Our store name is “Kamika”. “Kami” means “paper” and “Ka” means “joy”. Kamika was founded in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto in the Genroku period (1688-1704). Kamika has been run as a family business dealing in paper and stationery ever since. This region's guardian god is enshrined at Awata Shrine. The Awata Festival has over a millennium of history and is one of the most historic festivals in Kyoto. Each year Kamika donates the paper essential to make the huge lanterns used in this festival’s night parade. Through this and other similar efforts, Kamika has supported the traditional culture of Kyoto through its paper and stationery goods. The community and reputation that has been built by the people and local businesses for over 300 years is our treasure. We plan to continue to contribute to this ancient city in units of a century as we pass down Japanese culture to future generations though our paper products. Like paper, Kamika wishes to be flexible and versatile and change as time may demand.
Japanese Washi Paper
Paper is a necessary part of Japanese life and culture from time immemorial. Since the highest quality Japanese paper can be kept for over a thousand years, it has contributed to the preservation of historic documents and works of art. It has proven to be the best recording medium in the world. Besides proving indispensable to Japanese architecture and costumes, it also adds unique textures to Japanese paintings and woodblock prints. In addition to its cultural value paper takes deep root in our modern life. Paper can also be a communication tool to express our feelings without speaking. Of course, we can write words to create our message, too, but we Japanese are also mindful about both sides of the paper; each having a “right” and “wrong” side. The direction of the grain and the texture of each piece of paper are taken into consideration when writing or folding to show our respect. The way we treat paper mirrors our lifestyle values of thoughtfulness, courtesy and good manners.
We carry paper and stationery items in general. Please feel free to inquire. A set of a brush, an ink stick, an ink stone and paper is called “Bungu-Shiho”; “Bungu” means stationery and “shiho” means four treasured tools/items. This set used to be a familiar item in our daily life. Kamika also carries a variety of modern stationery for all your needs. Please visit us when you'd like to purchase stationery related to writing, sending, gifting or decorating. We offer our products not only to the general public; shrines and temples are also our important customers. Accordingly, we also deal in goods such as amulets and goshuin-cho (a special notebook for collecting seal stamps) sold at shrines and temples. We hope the contents of our store will make you smile every time you visit.
Kamika began to supply regional specialty paper and stationery products from the producers to shrines and temples in the ancient capital during the Genroku era (1688-1704) of the Edo period. After that we also started to sell paper materials necessary for common people's daily life. The woodblock print became part of our business in the latter part of the Edo period as printing techniques developed remarkably in Japan. In the Meji period, we continued producing copies of Buddha statues, sutra books and picture scrolls using the woodblock print method although the letterpress print was gradually becoming popular throughout the country. Many of these old woodblocks are still preserved in our warehouse today. Although we continued our business during the Taisho and Showa periods, sadly, only a few pieces survived the wartime period. After the war, like so many other businesses, we made a fresh start and reorganized. We are proud to be still operating today. Needless to say, every business experiences both good and bad times. It continues to be our great honor to serve many temples and shrines and to supply our stationery goods to the people of Kyoto.
Kamika's business has been passed down from generation to generation for over 320 years. The present owner marks the 11th generation to operate this esteemed business. Our store has never moved since it was established in the Genroku era; you can still find us in our original location in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto. We've built a deep customer trust through our long and proud history. As does our paper, we will continue to record our history of trust and continue our credo into the next millennium.
Kamika Co., Ltd
97 Oide-cho, Sanjo-dori, Shirakawabashi-nishiiru
Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0022
TEL +81 (75) 751-1154
FAX +81 (75) 771-1154
Opening Hour 9:30am - 6:00pm
Close Sunday, National Holiday, 2nd・4th Saturday
Summer Holiday, Year-end & New Year's Holiday