Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Where to buy COPIC markers in Tokyo

Because my photo of the markers received so many shares, I realised that many artists are interested about the markers and perhaps want to know where to buy them from. Hence I wrote this guide for artists to shop in COPIC heaven aka Tokyo.

This is the retail price of the markers (excluding 8% tax):

  • Sketch: 380 yen
  • Ciao 250 yen
  • Classic 380 yen
  • Various Ink (refill): 342 yen
  • Wide: 480 yen
  • 72 colours set: 27,360 yen

Tax-free shopping for foreigners

Nowadays many shops has tax-free counters. Art materials like markers and papers are considered consumable products, so the minimum for tax-free shopping is 5,001 yen (excluding 8% tax). This is pretty easy to achieve by buying at least 14 markers.

Once you have your basket-full of goodies, go to their cashier and say you would like to do tax-free and show them your passport. You need to pay the total with tax first and then proceed to their tax-free counter to get back your 8% tax in cash and they will staple a copy of the receipt in your passport. You are supposed to go to the customs counter after security check when you are going back home for the officers to take the receipts out. Items are sealed at the shop's tax-free counter and you are advised not to open the bag until you leave Japan but...ehem, they never check at the airport .

Shops


Prices are at 10% off retail price. So a sketch marker is 342yen and a set of 72 colours is 24,624 yen. Sorry, it seems that their promotion period is over and prices are back to regular price. Therefore it is better to buy your markers from Tokyu Hands or LOFT, where you can enjoy 5% off as a tourist.

However Tools carry almost all the COPIC range including wide markers, pens and accessories but their stock for sets may be limited. They also sell textured marker papers that has the rice paper feel with specially treated backing to prevent bleeding. They even have a Copic Clinic at their Ochanomizu branch where they offer refill and nib replacement services. However, I am not sure if all branches have their own tax-free counters. But I do know the one at Lumine EST shopping mall (above Shinjuku station) has a tax free counter on the same floor so I recommend going there if you are visiting Tools.

(The first photo and the one posted on my FB and Instagram were taken at TOOLS shop)


Prices at Itoya is at full retail price although they carry many COPIC sets (maybe that's why they have stock). They do not have as many selection of special marker papers as TOOLS.  However their main branch at Ginza is a whopping 2 buildings filled with pens, papers, stationery and art materials so it is worth a trip down. They have a tax-free counter to get back your 8% tax.

Tokyu Hands and LOFT are everyday and general goods retail store selling almost anything imaginable. They have branches all over Japan and many in Tokyo. Although they have all the COPIC sketch colours, they may not have the sets and as many accessories as TOOLS. They sell at full retail price but you can get a 5% discount when you show them your passport. You can also do tax-free shopping if you buy more than 5,001yen worth of consumable products (exclude tax).

  • ANIMATE
    http://www.animate-world.com/
    Nov 2016: Reader feedback that Animate no longer carry any art supplies.
    Apr 2017: Reader Zatnik feedback that Animate still has CIAO markers.

With that, wishing you happy shopping! HOHOHO~

45 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post Eva, my first time shopping for Copic Markers in Japan was a real challenge but thanks to the info you provided my life will be a lot easier in the future x].

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No prob, if you have new updates when you hunt in the future let me know too so I can update the guide for everyone :)

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  2. Quick question, since I live in Orlando Florida will they ship?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tools and Itoya will not ship overseas. Tokyu Hands online store ships but do not have the Copic markers in their online listing...

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  3. Thanks Evangeline. I am coming over in March for a few months - can I buy the Airbrush system anywhere? I would prefer to buy in Jpn, rather than transport mine... Also, how about easels/ drawing boards? Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi James, I think Tools carries the most complete accessories for COPIC so you can try there or Itoya. You might also find the airbrush system at bigger Tokyu Hands store in Takashimaya Shinjuku or Shibuya. I recall seeing easels and drawing boards at Tokyu Hands too. Since you will be there for a few months, you can also visit Sekaido main branch at Shinjuku. Although they do not carry COPIC, they carry slightly discounted art materials so you might get cheap boards there.

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  4. Is 10% off retail price in Tools still working , i couldn't find information about this on their page .
    It's very important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm I just checked, I think they removed the promotion... so now it is 410yen with tax, 380yen without tax.

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  5. Do you know any cheap copic marker websites from Japan, that can ship internationally?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Currently those that sell online do not ship internationally. Except for a few merchants at http://global.rakuten.com/ but selection is very limited.

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  6. Hi
    Do you know which floor the copic marker are in itoya ginza? Couldn't find the information on their page

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are two buildings at Itoya Ginza. The copic markers are located at the smaller building behind, which you have to cross a small alley to get there. It is called K. Itoya. You can find map here but it is in Japanese: http://www.ito-ya.co.jp/ginza/#guide

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  7. hi! do you have an idea how much Copic Sketchbook 9x12 spiral bound, portrait format in Tokyo?
    also opic Manga Illustration paper 9x12? thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do not have spiral bound for B4 size.
      You can see their paper catalog here: http://copic.jp/copic_detail/index.html
      (scroll to somewhere in the middle)

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  8. Thanks for the info I'm sure one day I'll get my dream sketch markers in hand

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  9. Even without the discount, it's still much better to buy these in Japan! I'm hoping to get my hands on some colors that are unavailable here due to the shortage and dock strike in America

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I heard about the dock strike in US, is it still ongoing?

