Why is everyone crazy for Japanese stationery? Where to find the best in Umeda, Osaka


Osaka’s Umeda area is the largest shopping area in Kansai, where you can shop for everything from clothes and luxury brands to home items and accessories.
Did you know that the Umeda area is also home to many stationery stores that sell high-quality and unique Japanese stationery goods?
In fact, some foreigner visitors even come all the way to Japan to buy stationery!
Whether you’re a big stationery fan or are new to the world of Japanese stationery, this article will help you to understand what makes it so popular.

What makes Japanese stationery so special?

Japanese stationery products are known for their cool designs, excellent performance, and the wide variety of options in which they’re available, making them stand out among many stationery brands from around the world.
With their combination of functionality and beauty, Japanese stationery is also a great gift for friends and family.

In addition to finding your favorite stationery item at a store, even first-timers can find information on the latest products at the Japan Stationery Awards.
Since 2013, they have awarded the best stationery of the year, as well as a design award, function award, and award for best idea.

Let’s take a look at some products that really exemplify the unique qualities of Japanese stationery, and see what all the fuss is about!

Unique products born from many ideas

Clear Radar Transparent Eraser

Have you ever tried to erase a letter and accidentally erased more than you needed to?
Clear Radar, launched in 2019 by the 100-year-old eraser manufacturer SEED, might just be able to solve this sort of problem.
If you’re using a regular erase, you’ll need to check where you place the eraser as you use it. Clear Radar, though, is transparent, so you can see through the eraser to the underlying text, and won’t have to worry about overerasing.

The transparent eraser is wrapped in a light blue translucent package that gives it a clean design.
The eraser is also known for its softness and breakability, without comprising on its erasing abilities!
For its creative solution to the erasing problem, the transparent Clear Radar eraser won the Idea Award at the 2020 Stationery Awards.

Click here for stores where you can buy it: Smith, Tools

Kirinuq: A versatile cutter that can cut through a single sheet of paper from many

When you use a cutting tool, you usually place something on top of your table or other papers so you don’t scratch anything.
But with Kirinuq, you can save yourself that trouble.
You can cut out exactly the parts you want without laying a mat underneath your papers, and without leaving marks.

This is because the spring inside the Kirinuq keeps the pressure of the blade constant, minimizing the cutting force.
So, no matter how much force you apply, you can only cut the first sheet from a stack of papers.
You can also adjust the pressure you apply to the blade depending on the thickness of the paper, so that you can cut any type of paper without leaving marks on anything else.
You aren’t able to adjust like length of the blade like you can with a regular box cutter, but this product comes with two blades so you can easily replace it when needed.
This innovative design was awarded Japan’s 2011 GOOD DESIGN AWARD.

Click here to see stores where you can buy it: Tools

SHARM: Write and erase with one tool

If you want to carry your writing instrument around with ease and save space, then the SHARM automatic pencil is for you. Released in June 2022 by Sun-star stationery, it combines writing and erasing functions in one tool. By twisting the cap left and right, you can easily switch between a 0.5mm graphite core and a 2.0mm long eraser, to write or erase with the same pencil.
The grip is specially printed with a bumpy texture to make it easier to hold and use. When the eraser runs out, you can also replace it with a new one.
The SHARM mechanical pencil is lightweight and easy-to-use, and it’s sure to last a long time.

Click here for stores where you can buy it: KAWACHI

Colorful Copic Markers

If you like drawing or are studying art, you can't miss Copics, some of Japan’s most famous alcohol markers.
Copic is a globally famous brand widely used in the fields of illustration, comics, and art, and is even favored by many cartoonists and illustrators.
The 358-color lineup offers high transparency and vivid colors that don’t become cloudy when mixed.
The ink dries quickly, is non-toxic and doesn’t bleed easily, either.
Copics could even be called sustainable and eco-friendly, since the marker nibs can be replaced and their ink can be refilled.

Copic series includes Copic Classic, Copic Sketch, and Copic Ciao. Classic is a long-seller, Sketch is the most popular with the greatest variety of colors, and Ciao is both affordable and beginner-friendly, so there’s a Copic set and color selection for every budget and need.

