A creative life store established in Japan, TOKYU HANDS currently has three outlets in Singapore. The stores stock a wide range of “designed in Japan” products ranging from beauty to travel, home goods and more.
However, I always find myself making a beeline straight for the stationery section. Japan has an amazing range of stationery and TOKYU HANDS carries a pretty wide selection, including items you can’t find at normal stationery stores. For instance, the Pentel Sign Pens and MT Tapes.
Since bullet journaling has been all the rage in recent years, I tried creating a spread with only items found in TOKYU HANDS. The challenge was easily accomplished! Here are the nine things you can buy at TOKYU HANDS for all your bullet journaling/ calligraphy/ crafting needs.
—Pens & Brushes—
1. Pentel Sign Pen (S$2.10)
This pseudo-brush pen is great for beginners. It’s easier to master than typical brush pens or calligraphy nibs and it’s mess-free since you don’t have to deal with paint or ink. It just takes a bit of practice to attain the right pressure for downstrokes and upstrokes and you’re good to go!
There are a wide array of colours to choose from, with options such as orange, pink, green, blue, purple, but I veer towards the black and grey ones.
These are more versatile and you’ll get more mileage out of them. For instance, the black ink will stand out when paired with any background, while colours might clash. Besides, any writing done with the black ink will still look classy on its own too.
In addition, the black Sign Pens are available in three varying thickness for its pen tips — medium, fine and extra fine.
2. Pentel Aquash Water Brush (S$4 – S$5.20)
The water brush pen works well for both painting and writing. You can either fill up the barrel with ink and watercolour paint or use a palette and dip the brush tip into the ink instead.
The brush creates softer strokes and requires a lighter touch so it’s trickier to master than the Pentel Sign Pen. But, watching a few tutorials online should do the trick. Generally, just put more pressure on your down strokes and less pressure on your upstrokes to create a semblance of brush lettering.
There are three available options for the brush thickness and prices vary accordingly, from mini (S$4), small (S$4.50) and medium (S$5.20).
If this is your first purchase, I’d recommend trying the small brush size first. It’s the most handy and works well with small spaces. The middle brush would work better for larger scale projects.
3. Pentel Arts Water Colours (S$12.70)
If you’re trying out watercolour painting, try pairing this with the Pentel Aquash Brush Pen. Just squeeze a smidge out onto a palette and mix in a little bit of water. Or, you can pour the resulting paint into the barrel of your brush pen.
Besides the brush pen, regular brushes would work with this too!
The tube form of watercolour paint is more versatile because you can control the intensity of the colours. However, the downside is that things can get a little messy.
4. Pentel Arts Water Colour Pencils (S$14.10)
Watercolour pencils are a good alternative for a mess-free, or at least less-mess, solution. However, it’ll be harder to achieve strong and bold colours with the pencils.
5. Pentel Arts Colour Brush (S$7.40)
If the Pentel Sign Pen isn’t to your liking and the Pentel Aquash Brush Pen is too troublesome, a good compromise is the Pentel Arts Colour Brush. This brush pen comes preloaded with refillable ink in its barrel.
I find the tips slightly too thick for writing in a journal and a little too inky. There’s a risk of it bleeding through the pages if your journal has rather thin paper. But, it looks great on thicker paper and larger projects.
6. Tombow Dual Brush Pen (S$4.20)
An alternative to the above is the Tombow Dual Brush Pen. These are available in a huge range of colours and the water-based ink is less likely to bleed through the pages. The pen comes with two sides — one’s a soft, brush tip while the other resembles a marker with a fine hard tip.
—Notebooks & Paper—
7. Translucent Sticky Notes (S$8.90)
These sticky notes, available in Plain and Grid, are a fancy alternative to typical colourful Post-It notes. Admittedly they’re really pricey and I wouldn’t bear to use them carelessly. However, the simple and minimal design makes them look really classy.
8. Notebooks (S$3)
These notebooks measure 210mm x 210mm each and are compact enough for you to easily slip into your bags or files. There are different options available, such as memo pads, weekly or monthly planners. However, since a bullet journal is all about personalisation, I opted for the yellow notebook which had plain grids.
9. Washi Tape (S$2.40 – S$10)
Washi tapes are great for adding some pizzaz to your journals. Use them to decorate empty spaces or to stick notes onto your pages. Or, you can even use them as tags and page markers. There’s many different ways to use the humble washi tape.
TOKYU HANDS carries a lot of different designs, and options range from simple and classic to ones with more fanciful patterns.
—Making The Bullet Journal—
A bullet journal is essentially a customisation amalgamation of your to-do lists, your daily, monthly and weekly planners, your diary and your notebook.
Since bullet journalling places a heavy emphasis on personalisation, it’s really up to you how to design the pages to best serve your needs. YouTuber AmandaRachLee’s bullet journal guides are really helpful and I’ve created the above pages with reference to her July bullet journal guide.
Alternative places to pick up craft supplies include Art Friend and Spotlight, but TOKYU HANDS outlets are more convenient for me. Besides, they really carry everything necessary to start a bullet journal.
Also, all these items can be used for so much more than bullet journalling! Be it designing cards or jazzing up your notes, the possibilities are endless. In fact, I pretty much carry the Pentel Sign Pen everywhere I go.
Prices: S$2.10 – S$14.10
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