Japan has a lot of high-quality stationery, so it’s no wonder that it’s so popular with travelers from overseas as souvenirs.
However, some stationery in Japan is so wildly unique that you have no idea what it’s actually used for at first glance. Not only that, a lot of things only come with explanations in Japanese.
That’s why, in this article, we’ll be looking at some out there stationery, what they’re used for and where to get them in Kyoto!
Can you guess what any of them are used for?
The first thing on our list is this calligraphy paper, which looks like any old normal white paper. But, can you guess what might different about it?
This unique kind of calligraphy paper is actually used for “water calligraphy,” meaning that there’s no need for ink!
Simply by dipping your brush in water, this awesome paper makes it so that whatever you draw comes out looking like ink!
Not only that, after a while, the picture eventually fades and disappears, so you’re able to use the same page over and over again.
Not only is this paper perfect for practicing your calligraphy and ink wash painting, but it’s also environmentally friendly.
Also, as this paper only needs water, you don’t have to worry about accidentally drawing on the table, which also makes it great for kids.
You can find this “water calligraphy paper” at the long-standing Kyoto stationery store Kousetsuken.
Price: 3 sheets – ￥600 (excl. tax)
While they might look like tiny wee broomsticks, these cool “renhitsu” brushes are multiple smaller brushes in one.
These brushes are often used for ink wash painting and calligraphy, but they can also be used in a ton of other ways too, including for watercolors.
Also, as the brushes are so wide, you can play around with adding different colors to different areas and creating gradations, or even just use them like regular paintbrushes.
“Renhitsu” brushes come in four sizes; 3 brush heads, 5 brush heads, 7 brush heads and 9 brush heads.
You can find the “renhitsu” brushes at the long-standing Kyoto stationery store Kousetsuken.
Price: (those pictured above) Large – ￥9,000, medium – ￥1,5000, small – ￥5,500 (excl. tax)
*Prices differ by size and bristle quality. See in-store for details.
While this piece of stationery looks like a compact pen, when you take the top off…
It transforms into a pair of scissors!
This product is the Twiggy compact scissors. While scissors see quite a bit of use, they’re relatively big and hard to carry around in a pencil case. That’s where these come in. Despite their small, compact size, these scissors are sharp and have no problem cutting things.
The scissors pictured above use a spring in the middle to help you cut (see this Tweet for reference). However, there are other types too, including one which you pull the wire handle to use. If you feel like you won’t know how to use any of them, then talk to one of the staff.
You can find these compact scissors at Stationery Store tag – Teramachi Sanjo
Price ￥800 (excl. tax)
Next on our list are teeny tiny envelopes.
Only 64 mm wide and 97 mm long, these envelopes are maybe just a tad too small to fit regular letters.
That’s because these envelopes, called “pochi-bukuro,” are actually for money!
In Japan, you’ll see these pochi-bukuro not just at stationery stires but convenience stores too!
These envelopes are most commonly used over the new year’s because in Japan there’s a tradition of adults giving kids money called “otoshidama.” And what could be better suited for giving kids money with than an appropriately sized tiny envelope.
If you give any of your Japanese friends a pochi-bukuro, you’ll be sure to see them fill with excitement.
Also, if you’re not the money giving type, then don’t worry, as these envelopes have a ton of other uses too, including holding itsy-bitsy message cards.
You can find these beautiful “hakuoshi” pochi-bukuro at ROKKAKU.
If you’re wondering what hakuoshi is, or want a pochi-bukuro so you too can give out otoshidama, then check out our ROKKAKU article!
Reminiscent of a gorgeous kimono, these envelopes are known as “noshi-bukuro.”
In the top right corner of the envelopes pictured above you’ll see knots and a piece of folded paper – these are called “noshi.”
Envelops which feature these noshi–appropriately named noshi-bukuro–are used in times of celebrations, such as weddings, to give gifts of money.
Originally, the large center ribbon of these noshi-bukuro envelopes were tied in different ways depending on the occasion, however, nowadays you can find the ribbons tied in all kinds of cute ways
If you’re going to have the chance back home to give money, then why not give it in one of these beautiful Japanese-esque envelopes!
You can find all kinds of colorful and unique noshi-bukuro at INOBUN Shijo Honten - Main store.
Price From ￥300
|Sakurako[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]