I Went to Paper Heaven AND it Smelled Great

No trip to Kyoto is complete without a visit to Kyukyodo Stationery and Incense Shop.  Its been in business since 1663.  When you’re about to hit your 350th anniversary, it’s clear you kinda know what you’re doing.

The shop sells postcards, stationery, washi papers, sumi-e supplies, paper crafts and their  homemade incense.  It’s all really quite lovely, but I have to confess to being a sub par blogger and having no photographs inside the store for you.  I was literally gobsmacked at what was in front of me, and hyper-focused on doing my shopping while trying to convince The Cuties and The Cute Grandparents that they should all head back to the hotel and nap while I tried not to drool on the merchandise shopped quietly with Cute Husband.

The sumi-e supplies were incredible, especially their ink stones.  Many of them had elaborate shapes and images, making my plain rectangular one look a little sad in comparison.  I wish I had bought a few brushes, but I couldn’t make up my mind and sumi-e brushes start at about $20 each and go up rapidly, so I couldn’t justify just grabbing a few.  I did, however, spy an adorable brush rest among their large selection.  Can you guess why this guy called my name?

Big Cutie and I both fell in love with these washi-covered trays that were the perfect size for a pair of glasses.  While I wear my contact lenses 95% of the time, I am blind enough that I need my glasses to even head to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  More importantly, I’ve realized I should really have them easily accessible should a major earthquake happen while my lenses are out {can you tell we’ve had several earthquakes lately in the mid 5s and 6s lately that I’ve been thinking about these things?}.

My final purchases were the cutest little notes and envelopes.  I thought these were the perfect size for school lunches and quick teacher notes about easy things like riding a different bus home or an absence.  The first ones are sakura, which are cherry blossoms {even though I grew up in Washington, DC and always saw cherry blossoms, I am really excited to see the “real deal” here in Japan and all the festivities that surround the week of blooms}.  Next are Japanese-style backpacks.  I never miss the opportunity to check these out in the department stores here.  They run about $500+ and families pitch in to buy them for children when they begin Kindergarten and kids use them for years and years and years.  Then comes Mt. Fuji and of course, a camera, since I spend so much of time here carting one around!

These are just bigger than business cards, and are letter pressed onto rice paper.

They are definitely kawaii!

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