Tomoe River Paper Pad
- 6.5″ x 9.8″ (B5)
- Blank Ruling
- 52gsm, ultra light, cream colored paper
- 100 sheets
- Red, heavy cardstock cover, bound with glue.
- Easily removable pages
- $12.99 USD from Nanami Paper (no affiliation, but fast shipping and nicely packaged!)
Notes: Well…this paper is really, really great. Like, may be my new favorite paper great. This review is going to be more focused on the paper inside rather than how it’s put together. The pad is simply 100 sheets of this great paper, glued to some cardboard with some unmarked red cardstock protecting it. Ultimately, it gets the job done and protects the delicate paper inside. I hope you enjoy the review as much as I’m enjoying this paper, it’s just that great. It’s been a while since I’ve tried any new paper that was this good, and now I need more. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
I placed a heavy sheet of white paper behind these, so the review could be read more easily. If you look in the pictures below, you’ll see the page behind it showing through.
Appearance and Construction:
Like I mentioned above, this review is not really about the appearance and construction, because they could both use some work. It’s a notepad in it’s most basic form, and I have absolutely no problem with that because of what’s inside. I’m fairly confident that the binding will hold up for the life of the paper, but it’s a bit fragile and I would be careful about willy-nilly throwing it into a bag. I like the blank red cover, and it has a nice texture to it too. Other than what I’ve mentioned, it’s a simple looking pad that’s very unassuming until you try out what’s inside.
Pretty basic in terms of appearance, but I like the lightly textured red cover.
The cardstock ends, and the cardboard begins. Basic construction here; this pad may not be the best for traveling.
Oh, the paper.
Performance and Feel:
Here is what sets this pad apart…the paper. The Seven Seas notepad is filled with Tomoe River paper that is absolutely great. Tomoe River nailed it in terms of smoothness and fountain pen friendliness. This 52gsm (very light, Rhodia is 80gsm, Clairefontaine, 90gsm) paper is really a fountain pen’s best friend. The paper is so thin and light, yet nothing feathers or bleeds through. Yes, there is quite a bit of show through, but it doesn’t even matter to me. The smoothness of the paper is remarkable too. It has the perfect amount of texture that allows you to feel the nuances of the nib when you are writing. This paper is a MUST try. It reminds me of a lighter weight cross between Leuchtturm, Maruman, and Rhodia. The only thing about using the paper that is worth mentioning is that it is fragile. I would recommend placing a thicker sheet of paper under the one you’re writing on, as to not damage the paper underneath. For this review, I cut a piece of Rhodia graph paper to fit the notepad, and used the lines as a writing guide.
You can see the page behind this one, which I happen to like. After spending more time with the Leuchtturm Jottbook (that kind of has the same see through effect) I like it.
Some basic dry times. Sailor may be a bit long due to the fact that it doesn’t absorb into the page. Good dry times on the Iroshizuku and Noodler’s (considering the Noodler’s is in a super wet, Binderized medium).
Color & Ruling:
The Tomoe River paper is a nice light cream color with no ruling. The color of the paper nicely compliments all of the inks I’ve tried, but it may not be the case for others. Since the paper is so thin, it’s very transparent. This makes it very easy to print out a guide sheet, use some graph paper, or even regular lined paper. Since the transparency of the paper allows for the use of guidelines, you can print one out that’s custom to your liking. Boom. Instant customizable ruling. This paper keeps getting better. It’s not common that you come by a paper that has transparent qualities that plays nice with a fountain pen.
A sheet of Rhodia 5mm graph paper underneath the sheet that’s to be written on.
Back of the page. No bleed through in sight, even with a 3.8mm Pilot Parallel. I’m thoroughly impressed.
Overall Thoughts and Recommendation:
I really appreciate that you’ve made it to the end of the review without leaving to go buy some of this paper. It’s really that good, and I can’t stress that enough. It’s an absolute joy to write on. This is a paper that I’m going to always have to have on hand, and it will have a permanent spot on my desk. Since this paper isn’t just tied down to one brand, I hope it makes its way out there into other formats and notebooks. I can’t wait to see what notebook companies do with it and I’m excited to hopefully see different rulings, other formats, and notebooks this great paper shows up in.
Thanks for reading!