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  10. Which store do you recommend buying the 72 sets from? I'm planning to go to Japan soon and I wanna binge buy them. Also I heard there's like a big stationary shop called sekaido somewhere in Tokyo. Do you reccomned that store?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sekaido does not carry COPIC markers, but it has a lot of other art supplies so it's worth to take a look there. 72 set is better to buy at LOFT or Tokyu Hands because they will have 5% discount for tourists, but they may not have enough stock. If you want to get it for sure at one go, I recommend ITOYA, and remember to do the tax refund after your purchase.

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  11. Hello, Can you suggest where I can buy copics online?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry the Japanese stores only ship within Japan. You can try Tenso to redirect the parcel to you but with the additional cost, I'm not sure if it is better to get it from your local art supplier.

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  12. Hi Evangeline, do any of these shops sell the copic sketch 358 colours in a metallic case? Thank you. http://www.copic-shop.co.uk/copic-sketch-suitcase-with-358-colours/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never seen it before and it's not in their official catalog: http://copic.jp/en/product/#stand

      I suspect it is exclusive to UK.

      Delete
  13. This is amazing, thank you for taking the time to provide this information! You mentioned that you were going to update this, do you have any updates to add? I am going to Japan next week and I am definitely planning on buys markers and accessories while I'm there. look forward to hearing from you :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm... I don't think I have anymore updates...
      Enjoy your trip to Japan!!!

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  14. Hey! Thanks to you, my bf was able to quickly find the markers for me during his trip! Tahnk you! :D
    He's still in Japan, but he told me one thing - apparently ANIMATE no longer holds the artistic supplies for sale. He went there and they told him they won't have Copics in any of their shops anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for the tip off! Will update the article to help more COPIC hunters! :)

      Delete
  15. Great info! I just moved to Japan so I don't think I qualify as a tourist. Lol. But I decided to get Copics for the first time due to the lower price here. I found some Ciaos at a stationery store but they didn't have all the colors I wanted and I'd prefer Sketch markers anyway. Going to try a nearby Tokyu Hands and LOFT to see if they have any. Do you know where to get marker paper? Preferably X-press It? Would Sekaido have it even though they don't sell the markers?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually all of the above mentioned shops: Tokyu Hands, Loft, Tools and Itoya sells marker papers. Sekaido has marker papers too, but not by Copic...

      Enjoy your shopping spree :)))

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  16. Animate in Akihabara still sells some markers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe leftover stock and no more new ones?

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  17. Thanks so much for this post, very helpful! Can you tell me if Tokyo Hands has Ciao as well as the mentioned Sketch markers? thanks!

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  18. Im in japan for a few weeks, and I went to the Itoya in Ginza and they didnt have any of the 72 sketch sets. Only for ciao. I've also been to a tokyu hands and a loft which had no copics at all (the loft). Am I just having bad luck? Do you know if or when itoya gets more in stock?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow such bad luck or is it because now too many people are buying the copic sets? It would be good to ask the staff when you were there because they might be able to advise you on the restocks. From my understanding, the sets are a very hot item, particularly with foreign artists traveling to Tokyo as there is an increase in tourists these recent years.

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  19. Thanks for creating this Evangeline, very helpful! Will be in Tokyo 3 weeks from now, can you confirm if Tokyu Hands and LOFT are still the cheapest place to buy sketch markers, as you can get the extra 5% for just showing your passport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't been to Tokyo for more than a year now, but should still be quite accurate. Although Tokyu Hands and LOFT have discount for tourists, their selection may be limited. Sometimes it depends on your luck.

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  20. Next summer i will go to Japan. I want to buy copic 72 colors set in Itoya~ πŸ˜†

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  21. Hi, I was just at Animate (in Ikebukuro) and they were still selling copics (ciao only =/), sketch books, papers, tools and shaders.

    Admittedly they were sold out of most of the shaders, so maybe they're scaling it back, but there's certainly still art supplies to be found there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, I checked out Shibuya Animate today and they were fully stocked for copiic ciao and other art supplies (including shaders).

      Tool at Lumine Est in Shinjuku had heaps of everything ciao/sketch/original(300Y)/various inks(150Y) and air brushing stuff. It's worth noting that they have signs up saying you can't take the solvent, various inks, or compressed air refills on a plane! (Shame, the inks are cheap!). They also had a lot of the brand accessories for people after cases etc.

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    2. Thanks for the update! I'll update the article.

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    3. I'm also wondering if TOOLS business increased because of my article, LOL XD

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  22. Hello, I am new to using sketch markers, have you ever used Fineline markers or any of the markers coming from Ali Express in China? I can't afford to buy Copic as I live on a disability pension. I would be using them with Stampscapes Stamps.

    Lori from Canada

    ReplyDelete

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