Mused by Muji: First Impressions

I’ve been hearing Muji’s name all over the internet realm. It’s featured in blog posts, YouTube videos, and pins. So many people swear by this brand, and I was more than ecstatic to stop by the Downtown San Jose location to see what all of the hype is about.

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Image courtesy of Bertina N. via Yelp

Upon walking into the store, the Muji in San Jose has two entrances, technically three but they closed one off. My first impression of this place was that it smelled strongly of incense or burning oils, which there was. When I walked in, all of their aroma machines were on and I was a bit overwhelmed. It smelled good, but I felt like turning on all of the machines at the same time was a little much. The space was really clean and you can clearly see the different sections within the store. The aisles were a little tight, but still walkable. You would just have to wait your turn if someone is looking at something in front of you. The stationary tower with all of the pens was a glorious sight to see. Everything was super organized and their merchandise was aesthetically displayed. Whoever their merchandiser is, he/she/they did an amazing job. This place was honestly like Urban Outfitters compared to Daiso or Ichiban Kan. Muji’s edge is that they focus on functionality, minimalism, and versatility. Most of their products are even made from recycled material, such as the notebooks.

I would say that I am a stationary junkie at heart and that I have a very specific taste in notebooks, pens, sticky notes, etc. Muji also sells housewares and clothing, but I came in primarily to check out their legendary stationary section.

I didn’t buy too much because I wanted to test the waters before committing to being a full-fledged Muji fan, so I just bought a few pens and two notebooks. Starting with the notebooks, I got two lined plantation paper, double ring notebooks (B5 7mm). My first impression was the the notebooks were a bit on the thinner and flimsier side, which is not a problem. However, because I prefer thicker notebooks, I decided to buy two of them. The paper is a bit thicker than regular binder filler paper, which is nice. The pages aren’t super white, but rather an off-white, almost cream. The lines on the paper are similar of that to college ruled and are not too spread apart. When using a regular pen or the Muji pens, the ink doesn’t bleed through, which definitely earns 3 gold stars in my book, but, I wouldn’t dare trying to write with a sharpie marker on this thing. MUJI5

Now onto the pens! I didn’t have too much money to spend, so I went and bought only four gel-ink ballpoint pens. I got two in black, one hot pink, and one turquoise, all in 0.5 ink. Overall, these pens are super pigmented and glide on the paper without any problems. I really like the various colors that they sell. They are a bit pricey, but at $1.50 you know you’ll be getting a quality pen. The grip is pretty sleek and my fingers don’t hurt or ache after using them, and the barrel is neither too wide nor thin. The frosty plastic and bright colors make this pen very aesthetically pleasing to look at which will make them compliment any desk space. The best part is, they don’t bleed!

FINAL THOUGHTS:

I really like Muji and all of the merchandise that they sell. The store is in a prime location right by the San Jose Fairmont and near SJSU, so they must get tons of customers. The store layout and environment didn’t stress me out and the workers were all pretty welcoming and friendly. It was definitely a really good first experience and I will most likely be visiting again soon!

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