Tomoe River Paper Journal
- 5.8″ x 8.3″ (A5)
- 7mm Rule
- 480 pages (240 leaves) with rounded corners and 7mm lines
- Lay-flat thread binding
- Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated-paper cover
- Ivory-colored end sheets
- Two bookmarks
- Comes with one A5 blotter paper
- Made in Japan
- $36.00 USD from Nanami Paper
- Montblanc 149 Medium Nib with Iroshizuku Kon-Peki
- Various other ink / nib tests
Handwritten Review Scans:
I’m a huge fan of Tomoe River Paper, even more so when it’s in such an awesomely constructed book. Seven Seas is the in-house brand of Japanese stationery retailer, Nanami Paper. The attention to detail on this book is amazing, and I’m very happy with it so far. Be sure to check out Nanami’s page on their site about this specific book about all of the careful details and why they chose them. Dave reached out to me after seeing I reviewed his Seven Seas Tomoe River writing pad, and sent this over for me to check out, so huge thanks to him!
Appearance and Construction:
The Seven Seas Journal is a great size for toting around (A5; 5.8″ x 8.3″). I’m not a huge fan of the color of the front of the book, it’s an odd pale pink-red, but the texture is really cool. It’s a tightly-packed diamond pattern that’s plastic coated for added water resistance and durability. I would definitely like if the book was black or a darker red, but that comes down to a matter of personal preference. The cream-colored paper compliments the book rather nicely, as does the light grey ruling.
The construction of the book is top notch, utilizing thread binding typically seen on more expensive and mass produced books. The binding not only adds extra durability, but allows the book to lay flat without damaging the spine. The corners are rounded off just slightly so they don’t get bent up and destroyed. There are also two ribbon book marks in the middle of the book, which is great for marking both where you are in the book, and another important reference page if need be. Once again, I’ll direct you to Nanami’s fact page about the journal for even more on the construction and materials.
Performance and Feel:
Tomoe River paper is awesome. It’s impossibly thin and light that doesn’t even think twice about any fountain pen ink or nib width you throw at it. It’s nearly see through, and there’s a lot of ghosting, but no bleed through or feathering to be found anywhere. Dry time is a little bit longer (on par with Rhodia and Clairefontaine) but it’s worth the wait.
The notebook also comes with an A5 sized blotter paper if you want to write something down, close the book, and quickly get on with your day. Tomoe River is some of the smoothest paper I’ve ever used and is an absolute pleasure to write on. I 100% recommend trying out Tomoe River – it’s a unique, awesome writing experience that everyone should try out. It’s definitely some of my favorite paper and I always have some around.
Color & Ruling:
The journal is full of cream colored, 7mm ruled paper. The cream color is both easy on the eyes and complimentary to most fountain pen inks. The 7mm rule is a great size for both the notebook and my style of handwriting. I like that it’s proportionate to the size of the book. Some manufacturers don’t take this into consideration, and it’s nice to see a ruling balanced with the size of the book. When you look at the lines themselves closely, you’ll notice that they’re made up of a series of very tiny, closely packed dots. This gives the lines a lighter appearance than a solid line, making for unobtrusive ruling that lets your writing stand out.
- Awesome paper
- A+ construction
- Lots and lots of pages
- Built in bookmarks
- Ruling is proportionate to page size
- I’d like to see other color covers offered
Overall Thoughts and Recommendation:
It’s really, really hard to not like a notebook that’s full of Tomoe River paper, but add in awesome construction, ideal size, and perfect ruling and you’ve got the Seven Seas Journal. Nanami Paper is an awesome company, and I always look forward to getting one of their awesomely packaged and decorated boxes in the mail. At $36, this isn’t going to be an impulse buy for most, but this one is totally worth it. It’s got a ton of great paper inside and it’s solidly constructed. Huge thanks again to Dave over at Nanami for sending the book over, I have a feeling this one’s going to get filled up pretty quick.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: This item was provided to me as a review unit, free of charge, by Nanami Paper. I was not compensated for this review, and this did not have any effect on my thoughts and opinions about the pen. Thank you for reading!
28 thoughts on “Seven Seas Tomoe River Paper Journal Review”
Ed thanks for the review but at 36 bucks I’m afraid I’m out. I would still like to try that paper though
They have a far cheaper Tomoe Writing pad as well, and they offer a sampler of the paper. Great way to try it out before spending hard earned money!
The paper ghosts quite a bit. I even saw some on samples tested with gel ink. Might not be ideal for those looking for a single year-long bullet journal.
I purchased a hard backed version of the Tomoe River paper. It has no lines but, I use a template underneath the page I am writing on that I downloaded from the internet. I love the binding on the version of the notebook I purchased from http://www.paperforfountainpens.com. I also have a couple of the L!fe Sunny Yellow notebooks from Nanami Paper but, I have been loving the Tomoe River paper so much that I have not used them yet. Maybe you will be able to review those at some point.
I have yet to order anything from them, but they look nice!
I reviewed the LIFE Noble notebooks, you can check that review out here: https://edjelley.com/2013/10/06/life-noble-notebook-a5-review/
I personally like Jay Potter’s binding & presentation better, but I also have a cabinet full of Dave’s version as well. Great stuff Tomoe-River.
I’m not familiar with Jay Potter’s work, any way you could send me a link?
Tomoe River definitely is great stuff!
I have both. Jay’s books are nice, but the binding is glued (not sewn) and the pages are a lot smaller, so you are actually paying a lot more for less paper. I think it’s good if you prefer a hard cover and a smaller book.
Good point, there’s really a ton of paper in the Seven Seas journal, and the construction is really great. If you haven’t done so, check out Nanami’s page on the construction details, it’s really cool to see how well thought out the book was.
Pelahale – will you ever return your content to youtube?
@pelahale – will you ever restore your content to youtube? it’s missed by many folks. hope you’re well.
The only thing that makes think twice is how easily the cover bending easily. Although they do have cover, buying the cover and pad would be over $100 bucks. Hummmmmm…
There’s a thinner plastic cover that’s also available, and Dave told me that they are releasing a faux leather vinyl cover for the book as well. If you’re looking for a completely rigid cover, the leather cover may be the only option.
I looooves TRP……………….
Oh me too. It’s probably the most fun to write on of any paper I’ve tried. Can paper be fun? I don’t even know anymore.
I prefer Renaissance Art A5 cover which is the best feel and most durable leather cover on the market – http://www.renaissance-art.com/Prod346/Product.aspx . There product is worth the expense as it will last a life time.
Hey, Ed, another great review. You write some good ones, but this one is so “write on,” that I really can’t add much to it. I make it a point to buy Nanami Tomoe River notebooks every so often when I feel like being pampered (and yes, you can have fun with, and be pampered by, a notebook, IMO). I like these notebooks so much that I look forward to writing in them from the moment I order one till it comes in my mailbox. I find myself anxiously tracking their delivery! Tomoe River paper is awesome, partly because it allows inks that shade and sheen to shade and sheen all over the place! It makes my pens happy, and their owner, too. And I agree; the construction shows an almost insane commitment to quality that must be tried to be appreciated. I also finally broke down and bought the Gfeller A5 leather cover for my notebooks, and I like it so much, that I recently ordered an A6 cover that I’m anxiously waiting for now. I think when you really want the utmost in a pleasurable writing experience, price is (almost) no object. I highly recommend writers try at least one before they decide they’re too expensive.
I will never buy from him ever again when I posted a negative review over a issue he will not post it. To me that is unacceptable. You have to take the good with the bad. There are cheaper alternatives out there.