I’ll admit – I sniff notebooks fresh from the packaging. And Shiori buys paper clips she doesn’t need, just because it’s cute.
So we were pretty psyched when we discovered Bunbougu Cafe. It’s a cafe, a bar and a stationery shop, all rolled into one.
Tucked away in the basement on a narrow street between Harajuku and Omotesando, Bunbougu, which means stationery in Japanese, is easy to miss if it’s your first time there.
Tip: Look out for the 7-11 next to it – it’s a lot easier to spot.
Down the long flight of wooden stairs you’ll be greeted by rows and rows of cool stationery and an uncontrollable urge to spend all your money.
The layout is genius – the waiting area doubles up as the shopping area. It’s a trap, but a very nice one.
It didn’t take us long to get a table after we put our name down on the list, or at least it didn’t feel like it – time flew by while we were checking out all the goodies on display.
The dining area is surrounded with books, drawers, pencils, files and crayons. For a stationery freak, this is 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 reasonably priced food menu. They also have a small selection of wine to choose from.
We love the atmosphere – it’s fun, easygoing and there are plenty of opportunities to start a conversation and make new friends.
If you see yourself coming here regularly, for a one-time 700 Yen fee 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 – some people share their travel experiences, and others leave elaborate doodles and quirky messages.
There’s a big black cart in a corner nearby stocked with stationery that anyone is free to use, too. If you’re in Harajuku or Omotesando, this is one cafe you don’t want to miss.
“Don’t forget to leave your mark on the giant wall canvas! We also highly recommend the 100 Yen kuji (lucky dip) for a chance to pull out some mystery stationery from a box at the cashier – it’s fun and makes a great souvenir.”
B1F, 4-8-1 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon, and Chiyoda lines), take exit A2
03 3470 6420
10.00am – 11.30pm daily
1,000 – 3,000 Yen