A Guide to Tokyo Pen shops
Last updated July, 2008
Are you planning to visit Tokyo in the near future, and need information on pen shops here? This page should help you find your way around. Also, don't miss the link at the bottom of this page to the Fountain Pen Tours page.
Most of these shops do not have English speaking clerks, so you will need some Japanese language ability or bring along a capable friend if you want the conversation to go further than "This is a pen." Some of the maps on this Web site may also require Japanese reading ability.
However, both Eurobox and Pen Boutique Shosaikan can handle English, allowing you fiercely independent types to go on your own without any Japanese help. With this in mind, I have included English directions and landmarks on the maps for these two shops.
The nice thing about Japan is that practically every department store has a fountain pen counter with Japanese fountain pens and sometimes a few foreign pens in its stationery section, and as a rule the prices are tightly controlled for Japanese pens so they do not vary from store to store.
Eurobox is a vintage pen shop in Tokyo, with probably the best selection of old pens in Japan. There is no better place to find a vintage Japanese pen. The owner Eizo Fujii is fluent in English.
This small shop is located on the fourth floor (room 407) of an old building (Okuno Bldg) on a backstreet in Ginza. Although the place is well known to pen collectors all over Japan, you will need a map to find it the first time.
Pen Boutique Shosaikan
Pen Boutique Shosaikan in Aoyama is an experience. This very classy shop stocks pens and stationery items (both antique and modern) ranging from very cheap to out of this world expensive. Some of their unique stationery goods can be found nowhere else. The clerks all wear black designer uniforms and serve you tea. The owner speaks English. It's not far from Omotesando station, and well worth a visit, if only to browse. But you will most likely find something that never knew existed, but now can't live without!
The Ameyoko shopping district has at least Five Discount Pen shops which are located in the shopping arcade under the railroad tracks near Okachimachi station.
They are actually more booths than shops, and the aisles between them are narrow and very conjested with bargain seekers. If you don't mind being jostled by crowds, or coming to a complete standstill as the person in front of you stops to look at some merchandise, then you will find some bargains that are not to be found anywhere else in Tokyo. These shops typically offer up to 40 percent discounts for imported western pens. Some also give a discounts on Japanese pens--up to 30 percent off. These stores specialize in import pens and don't carry many Japanese pens, but some will special-order specific models of even Japanese pens at the customer's request.
Juzen-sha is in the southern part of Tokyo, near Omori station on the JR Keihin Tohoku Line. Although it looks like an average stationery store from the outside, they actually sell vintage pens as well. I was surprised to see a whole tray of Vacumatics displayed among the modern pens for sale with no sign indicating these were even vintage!
They also have custom pens made for Juzensha by Pilot, which are sold no where else in the world. These pens have a slightly different design, including flat cap ends rather than the standard Pilot round end.
Juzensha is owned by a fountain pen collector who keeps part of his collection in an antique pen museum on the 4th floor (pictured at right). There are hundreds of rare western pens from all the major makers on display, many of them still mint in the box!
Please call in advance to see the museum. Fullhalter is one stop away on the same train line (JR Keihin Tohoku Line).
Note (September, 2010): I have been informed by someone who tried to visit Juzensha that it might be out of business. If you are planning a visit, please call them first just in case.
Fullhalter is run by nib meister Mr. Moriyama who is well known all over Japan for his expertise. His Web site is full of interesting and technical information on fountain pens, and new articles are added weekly. The shop also carries Fullhalter original Fountain pens. It's near Oimachi Station.
The Photo was taken on a holiday when the shop was closed. Oops. I'll try again after paying more attention to their schedule.
Maruzen department store in Nihonbashi has a nice pen and stationery section in their basement.
Although most department stores in Japan seem to have decent fountain pen sections, Maruzen's is particularly nice, and they also sell their own brand of fountain pens (Century) and ink (Athena).
You can enter the pen section by the subway entrance as well (exit B3).
Maruzen Nihonbashi Department Store
Note: There is also a huge Maruzen in the new Oazo shopping complex across the street from Tokyo Station. It also has a very nice fountain pen section.
Pilot Pen Station
The Pilot Pen Station is located on the 1st and 2nd floors of the Pilot head office in Kyobashi. It is a museum of writing instruments and includes a 64 seat cafe where you can enjoy espresso.
Kinpendo is a well known pen store which has been in in the Kanda Jimbocho area for a very long time. The neighborhood has a nice atmosphere with lots of used book stores, and Kinpendo fits right in. It's a very small shop, and the walls are lined with display cases full of domestic and foreign pens. They sell only modern pens, and at full retail price, but Kinpendo's claim to fame is that they personally inspect and polish each nib on their more expensive pens to make sure they are as smooth as can be. They also have many rich and famous customers.
There is apparently no Web page, but here is how to get there:
Kinpendo, 1-4 Jimbocho, Chiyoda-ku
Ito-ya is a stationery store in Ginza which has an amazing selection of fountain pens as well as stationery and art supplies. It is also walking distance from Eurobox and the Pilot Pen Station. This very popular store is always very crowded, especially just as you walk in the entrance. The crowds do lighten up as they fan out to the various floors. Fortunately for pen lovers, the fountain pens are in a separate building which is behind the main building, so you just have to go out the back exit to find it, or go around the block if you want to avoid the crowds inside the main building.
Look for the huge red paper clip over the entrance. You can't miss it!
Ito-ya, 2-7-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Kawakubo is mainly an online shop, but they have do a small store. They also make their own custom ebonite fountain pens and pen storage boxes and trays, and have a factory a few streets away from the store, which you can visit if you call in advance for an appointment. Their location is in a neighborhood a bit off the beaten path. Nice, friendly folks, though!
Map (from their Website)
Seikatsusha Pens in Tokorozawa is pretty far out of central Tokyo. Apparently it is also an online store and not a real brick & mortar store. They specialize only in import pens (non-Japanese).
Although most of these shops are in Tokyo, it might be very grueling to try to visit them all in one day since Tokyo is a big place, and there are a lot of train transfers involved. I have, however, put together plans for two fountain pen tours in Tokyo on the Fountain Pen Tours page for those who would like to visit some of the main pen spots which are not too far from each other.
If you know of any stores in Tokyo that are not on this page, or have any important information that I have neglected to include, please contact me, and I will update this page right away. My e-mail address is listed below as an image (in order to thwart spammers).
All maps which did not originate from the individual pen shops' Websites were created using data from the Yahoo Japan Maps Web site.
Some of the information on this page was gleaned from e-mails by Tokyo Pentracers. Special thanks to pen collector Mikiko Yamamoto for her contributions.