IMG_2880If you think Americans like to shop, we’ve got nothing on the Japanese! In Osaka, Namba is the place to shop. I don’t care what language you speak, go to Osaka and say Namba and anyone can point you to this area. Shopping Heaven! Get ready for crowds and sensory overload, but well worth the effort. Whatever you want, you can find it here. Food, clothing, gifts, kimonos, trendy styles, and the best people watching in town. Osaka is a more casual place than Tokyo. We saw more people in casual dress and styles than in any other part of Japan, and there were very few westerners.

When we searched online for paper stores in Osaka, we had a hard time finding one. There were greeting cards stores – which are different that what we have in the states, but nothing just on paper. Then as we moved along with the crowd on the seemingly endless covered streets of Namba, I spotted this display.


Behind the glass case to the left of the store entrance you can see paper crafts and calligraphy samples. Very simple, very nice. So we went down the stairs.

Important fact about shopping in Japan, think three-dimensional. In the west we  shop by walking down parallel stores; in Japan think up and down as well. If you don’t look up or down, you may miss the best treasures in the district.

WOW! This store had an entire wall of ink powders. I mean there had to be 300-400 glass bottles filled with dry ink powders for mixing sumi and paint. (Again, no pictures allowed – rats!) I did find this store online once we got home and here is a shot from their webpage of the glass bottles. For someone who loves and adores color, I was in awe! Standing in front of these shelves the possibilities for creating seemed endless! It inspired me to think bigger and broader and in more colors! 

Japanese painting paint 'Iwa-Enogu'

They also had a small supply of japanese handmade papers, and a wonderful variety of handmade brushes of all sizes shapes and colors. Tanseido the only English text I could find which translates into handmade japanese brush. Beautiful brushes, paper supplies for making fans and other paper crafts, and of course all the ink/powder options. If there is a color you want or have imagined in your dreams, this is the place to find out how to mix it.

In reviewing their website, they have outlets in Tokyo and in major department stores.  So not only did I have to think up and down, but bigger and bolder!

Here is the website for this Tanseido Co, Ltd. – well worth the trip for someone who loves color!