Fun stuff and a quick lunch at Tokyu Hands Department Store in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan! And possibly the best mechanical pencil ever!
Tokyu Hands is a department store in Japan that has sections of floors dedicated to various things you might need. I swear that half a floor was filled with pens, pencils, and other writing implements. Another half of a floor was dedicated to paper and paper goods. They also have DIY, kitchen, model planes and vehicles, and several other categories. According to their website, sushi goods, health related goods, train related goods, hot/cold insulated boxes for food, and grooming goods are the top 5 most popular among customers. But they do seem to have a bit of everything!
Update: They also have 2 locations in Singapore now.
This particular location had about 7 floors! There were 2 sections for every level, each with a different category of goods. My favorite sections were the pens, notebooks, and kitchen things. I bought a few mechanical pencils as gifts and a pepper mill. This mechanical pencil is pretty amazing. The lead is rotated each time you lift it from the paper. The mechanism is called the Kuru Toga Engine. You can try to see how the orange piece is ridged, along with the white piece. I’ve been using it now for about 2 months and it is probably the best mechanical pencil that I’ve ever owned. The rotation of the lead is not noticeable at all, but it really makes writing much smoother than with other pencils. You just have to get rid of the habit of turning your pencil in your hand…
This video explains how it works:
Grab a quick bite!
On the top floor, they have a cafe and a shop with cool science-y things, and a corner with handmade jewelry and crafts from various (and I’m guessing) local vendors. They also had a outdoor patio area with several bonsai plants, and cacti, and other plants. I bought a bowl of minestrone soup and cup of tea for lunch. Both were pretty nice while I sat outside on an overcast day in Tokyo!