At Best Living Japan, we offer various craft classes that use Japanese washi, so we are “experts” on where to find the best selection. Here are our top 10 locations to buy Japanese washi in Tokyo. Many smaller Japanese souvenir shops may also sell sheets of Japanese washi, but for a more extensive selection, check the shops below. If you are interested in taking a craft class at Best Living Japan, we offer Japanese washi chabako (tea boxes) and Japanese Ikkanbari basket decorating.
Top 10 Places to Buy Japanese Washi in Tokyo
What is washi? “wa” means Japanese, and “shi” means paper. Washi comes in various colors, patterns, textures, and thicknesses. A full sheet of washi is typically about 90 cm X 60 cm (about 35 inches X 23 inches). Prices on one full size sheet of washi can run from a 150 yen for a single color to a few thousand yen for an embossed print, however the average price range is between 650 – 1,000 yen.
1. Haibara (Nihonbashi, Tokyo) – Founded in 1806 – this is probably the most beautifully designed washi paper store in Tokyo. It is in a stand-alone building in from of a large offie building (not inside). Haibara not only has beautiful full sheet and 1/2 sheet Japanese washi but the cutest money enveloped, note books and seasonal washi decorations. It is about a 10 min walk from Itoya #8 and Kyukyodo #5, and 15 min walk from Ozu Washi #4. on the list below.
Address: 2-7-1 Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo ( Google Maps)
Business Hours: M-F 10:00- 18:30, Sat & Sun 10:00-17:30
Access: 2 min walk from Nihonbashi Station exit B6 on the Ginza line, Asakusa Line
2. Tokyo Matsuya (Ueno, Tokyo) –
Beautiful Edo Karakami washi paper has been made and sold by the Tokyo Matsuya family for over 200 years. Karakami paper is famous for huge pieces of Japanese washi the can be used on walls, sliding doors, or Japanese screens. If you are looking for a decorative Japanese touch for your home, this is the best store. If you are renting, consider buying a large board, covering it with Karakami paper, and handing as artwork. Beautiful vibrant designs that will fit any decor. They also have smaller pieces that you can use for crafts.
Address: 6-1-3 Higashi-Ueno,Taito-ku,Tokyo ( Google Maps)
Business Hours: 9:00- 17:00, closed Sundays and national holidays
Access: 10 min walk from Ueno station, or 2 min walk from Inaricho statin on the Ginza line
3. Sakura Hori (Asakusabashi, Tokyo)– If you want one-stop shopping for washi and washi crafts, Sakura Hori is the place to go. They also sell online in Japanese. On the second floor of their shop, they have over 500 types of Japanese paper. With some exceptions, most are full sheets for 630-750 yen. You also can buy partial pieces of some prints. Note: first floor, they sell washi varnish and washi glue for crafts. Great selection and prices. When in the neighborhood also check out Shimojima, which is one of our favorite Japanese packaging stores.
Address: 1-25-3 Yanagibashi, Taito City, Tokyo ( Google Maps)
Website: Japanese language only https://www.sakurahorikiri.co.jp
Business Hours: 10:00- 17:30, closed Sundays
Access: 4 min walk from Asakusabashi station on the Asakusa or Chuo-Sobu lines
4. Ozu Washi (Nihonbashi)
Ozu Washi in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is a manufacturer and retailer that carries a huge selection of washi paper, shodo paper, and sumi art paper. A 300+-year-old store that has always specialized in paper and art materials (brushes, string, and inks). They offer both mass production paper, as well as some of the most beautiful handmade paper from all over Japan. Kids will also find prepackaged craft kids to make origami and balloon washi animals. Adults and children can also participate in a one-hour washi class, or sign-up for other culture classes. Ozu also offered services for framing, mounting, and restoration.
Make a piece of Japanese washi paper to take home (A4 size/5X11) for 500 JPY. The Japanese washi workshop is conducted in Japanese, but one can understand the instructions by watching. Also, questions can be asked in English, and the staff will try their best to answer. The class takes about one hour and takes place 4-5 times per day (M-F 10:30. 11:30, 14:00, 15:00, and 16:00, Sat – all times except 16:00). Walk-ins are accepted but best to contact for reservations. Go to Contact
Address: 3−6−2 Nihonbashi Honcho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo ( Google Maps)
Website: http://www.ozuwashi.net/en/ (English)
Hours:Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 18:00, closed Sundays and New Year Holidays
5-min. walk from Exit No.A6 of Mitsukoshimae Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line or Hanzomon Line
5-min. walk from Exit No.3 of Kodemmacho Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line
2-min. walk from Exit No.5 of Shin-Nihombashi Station on the JR Sobu Line
5. Itoya (Ginza, Shibuya Shinjuku, Yokohama, Kyoto and more) –
The Itoya Ginza Flagship Store is not just one of the Tokyo Must Shop places to spend hours shopping for Japanese paper (washi) and stationary and home accessories, but also has a great restaurant and in-house veritable garden. The Ginza Flagship Store (located on Ginza Dori) and second building directly behind the main building has 18 floors of some of the coolest items you will find in Japan. Be careful with time because once you start shopping you many not exit for hours!
