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A Japanese Notebook for iHanna - video unboxing & review

Did you know that writing paper from Japan can be as thin as 52 gsm? I used to think that the copy paper I use for my printer was thin, but it is 80 gsm, so just imagine how thin 52 gsm feels in your hands… You are almost afraid to touch it, but it’s not only thin but known for its durability.

This paper is similar to what you find in Bibles and old fashioned Phone books – but made to be used, to be journaled on, or even to be written on with a fountain pen! It’s called Tomoe River paper, and when I found out you there was blank notebooks made with this kind of paper in it – I jumped at the chance to try it out. I ordered myself a notebook in A6, my favorite little size!

A Nanami Cafe Note Book

The Tomoe River Paper

Tomoe River paper can usually be found in the much popular Japanese planner called Hobonichi Techo (also available in English). I think part of it’s fame is the paper. You can jam a lot of pages into a planner made from this paper.

The paper is made by a company called Tomoegawa, and it is specially formulated for handwriting. It is said to be very fountain pen friendly with high resistance to bleed-through and feathering. My research tells me the company is an 100-year-old paper manufacturer who spent five whole years in the 1980s conducting research to create a ultra thin paper, and finally they came up with the Tomoe River paper. It is sold on to other companies that creates planners, stationary or notebooks.

Crinckly paper under rainbow of watercolors painted by iHanna

Unboxing of a new notebook

I just edited and uploaded the unboxing of this notebook if you want to take a look. But know that I got this notebook last year (!) and filmed the unboxing back then. I don’t know where time flew to…

I still wanted to share it with you even though I’m a liiiiittle bit late with the “news” – haha. I hope you don’t mind me being both late and absent minded over here? I do mean well, I really do. I just have a huge back log of photos, video, ideas and text to work on… But anyway, a new video. Yay?

If you can’t see the video click here to watch the unboxing of this notebook on YouTube, and while there please consider giving this video a thumbs up and a comment – it helps more people find me over there. But if you’re in a browser and reading this, just watch it right here.

Yeah, I say it’s and A5 in the beginning of the video, but it’s not – it’s an A6 notebook, as you can tell. That is 148 x 105 millimeters (5,82 x 4,1 inch).

The first page in iHannas Nanami Cafe Note Book

A Nanami Cafe Note notebook

The notebook I bought is actually made in the US, but using Japanese papers from Tomoegawa, the company that manufactures Tomoe River papers. It comes with a dust jacket, a pink blotter paper and a whooping 480 pages. I picked the notebook from Nanami Paper that had grid pages because I love grids, and think of this a bit like it’s a fauxbonichi even though I don’t use it daily. It’s just a diary-like notebook that I enjoy noting things down in.

The grid pages are printed with a 3.7 mm grid, and I adore how tiny the squares are. It just all matches together. The small notebook, the ultra thin pages – and the tiny grid that makes me want to write as small as I possible can force myself to write.

I have added in watercolor backgrounds to great satisfaction. It’s not bliss, exactly, to paint in this notebook, but it can be done if you don’t mind that the pages bubbles up a little. I love adding little doodles, text and quotes to the pages, when inspiration strikes. I plan on using this wee friend for many years, filling it with happy, little thoughts.

Second spread in iHannas Nanami Cafe Note Book

Have you ever tried tomoe river paper, and if so, what did you think of it?

Detail of iHanna's Nanami Cafe Note Book

One of my favorite things about this notebook is the sound of the pages, as they move and crinkle, a very soothing sound that any notebook aficionado could fall in love with, I think.

Or wait, maybe it’s how easy it is to carry around but still it has so many pages. Hmm, I think I have lots of favorite things about this notebook actually.

If you feel like getting yourself something similar there is a pretty Tomoe River Notebook in A5 (with 368 pages) or for example, a black leather covered Tekukor B6 Notebook to try out via Amazon (affiliate links).