, papers, and watercolors. We went to Takashimaya on our first day in Kyoto. They give you a 5% off card for purchases over 3000 yen (approximately $30 USD) if you show your passport. It’s good for a month so my pen collecting friends can go wild. Here are a few pictures. Sorry there aren’t more. I was fading fast. Kyoto is hotter than the rest of Japan and humid. I was melting.
Itoya in Tokyo is a 100 year old stationery store with an entire floor of fountain pens, a fabulous cafe, and even some housewares. Everything is beautifully presented and the quality is amazing. If you are ever in Tokyo and love pens or stationery, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Just a handful of the stunning pens available. They also had a Pelikan writing area where one can try out the high end Pelikan models.
And there were so many drool-worthy models that I was overwhelmed.
They also had an amazing collection of stationary and journal supplies.
And to to it all off, the cafe served delectable Japanese style pancakes and mango sangria, as well as a variety of lovely salads, soups, and entrees.