As the world of Traveler's Notebook users grows bigger and more international, more and more users hunger for gathering or meet ups. At the moment, other than events organized by Designphil in Japan, only Hong Kong and Korea has similar events.
It is timely to have "Traveler's Factory", a signature store situated in Meguro area in Tokyo dedicated to bring the traveler's spirit alive. I've been hearing from Designphil staff searching for their perfect location for nearly a year. Walking all over the city finding an old building in a back alley fitting an image vaguely existing in the designers' minds proven to be extremely difficult. Eventually they saw this building, previously a paper processing factory (that's what I heard but I'm not sure), but renting was not possible because it was being used as a storage facility for a while, until one day they received a sudden phone call… space vacated, a month of renovation and installation. Vola! A Traveler's Factory was born!
On the first floor there are the usual display of Traveler's Notebook items, carefully selected add-ons such as charms and bookmarks. According to Designphil, there are limited edition items just for this shop and if they become popular, those item may make it into their regular collection in the future.
Since I'm not there in person until early next year, I can't tell you what I feel about the store, but judging from the photos they sent, it seems like a pleasant place you can explore for hours. I'm sure they have a bookshelf full of travel related books and magazines but those are probably going to be in Japanese only.
On the 2nd floor is a community space for user gathering and event. "Factory" staff is there to share their experience and probably you can have a cup of coffee (and bread?) too. I hope to be able to join their event as a foreigner and meeting everybody else like what we did in our Travel Photo Cafe event, it will be a blast.
If you happen to be in Tokyo, I'm sure you won't regret to visit this store. Here's a flickr set of "How to build Traveler's Factory" so you can see how it was done from the beginning. Also Mr. Talent Fishball (天才魚丸) just visited the place and shared some great photos on the Traveler's Notebook flickr group, check it out.