Exploring Japan: Art Stores in Tokyo?
If you're planning to visit Tokyo anytime soon and would love to stock up on brush pens, watercolor, and other art stuff, then you will love this post. Not only did I provide a list, but I also some photos of the storefront. Hopefully, my guide will make it a lot easier for you to find them when you're finally in Tokyo.
Your one-stop shop for art: Sekaido
Sekaido pretty much has everything. The main store in Shinjuku had six floors, each of them has their own designation of products. The first floor is stationery, office supplies, and pens. The second floor is architecture and manga haven. While the third floor is mostly paints (watercolor, oil, acrylic) and fine art materials. You get the idea.
The flagship store is located near Shinjuku-Sanchome Station. But if you’re coming from the main Shinjuku Station, the store is about 2-3 blocks away (near Forever 21). Store closes at 9 PM.
Your source of art books: Kinokuniya
About a block away from Sekaido is Kinokuniya. Don't expect to find a wide range of art supplies at Kinokuniya since they're primarily a bookstore, but they're a great place to go if you want books about anything under the sun.
They also have other branches in Tokyo and in other cities, such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Uematsu is a small art store in front of Shibuya Station. They carry a lot of mineral pigments and traditional Japanese art materials. I have no opinion regarding this store but it seems to gear towards advanced painters.
Tokyu Hands in Shibuya can put SM Department Store, ACE Hardware, SM Home, and National Bookstore to shame. They sell art and craft supplies, stationery, luggage, furniture, electronics, DIY materials, etc. Literally everything - including wood!!! Just like Sekaido, each level has their own designation.
Other stores worth visiting
Loft carries quirky and beautifully designed products, mostly stationery. The store I visited in Shibuya is actually a complex store with Muji, meaning some of the floors are focused on Muji products. You have to go down the stairs to get to Loft.
Daiso is a popular one-stop novelty store in Japan. Almost everything sold in Daiso only cost 100Yen or PHP35ish, including brush pens, colored papers, and food. I purchased my pastel colored paper there and have been using it as backgrounds for selected photos on Instagram. I believe the biggest Daiso branch is located in Harajuku, but the place is often crowded.
Seria 100 is similar to Daiso. Nearly everything is 100Yen. They're not an art store but they do sell a few items related to the arts, like a handful of brush pens, knitting and sewing materials.