While Zoom is becoming a staple of Japanese offices, the analog activities of journaling and planning are still very much in vogue in Japan, with several stores dedicating a good portion of their stock to pens and various types of notebooks. For hardcore fans, there’s a seven-story Ito-ya in Ginza with a three-story sister store entirely dedicated to everything that writes.
If you’ve just returned to the office after a stint of working from home, you can freshen up your desk space with a single shopping spree. Whether you’re looking for office cleaning goods or cute stationery, here are some ideas to refresh your working space upon your return.
1. Lecloz Air Start Pack
Cleanliness is as essential to office life as stationery — especially when we’re living through a pandemic. Lecloz Air looks like desk decor or a cute candle, but the vessel contains a gel and a scented tablet that, together, generates chlorine dioxide, thereby disinfecting and deodorizing your space. At Loft, you can get an unscented one or one with a cypress-scent tablet. The vessel, made of Mino pottery from Gifu Prefecture, is no clunky, sterile-looking gizmo but is meant to sit prettily and innocuously on your (wonderfully-smelling) desk. Buy at Loft for ¥1,980.
2. Dr. Capsule SmartPhone UV Sanitizer
Data shows that our phones are about 18 times dirtier and contain more harmful bacteria than a public toilet — so it doesn’t really matter if you wash your hands frequently if you don’t keep your phone clean. Luckily, there’s a gadget to fix our problems: a smartphone UV sanitizer. Keep this one on your desk and make it a daily task to clean up your phone as soon as you get to work. Dr. Capsule SMartPhone UV Sanitizer uses UV-C technology to kill 99.9 percent of the germs and bacteria on the surface of your phone in just five minutes. You can also use it to sanitize your earphones and other small items too. Buy at BicCamera, other electronic device stores or online for ¥3,980.
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3. Marna Animal Pon! Pon! Cleaner
Just like the corgi butt sticky notes, this adorable duster is cute and functional. From a little cup emerges a green puff and a little parakeet. Grab the parakeet and you can dust off your computer screen or keyboard. Not only is this item eco-friendly, but it also comes with cat, bear and bunny-shaped handles. Buy at Loft, Amazon or Rakuten for ¥950.
4. Harinacs Stapleless Stapler
Kokuyo Harinacs’ stapleless staplers have changed the game when it comes to attaching documents together. Offered in two sizes for light (5 pages) or heavy-duty (10 pages) jobs, lose the metal staples for good and op for a teeny-tiny, but dainty, fold. Don’t be fooled: your papers aren’t going to start flying off with the wind. The fold is just as efficient and more eco-friendly. Buy at Loft, Tokyu Hands or other stationery stores ¥600.
5. Hobonichi Techno weeks White Line Ivory
No worries if you haven’t picked up on bullet journaling yet – those who like a little more structure will really feel at home in the planner aisle, but for a good compromise and a pocket-sized book to carry around choose the Hobonichi Techo. This clean and simple planner is great if you want to start daily journaling or calling yourself in writing a haiku every day. Of course, it’s also good if you simply want to keep track of appointments, which is what makes this planner super versatile and, as Loft’s best-selling notebook for 15 consecutive years, popular. Buy at Loft for ¥1,800.
6. Stand Stick Marker Corgi Butt
Japan is the paradise for cute stationery, and the best way to incorporate a little bit of fun at the office is the use of unorthodox sticky notes and memo sheets. From Disney’s Mickey Mouse to anime characters and cute pets, the possibilities are virtually endless. Loft’s interesting (for lack of a better word) Ikemen series consistently makes the best-sellers’ list, but you’ll also find cute corgi butts to remind your colleague of any pending tasks. But at Loft and Tokyo Hands or online for ¥300.
7. Milkfed Lunchbox
Still wary of going out for lunch? It might be time to look at your bento-box options. Founded in 1995 by Sofia Coppola, Milkfed introduces a California aesthetic to a Japanese office staple. This lunchbox has a dome-like lid so that the contents don’t get crushed. Moreover, the high divider stops your food from spilling over, and the stainless steel stopper and silicone gasket prevents leakage. You can microwave your meal if you remove the lid. But at Loft for ¥2,000.
8. Villeroy & Boch City of the World Mug Tokyo
However prevalent convenience store coffee may be among swamped workers, a mug can serve as a piece of decor, a reminder to breathe for a second and a great service to the environment. Made in Germany, this Villeroy & Boch mug is adorned with famous Japanese motifs (onigiri) and sights (Fuji, Tokyo Station) evocative of an ink-and-watercolor piece. This isn’t your standard, clunky, straight-edge dad mug either; the wavelike handle makes for a refined look and easy grip. Another version of the Tokyo-themed mug has such designs as the Skytree and a momiji leaf. Buy online for ¥4,500 or win a pair by taking part in our giveaway (see details below).
Tokyo Weekender “Back To The Office” Instagram Campaign
Take a photo of something you love about your desk at work or your office and tag @TokyoWeekender on Instagram with the hashtag #TWBackToTheOffice for a chance to win a pair of Villeroy & Boch NWC City of the World Mug Tokyo.
The campaign runs until July 14, 2020 and the lucky winners will be notified individually. Please note that this campaign is open only to people with a valid Japanese postal address.