Kakimori is in the quiet neighbourhood of Kuramae in Tokyo, where hipster cafes and residential are mixed in with old established businesses, the store's purpose is to 're-evaluate the importance of writing'.
The store consists of a wide selection of writing instruments such as dip pens, markers, pencils and there's even a wall of fountain pens for you to try before you buy, which is especially useful if you were looking at a few hundred dollar pen. There's also a selection of pen ink, some of which is exclusive to the store.
The pièce de résistance however, is their create your own notebook display. This service is extremely popular, so we recommend you go on a weekday.
To create your notebook, pick up a tray at the entrance. There are instructions in Japanese but the basics are:
From the display/shelves:
1. Pick from 2 sizes: B5 or B6 (both available in landscape or portrait)
2. Cover/Backing sheet: you can choose either, both or none. You can also choose semi-opaque plastic sheets to protect the notebook.
3. Notebook paper: Options include but are not limited to calendar, grid, travel log, envelope etc. The paper comes in packs, it's recommended you choose between 2-4 packs and more popular options tend to sell out faster. You can also select from different paper types (sample sheets are available for perusal). Order of the notebook paper is chosen at the counter. You should also consider the orientation of your notebook when picking notebook paper.
When that's done, bring your tray to the counter, where you have to make a few more choices (note these items are available at the display so you can have a think about it before heading to the counter.)
At the counter:
1. Binding Ring: 5 colours, 2 options of binding, choose your orientation.
2. Fastening accessory (optional) : Elastic, Leather button or String & Button.
3. Other (optional): Corner metal frame
All these options do add up, the prices are all displayed and Kakimori reckons if you follow the guide, a notebook would typically cost around between 1000 - 3500 yen (10 - 35USD)
After you've made all your choices and paid, it will take around 30 minutes (weekday) to create your notebook, feel free to browse some more, go for a walk, or may we suggest a cup of hot chocolate around the corner? Then come back and pick up your notebook, can I just say it feels incredibly satisfying to hold a notebook that you've assembled yourself. It's such a great experience!
Stay tuned for our review of the Kakimori notebook and Inkstand.