Click here to see stores where you can buy it: Tools

Masking tape that can be used for anything

Japan’s colorful and diverse masking tapes have won the hearts of many girls nowadays, but they were originally industrial products used in painting cars.
This colorful, patterned masking tape was created in 2006, at the suggestion of a female customer who visited Kamoi Paper, which was making masking tape for industrial use at the time.
The new tape quickly became popular among female customers, opening up new possibilities in the stationery and paper goods industry.

This kind of masking tape is often made from traditional Japanese washi paper, and although it has strong adhesive strength, it leaves no marks, can be applied repeatedly, and is strong but easy to tear by hand.
Masking tapes were originally more monochromatic, but gradually they came to be offered in a variety of sizes and patterns.
Nowadays in Japan, this decorative tape has gone beyond its original adhesive function, and has come to be used for a variety of purposes, such as decorating notebooks, making cards, wrapping gifts, and decorating walls and small items.
If you go to a stationery store in Japan, be sure not to miss the masking tape corner!
Even first-time users are sure to enjoy them.

Click here to see stores where you can buy it: Tools

Stationery Stores in Umeda, Osaka

All of the high-quality and creative stationery products mentioned above, and those like them can be bought in Umeda. Come see what stationery stores the area has to offer.


Itoya is a stationery specialty store with a history of more than 100 years, which began in Tokyo’s upmarket Ginza district.
This store stocks a wide lineup of Itoya's original products, popular favorites, and stationery imported from overseas.
The shop has a very large selection of different pens, in particular.
Itoya’s GRAND FRONT OSAKA store is location inside the bookstore Kinokuniya, and in the book corner within, you can find stationery related to the contents of the books.
The stationery sold here is stylish and high quality, so they also make for great gifts.

Floor: South Building 6F
Business Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Smith is directly managed by the stationery manufacturer DELFONICS.
Inside, dark green signs and coffee-colored wooden floors and shelving create a calm and comfortable atmosphere.
Smith is a select shop that sells stationery and miscellaneous goods from Japan and abroad with a focus on superior functionality and beautiful design.
The store carries carefully selectd items that include everything from the the popular original Rollbahn notebook to various sundries, leather goods, and accessories.
They’re perfect to buy something for yourself, or for a present for someone else!

Floor: South Building B1
Business Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Tools is an art supply and stationery store. The Osaka Umeda location is adjacent to the exit of Umeda Station on the Midosuji Subway Line.
You can find stationery, sundries, and art supplies on separate floors.
When you arrive at the shop entrance, you’ll see the Tools' smiling logo, which is meant to show the smiles Tools hopes to bring its customers with its products.
In addition to its stationery selection, you’ll be amazed by Tools' wide selection of art supplies, comic production materials, picture frames, and more.
Since Tools is a part of the same corporate group as the company that manufactures Copic, they also offer a great selection of the popular alcohol markers. Don’t miss out on them!

Floor: South Building B1
Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
See here for money-saving coupons!


Founded in 1920 in Shinsaibashi, Osaka, this long-established art supply specialty store sells stationery, art supplies, comic art supplies, picture frames, and more.
Located on the first basement floor of the HANKYU SANBAN GAI North Building, KAWACHI’s bright and spacious interior has a rich selection of products and beautifully ordered displays.
If you stop by to look at the stationery or buy some art supplies, you’re sure to lose track of time browsing.
KAWACHI has just celebrated its 100th anniversary, and the brand has only has plans to continue to provide better products and experiences, that both preserve tradition, and always offer something new.

Business Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
See here for money-saving coupons!

Did you get some idea of how unique stationery products are in Japan? Next time you visit Umeda, Osaka, be sure to stop by these stationery stores and check out some of Japan’s incredible stationery products for yourself!

If traveling to Osaka by bullet train, from Shin-Osaka Station you can access Osaka’s Umeda district by JR train or by taking the Midosuji Subway Line to Umeda station.
If you are traveling from Namba Station, take the Midosuji or Yotsubashi Subway Line to Umeda or Nishi-Umeda Station.

For more information on Umeda, check out some of our Trip Ideas.

*Business hours may be altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

*Information in this article is accurate as of the date of posting. There is a possibility that details regarding these products and services have changed, or that some shops have since closed.


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