The people of Taiwan are just as passionate about their stationery as the people of Japan. Similar to Japan, there are strong communities of people who love their stationery and planners, and you will readily find bookstores and gift shops that carry a wide variety of such products. Last November I had the opportunity to visit Taipei with my close stationery friends, and here are the ones I was most impressed by.
Everything trendy in Taiwan under one roof: eslite Xinyi Store (誠品書店 信義旗艦店)
The eslite bookstore is one of the most prominent bookstores in Taiwan that also carries a wide variety of stationery and lifestyle products. It is known amongst local people as the place where you can find “all of the trends in Taiwan under one roof.”
On this trip I had the opportunity to visit eslite Xinyi (誠品書店 信義旗艦店), their flagship store. Not only do they tout to be one of the largest bookstores in Asia, but the building also houses approximately 150 stores from Taiwan and around the world.
The stationery departments are on the 2nd and 4th floors. The 2nd floor has an area for high-end writing instruments, with an impressive selection of fountain pens from around the world. [Image 2 eslite inside.jpg] When I visited in November, there was a special display of 2018 planners by the registers - just like you would see in Japan!
Here you can also find local Taiwanese products as well as eslite’s private brand products.
On the 4th floor you will find more casual products for daily use.
I was especially impressed by their display of colored pencils!
Their product displays were quite different from what I am used to seeing in Japan - everything was so accessible that I couldn’t keep myself from reaching out and trying things. Their wrapping paper and ribbon section was also quite impressive.
As a trend-setter of Taiwanese culture, you will find eslite bookstores in many neighborhoods, with each store having its own unique theme/character. It is a store you surely will not want to miss when you visit Taiwan.
A place to enjoy functional stationery, coffee, and craft beer: Plain Stationery Homeware & Cafe（直物文具Café)
This is a store run by one of my stationery friends, Mr. Tiger Shen.
You will find a range of functional stationery curated by Mr. Shen as well as tasteful houseware.
He also has a line of his own products, with the latest addition being rubber stamps.
These are cute stamps that are perfect for decorating your planner.
According to Mr. Shen, these fountain pen ink cataloging stamps were quite popular when he took them to Japan. There is also a space to play with calligraphy pens, which is quite the “thing” in Taiwan now.
In the back of the store there is a space you can enjoy local tea, coffee, and even craft beers.
It is a charming store where you can enjoy good stationery and good drinks. What more could one ask? I love this place.
Mr. Shen speaks good Japanese, so don’t be scared to ask him questions.
Where you can find charming stationery & houseware: VVG Thinking
The Huashan 1914 Creative Park houses many fashionable gift shops and boutiques. This is a commercial zone that was built back in 1914 on the site of an old sake (rice wine) distillery. VVG Thinking (好様思維) is a store in this complex that carries antique books, select housewares, and stationery.
You will also find a wide variety of gifts and stationery products made in Taiwan.
It is walking distance from Plain Stationery Homeware & cafe（直物文具Café), so I highly encourage you to check out both.
A sanctuary for Taiwanese stationery lovers: TOOLS to LIVEBY（禮拜文房具)
TOOLS to LIVEBY（禮拜文房具）is a place that many Taiwanese stationery lovers refer to as their ultimate stationery sanctuary. Inside the store that looks like a renovated garage, you will find, fashionable stationery from all around the world, with no room to spare. The display is tasteful and well thought out.
They also sell original products and bags. It is a perfect place to stock up on gifts.
This is a magical space where a whole day will pass without noticing if you are not careful.
A store with a great selection of Japanese stationery: Vision Stationery (明進文房具)
A short walking distance from TOOLS to LIVEBY（禮拜文房具）is Vision Stationery (明進文房具). This is a stationery store with a great selection of Japanese products. Here you will get a feel for which Japanese products are popular in Taiwan. There are not many local products, but I found some interesting washi masking tapes.
They also carry store-branded Kokuyo Field Notes as well as a original rubber stamps.
Taipei is merely a 4 hour flight from Tokyo, and even closer from Osaka. With many low-cost carrier competing for your business, it has become very easy for Japanese people to visit Taiwan. If you like stationery, I urge you to treat yourself to a stationery tour of Taipei, Taiwan!