Itoya has a rich history in Ginza having begun business in 1904 and continuing to lead the
way on stationary merchandising in Japan. The Itoya’s main store is in Ginza, but they have ten other stores across Tokyo and one in Osaka. We recommend grabbing lunch before hotting Itoya since you don’t want to have a star dip mid shopping!
Main Ginza Store Address: 2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座2-7-15)
K. Itoya Store Address: located one street behind the flagship store 2-7-15 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo (〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座2-7-15)
Hours: Monday – Saturday 10:00 – 20:00, Sunday and Holidays 10:00 – 19:00
Access: Ginza flagship store is a 5 minute walk from Ginza station on the Ginza line
Website: English language enabled http://www.ito-ya.co.jp
6. Yuzawaya (Kamata, Tokyo) – Yuzawaya is a very large craft chain in Japan with over 20 stores. Yuzawaya started as a store in Kamata, Tokyo area and have over five buildings near the Kamata station. However, they also have stores located in large department stores in Tokyo and Osaka. The best Japanese washi selection is at the Kamata store and prices are good with most pieces between 500-700 yen. You can also buy fabrics, embroidery and knitting items, handicraft supplies, painting, calligraphy, stationery and much, much more. Make sure you join the store’s ‘Yuzawaya-tomo-no-kai’ club to get 10% or more off your purchases. My favorite location is Kamata due to the selection of washi and fabric, but the store in the basement of the TOC building in Gotanda has really good parking and decent fabric and yarn selection. There is also a Daiso and Akachan Honjo baby store in the TOC building.
– TOC Building B1 (No. 31) Nishi Gotanda 7-22-17 Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. Hours: 10: 00-19: 00
– Kamata store (8-23-5 Nishi Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo) 10am – 8pm everyday (Sat until 8:30pm)
Access to Kamata store: 1 min walk from Kamata station
7. Tokyu Hands (Shibuya, Shinjuku & other locations around Japan) – Everyone who lives in Japan knows Tokyu Hands as the super fun trendy merchandising store for crafts and life style. On floor 6A you can find about 50 types of washi and washi glue for crafts. Tokyu Hands’ prices are a bit steep and the selection not the widest but location is key. Note that not all Tokyu Hands stores have washi but main HQ in Shibuya does. The new satellite store in the Shibuya Scramble building does not, however the Kyukyodo #8 below does offer in their store in the Shibuya Scramble building.
8. Kyukyodo (Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Sky Tree, Yokohama and Kyoto)
Kyukyodo was founded in Kyoto in 1663 as an incense maker. Over the past 300+ years they have become famous for the quality incense, calligraphy supplies and Japanese paper goods. Their flagship store in Ginza is like a candy store for stationary lovers – the most beautiful Japanese washi, postcards, stationary, envelopes, and seasonal products are on the 1st floor The 2nd floor has all the incense sticks, scent bags and calligraphy supplies. They also have a lovely gallery that rotates subjects and artists. If you are in the Ginza area we also recommend you check out Itoya which is just down the street. Here is our family guide for Ginza.
Kyukyodo also has a lovely satellite store in the new Shibuya Scramble Building if you would like to get a few sheets of washi or incense.
9. Bingoya (Shinjuku, Tokyo) – Bingoya Japanese Craft Shop is one of our recommended Tokyo Japanese craft shops. From paper to ceramics you will find what you are looking for at Bingoya. The store does not specialize in washi but they have a nice selection of full sheets and also many craft items made with washi. Store merchandise is located on five floors categorised by type of product. You will also find a very knowledgeable shop person on each floor to try to answer any questions you may have. Although I love this store, I would not recommend for people who have issues with climbing stairs.
Address: 10-6 Wakamatsucho, Shinjuku, Tokyo
Business Hours: closed Monday, Open all other day
s 10:00 – 19:00
Access: a 2 min walk from Wakamatsu-Kawada station on the Oedo Line
10. Kurodaya (Asakusa, Tokyo)
When I first moved to Tokyo, Kurodaya was my go-to for paper. They have a lovely selection in their store, which has an excellent range of washi covered products, Japanese kites, and prints. I don’t think I have ever taken a visitors here and walked out empty-handed. If you are visiting Sensoji Temple, a stop at Kurodaya is a must. Price and selection are moderate.
Address: 1 Chome-2-5 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo