G. Itoya

Date Published
30th November 2016

The Itoya Papermerchant in Ginza is a store with a long history.

First opened in 1904, the 12 story building with huge glass panes and minimal wooden fixtures is now a beautiful but very different space to its original incarnation.

Traveling up floor by floor, it’s hard not to be enticed by the carefully arranged products on wooden shelves and in glass cabinets.

One floor is just for stationary, another just for desk paraphernalia such as ornate fountain pens and sleek leather planners.

The 10th floor contains its own hydroponic setup where they harvest fresh vegetables daily to serve in the cafe on the 12th floor.

I was visiting for the 7th floor, Fine Papers, as I needed some acid free tissue paper to package my prints for shipping. The selection of paper they have there is huge, all beautifully presented with swatch books and wide, smooth rolling drawers.

Once we had picked a stock I asked for 200 leaves, and immediately regretted my decision as the attendant carefully hand counted one sheet at a time… Twice. I felt bad for her, not me, as I happily browsed around the store while she busied herself with that, before carefully wrapping it all up and crafting a carry handle on the tube so I could get it home on the train easily.

Even if you’re not in the market for any of its products, the shop’s design is interesting enough that it’s well worth a wander through if you’re in the neighbourhood.


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