Also check out my post about the fountain pens and inks I bought in Tokyo.
Tomoe River Dot Grid
I saw Tomoe River paper at Itoya but didn’t pick it up. No idea why I didn’t. Then I saw this notebook at Kingdom Notes and I knew it was meant to be. It has 368 pages of dot grid Tomoe River 52 g/m2. Some people think this is the best paper for fountain pens. I tried the 68 gram paper as well, but it was a noticeable difference with the 52 gram. This paper is smoother and shows off the qualities of the ink better.
They have this notebook available with dot grid and plain. No ruled option, which I think is a shame. Maybe they’ll add it later when sales are up.
What would you use it for?
This one was the last one I saw, not even seeing them in the two other Pokemon Centers. Eevee is one of my favourite Pokemon so I couldn’t walk away without it. They had matching washi tape to go with it (see below).
The notebook itself isn’t special. It has no additional illustrations or watermarks on the inside. It reminds me a bit of a standard school notebook but with a different cover. If it had a special marking on the inside the price would’ve gone up. It was now nearly the same price as a Campus notebook. The paper felt nearly the same too, but I’m not sure. It lays flat on every page, which is good and I didn’t expect that since the side is taped.
For now, I’ll keep it on the shelf until I know what I’m going to do with it. It only makes sense to use it for something gaming related or something cute. I have no idea yet.
I held off buying a planner until I went to Japan. They have so many cute planners there. Loft especially. I picked up these two planners because they were simple with the layout I wanted. I work better with weekly goals instead of daily ones (one of the reasons a traditional bullet journal doesn’t work for me). These were the only designs for this planner and the pink was the last one.
The planners have a weekly layout on the left page and the right side with a large to-do list, goals, habit tracker, and a review section. This is much like the weekly planner I had from Leuchtturm for 2018-2019, but more guided. I noticed I use small to-do lists a lot, but some tasks are rescheduled often. Having one big list for the whole week might be better with the habit tracker used for recurring tasks.
It has 25 pages of pink paper with a white grid on it for more notes or brainstorming. The only thing I miss in this journal is the monthly overview, but I knew that before getting this one. It’s an undated planner so it wouldn’t make sense to include a 2020 calendar or overview.
Tsubame Fools University Notebook
This one is from Tokyu Hands. I picked a thin one, only 50 pages, because I didn’t know what I’m going to use it for. Japan has so many types of paper of good quality (especially for fountain pens) for a reasonable price. I wanted to try out something more than just Tomoe River. This one was only a few hundred yen. I’ll leave it on my shelf for unused notebooks for now. Maybe it’s a good follow up when I finish my new reading journal.
The paper feels fantastic though. It reminds me of the Rhodia dot grid notepads. Not the paper in the Rhodia notebooks which is much smoother. The dot grid white paper shows off the inks properties perfectly. It’s the one I use to test my inks on currently. I want to use this more for writing than just testing out inks though.
The Ueno Zoo has three pandas, one of them was born only two years ago. This notebook was to celebrate the second birthday of panda Xiang Xiang. We stood in line for 45 minutes with 24 degree weather on November 15th. It was the tenth anniversary of my first heavy pain attack. I wanted to celebrate getting through it by completing the bucket list I made back then. Watching pandas was the last thing on my list. I wanted to take a souvenir home, but most of the things were overpriced or I didn’t like it. They didn’t have any cute panda washi tape, but this notebook was perfect. When I saw it, I knew exactly what I was going to use it for. Vicky posted about her reading journal months ago and I wanted to make one for myself. This panda notebook is perfect. I didn’t even see the inside when I bought it, but was pleasantly surprised when I noticed two little pandas were climbing the lines and rolling about in the corner.
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I didn’t buy that many stickers since I don’t use them that often. I wanted a few to use in my new planner and reading journal. The shibas are super cute and I only picked one of the three designs they had. The pandas were a no-brainer since I really wanted more panda related stationery. The Pokemon dragon type stickers didn’t catch my eye the first time I saw them, but checking out the back and seeing every design in there, I knew I needed them. Dragons (of any type) have always been special to me and the dragon types in Pokemon are fearsome. And cute. I don’t know what I’m going to use them for, maybe my second planner for 2020.
If you’re looking for stickers, I suggest checking the 100 yen stores first. Daiso and Can Do have a small but diverse stationery section and it’s definitely good stuff. If you want a grand selection, go to Loft. The one in Ginza and Shibuya are so large you’ll see more than your budget will allow you to buy.
Click the images for a larger picture
You can’t forget about the washi tape as a stationery lover. To be honest, I held back. A lot. I only bought seven of which I knew I’d use. My journals aren’t that fancy and I don’t even bother to customize them. I write down my thoughts for the day (just one page) and it’s done. It’s my other notebooks that need a bit of customization. I use it in my writing notebook and blog notebook to keep track of various topics. They also serve well as a border.
The shiba washi is from Can Do, one of the three large 100 yen stores. This is the only piece of stationery I bought for myself. The choices are pretty good and I only picked one because the rest overwhelmed me. Of this one I knew immediately that I wanted it because I hadn’t seen a cute shiba washi elsewhere.
All of the Pokemon washi tapes are from the Pokemon Center. Pokemon Gold/Silver is the one with the most hours in it so it wasn’t a hard choice to pick this up. I get eeveelutions (Espeon and Umbreon) and the legendary birds. Pretty good deal if you ask me. The pastel Eevee washi matches the notebook and I just love it. Eevee is cute without the gorgeous drawings, but is just too adorable too pass on.
The sea creatures washi is from the Sunshine City Aquarium. I hadn’t planned on going there, but it was raining and wanted to do something indoors. The Sunshine City mall was the perfect choice, also because it has the Pokemon Center, Loft (More stationery! I picked up the two planners there.), and several other character stores. It’s a small version of Akihabara and Shiba combined. The Aquarium is at the top of the mall and just large enough to enjoy before lunch. They have shows (all in Japanese) and a large collection of fish, some of which I hadn’t seen before. I even spotted the sea slugs in the shop the Kingdom Note inks were based on. Too bad I didn’t get to see them myself. But this washi was just so cute. It also fits well with other blue/sea themed washi I already have.
The last two I picked up at Loft. They have multiple aisles filled with washi from different brands. Plain, geometric, cute, decorative, intricate, elegant, fun. They have everything. I picked the blue crane one as a reminder of Japan. The pastel galaxy fits well with a notebook set I bought from my birthday money. Both have silver foil on them. The washi itself is different from all the other tapes I bought. You can clearly feel the the fibers in the tape, which makes it even more interesting. Good washi is definitely worth the money.
If you’re buying washi, don’t just look at the design. Also look at how much tape is on the roll. Sometimes you see really cheap washi or decorative tape, and it might be because there’s just not much on the roll. I checked the shiba washi before I bought it and was pleasantly surprised by how much there was.