Slightly off the tourist map, situated in the upbeat and hip area of Tennozu Isle in Tokyo is PIGMENT – a store specializing in well, no surprise here, pigments! The store is designed by the famous architect Kengo Kuma with wooden interiors in a space fit for stirring your imagination.
If you have the slightest inclination to see and learn about Japanese art supplies, then this is the place to be. Even if you’re not into art, the store is worth visiting just for its chic, modern interiors. And if you’re wondering what to do next, there are places close by like the T.Y. Harbor Brewery to grab a beer by the canals.
Let’s see what you can buy here:
Pigments – spoilt for choice
With 4500 hues of pigments, you can probably find any color you want. One entire wall of the store is covered with glass vials filled with pigments. The price for each varies and you can choose the quantity you wish to purchase.
You can also buy pigment sets or beginners kits and also learn about the sources of various pigments.
You can also buy gold leaf flakes and gold/silver/tin leaves for gilding and other ornamental purposes.
There are about 600 varieties of brushes, with a focus on those for Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and sumi-e (ink paintings). Find some rare brushes like those made from peacock feathers. The price range is extensive so you can definitely find something to suit your pocket.
You can buy drawing pads for sumi-e or just single sheets of washi (Japanese paper). Washi is wonderful for watercolors and as you can see they have various kinds of washi. All of these are handmade and sourced from different parts of Japan.
Ink sticks and ink stones
Since calligraphy or shodo is such an integral part of Japanese art, the store offers a range of ink sticks and ink stones. Black ink sticks are the most common, but here you can also get red, green and even gold!
The best part is that in the “trial space,” you can check the colors of ink on various paper as well as try brushes that you would like to purchase.
As the website states, PIGMENT is a museum, laboratory, workshop and a store all in one. Workshops ranging from one-day Japanese painting to mixing or learning about pigments, watercolors, etc. are conducted by scholars and experts in the field of art within the store.
English support is also provided as long you buy a ticket for the same: https://peatix.com/group/41156#
Address: TERRADA HarborOne Bldg. 1F, 2-5-5 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:30 AM – 7:00 PM *Closed on Mondays & Thursdays
About 3-minute walk from Tokyo Waterfront Area Rapid Transit Rinkai Line Tennozu Isle Station
About 5-minute walk from Tokyo Monorail Tennozu Isle Station
For those who can’t make it to Japan, you can also order supplies online. Additional shipping charges based on your country of residence will be charged.