Store Tour: Maido

I first came to know the Maido stationery store about ten years ago. I was a student then, and was instantly charmed by their store in San Francisco with its variety of pens, paper, stickers, and everything else. Whenever I had a chance to explore the city, I made sure to drop by and pick up a gift or two for loved ones, or a little something for myself.

Although I'm now working full-time and have a much more fixed schedule, I still make time to visit in person now and then again. This time, I chose to visit their San Jose branch, located at the Santana Row mall.

The entrance to the store was quiet and rather isolated from the rest of the mall, but still felt inviting with its warm-toned, wooden doors.


One of the first things I noticed when I entered the store was a huge section of Traveler's Notebooks and refills. Surprisingly, they also had the Midori 10th Anniversary notebooks and covers in stock! Even though the boxed set of all of the notebooks was tempting, I managed to resist and only buy the sketch journal for my collection.


I didn't realize how large the store was, either, until I began walking around. There were rows and rows of stationery goods and some of them were stacked vertically to save even more space, like the Moleskine notebooks and pop-up cards pictured below.


Some of the areas featured other kinds of products like cute pen cases and large maps for decor.


A turn into the last row of the store greeted me with seemingly endless displays of stamps, pens, and washi tape. The store had a separate highlighters and gel pens section with all kinds of colors imaginable - complete rainbow eye candy! As expected, there were testers for each pen type, so one could try writing with it on a piece of paper before buying it.


As I walked back towards the entrance, I was pleasantly surprised by their fountain pen collection. It wasn't as huge as a specialty store's, but they housed a sizable collection with recognizable brands in their own stands or inside glass cabinets. There were definitely pens of different price range as well (e.g. Pilot Kakuno fountain pens - not pictured here - were hanging on the walls nearby, and they typically cost less than $15).


There's always a bit of magic in visiting a physical stationery store, in the careful and deliberate way you pick up to try a pen or feel the texture of the paper before committing to it. I wanted to share a little slice of my experience with you in this post, and hope you enjoyed coming along with me!