Bunbougu Cafe: A Stationery Lover's Dream

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If you're a stationery buff, you probably already know that Japan is basically the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of stationery – they make some of the coolest, cutest stuff here. But you know what's better than cool stationery? A cool stationery CAFE.
Tucked away in the basement on a narrow street between Harajuku and Omotesando, Bunbougu Cafe, which means stationery in Japanese, is a cafe, bar and stationery shop, all rolled into one.

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As always is the case in Japan, if you arrive on a weekend, you'll probably have to put your name down on a wait list to get in, but don't worry – time will fly by while you check out all the goodies on display in the waiting area (all of which are for sale).

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The dining section is surrounded with books, drawers, pencils, files and crayons. There’s also a big black cart in a corner nearby stocked with stationery that anyone is free to use. Bliss! If you’re here in the afternoon, try out one of the reasonably priced set lunches, or go ala carte if you’d like something from the regular food menu. They also have a small selection of wine to choose from.
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The atmosphere is easygoing and relaxed with plenty of opportunities to start a conversation and make new friends. If you see yourself coming here regularly, for a one-time fee of 700 Yen you can sign up as a member and get a special key that gives you access to the members-only drawers that dot the cafe.

Inside the drawers are exclusive stationery and notebooks that you can use to leave notes for other members, which is a really neat idea – some people share their travel experiences, and others leave elaborate doodles and quirky messages. 
If you’re in Harajuku or Omotesando, this is one theme cafe you don’t want to miss!


B1F, 4-8-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Get there
Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon, and Chiyoda lines), take exit A2
03 3470 6420
10.00am – 11.30pm daily
1,000 – 3,000 Yen

Kurt Low