I’m not an expert in bookbinding but I embarked on a project to bind my short supplement for They Came from Beyond the Grave, “Don’t Open the Gates” into a gaming tome with resources and blank pages for me to expand into. I wanted to make this book and carry it with me when I run this game at conventions.

I decided to use watercolor paper, and leather for the cover but I had no idea where to start. I needed to find book board and acid free paper that’d be suitable for end papers.

I started my quest for materials at the nearest stationary store: Kawashima in Yokosuka. They had a ton of paper related art supplies and washi (Japanese paper). They didn’t specifically have book board or bookcloth but they did have illustration boards that’d work in a pinch. I grabbed a pad of watercolor paper, illustration boards and washi before I looked for the next store.

I found a bookbinding blog that talked about places that could have materials up in Tokyo area but it was written back in 2015 and only focused on Tokyo based stores.

Funnily enough, there is a Bookbinding Studio and store called Marumizu-Gumi in Tokyo- Itabashi. If I had gone to this store first, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time. The owner is very knowledgable and teaches all level of classes. She als offers her materials for sale online. It’s a very small shop since the back half is devoted to the workshop where she teaches classes. She does offer some classes in English. The prices for her materials are fairly inexpensive and are high quality.

Sadly, Marumizu-Gumi was the 4th store I went to. I first went to Tokyu Hands in Yokohama and found some bookbinding materials that consisted of a shelf of lamination paper and bookbinding tape. In the other more robust crafting areas I found leather pieces, balsa wood thin enough for the covers, and leather tools. Tokyu Hands has a ton of materials for cosplay and other hobbies, supposedly, the main store in Shibuya has more bookbinding materials.

With the leather I decided I wanted to make it fancier and do some sort of stamping. I also wanted corner hardware. So I went to a leather workshop, Craft Sha, in Ogikaibo, Tokyo. They had a large selection of leather working tools, leather, and metal hardware for purses,belts, rivets. This was a medium sized shop with a large portion sectioned off for a workshop area. They did have leather stamping tools, dyes, adhesives, how to books, and tons of leather thread but I had grabbed a soft leather and leather stamping can work on those but it’s better for firmer leather.