Hi there! As you know, I recently went to Tokyo (Sept 2016) for my vacation. Apart from being a Japanophile, one of the reasons for my trip is to buy Copic markers!!! I want to put my experience in this post so those of you who wishes to do the same can be more effective! 🙂
Since I can’t find most of the colors I want in the US due to the Copic shortage, I figured I can find more colors in Japan, where Copic is made and widely used. Also, the price is much much cheaper!!! A Copic Sketch Marker is around 380 yen (equivalent to USD 3.80). Since prices may change depending on the store and time, I won’t list the exact pricing per store.
Here are a complete list of the stores I went to, what they have to offer and their ranking. You can choose which store to visit depending on what else you want to see besides Copic markers.
1. Animate (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
This store primarily sells manga and manga goods. With a total of 9 floors, they dedicate different products/books on each floor. I originally only planned to buy manga books here, but surprisingly ran into some Copic markers on 3/F! :)))
They have an average selection of Copic markers, pens and paper. Look at the cute Copic set with Japanese packaging! There are also paper specific for drawing manga. However, they don’t have Copic refills here 😦
2. Loft (Shibuya, Tokyo)
This is a multi-level store that sells household goods, including stationery, books and design goods. They also have all sorts of stuff like teapots, 3D puzzles, postcards, bento boxes, etc. Perfect place to buy souvenirs.
I found Copic markers on the stationery floor. They have minimal Copic selection and no refills. I was pretty disappointed here so I didn’t even take pictures of the Copic corner. However, they do have other things to offer, such as these super cute Studio Ghibli miniature paper boxes.
They also have a demonstration of the newest craft – scratch coloring. I was trying out the one with the New York city skyline. Basically, I just used a sharp craft pen to scratch off the grey area. Gold color will reveal after scratching. I also tried scratching the black area, the gold also appear and it couldn’t be redone. So, I had to be careful not to scratch outside the gray area to distort the skyline. It was kinda fun!
Other stationery that they have are these cute page flags in different pastel shades!
Compared to Tokyu Hands below, I think Loft is more high-end and they target to younger people.
3. Tokyu Hands (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
Tokyu Hands is a department store. Compared to Loft, I think Tokyu Hands has a larger variety of products and they cater to more common household. Besides stationery, they also sell kitchen goods, appliances, makeup, etc.
These are toothpicks. Oh my goodness they are so cute!
These face masks were killing me. They were so creative!!! I had to get some as souvenirs!!
They also have ink pads. Of course they are in cute miniature size 😛
Copic markers are located on the stationery level. They do have lots of selection, refills, multi-liners and paper! I had to apologize because I forgot to take pictures. I’m so sorry!
4. Tools (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
This is the BEST place for shopping Copic markers and refills!! It is directly managed by Too (the company that develops Copic) so it still has the maximum supply even during the current shortage. That is why my Japanese friend Torico has recommended me to go to this store. It is indeed a gem!!
This place is tiny but it has everything an artist or a crafter wants!!! Look at the wall of gouache paints!
Look! Watercolor paints and books on watercolor!
Finally, you can see how busy I was picking out Copic markers LOL. They have a huge collection of both markers, refills, multi liners, paper, illustration books, etc. I literally went to this place twice to get everything I wanted!
Refills and different paper for Copic coloring:
Beautiful illustration books on Copic coloring! Heaven!
Useful books that teach drawing! Another heaven!!
Finally, the newest Copic multi liner in beautiful Lavender color!!
This place is definitely a MUST-GO!!!
All the stores I went to offer tax refund for foreign tourists. First, you have to pay for your goods and keep the receipt. Then, head to the Tax Refund counter in the store, show your passport, credit card and receipt. Your tax will be refunded to you in cash 🙂
**** However, please note that Tools doesn’t offer tax refund for Copic markers. They only offer tax refund on items like books and planners.
If you ask me to rank these 4 stores in terms of Copic shopping, it has to be Tools > Tokyu Hands > Animate > Loft.
That’s it for my Copic adventure in Tokyo! I had such a blast and I never wanted to leave! I hope my post is helpful to you. However, before you go, remember to check with your local friend(s) about Copic shortage, just to make sure things I mentioned above are still valid.
Happy shopping in Japan!!! 🙂