Tomoe River: more options than ever before!

It wasn’t that long ago that Tomoe River was a niche thing, that you had to work hard to get hold of. Fortunately, that’s no longer the case, and you have plenty of choice, wherever in the world you live. I thought it would be worth quickly summarising those options. Here goes. Note that I’m leaving out planners like Hobonichi — this is for notebooks, notepads and loose sheets.

From the UK

GLP The Author. A5 slim layout, softcover notebook in a range of sizes. Available from Amazon. Still my first choice for Tomoe.

Loose sheets. No longer available from Cult Pens. but still from various other places, eg here, here, or from The Journal Shop here. Generally only in the 52gsm weight. If you want heavier, you have to turn to eBay or Amazon Global and import from Japan.

Pebble Stationery. An Australian brand, but available from Nero’s Notes here in the UK. A5 exercise books and pocket notebook size. Lovely company with great service.

Endless Recorder. A5 hardcover notebooks with elastic closure etc. I reached out to them to request a review sample but they never got back to me, so I’m in a grump and refuse to buy one. Available from Nero’s, again.

Chelsea Paper Company. Stocks some Tomoe River books, eg in Traveler’s Notebook size. Available here and on Amazon and Etsy.

Colorverse. The ink manufacturer does a notebook. Pure Pens sells it. I haven’t tried it.

SakaeFP. I bought one of these in Japan, but it turns out Choosing Keeping stocks it (at £40), but without mentioning the brand. Excellent notebook. Also available from Japan via eBay.

From Europe

GoodINKpressions. I really liked the versions I reviewed. Available on Etsy. TN size available from Start Bay.

Galen Leather. Based in Turkey. The leather and wood maestros have branched out into paper. Available direct.

From the US

Birmingham. A4, A3 (!), ringbound, pocket… great selection and prices. I have used many of them and can vouch for Birmingham as a company, too.

Elemental. Does the rather sexy Iodine notebook with Tomoe.

Hippo Noto (SquishyInk) ran a Kickstarter for a Tomoe notebook, and still has a few options in stock. Ships from the US.

Goulet. Does their own range of Tomoe notebooks in various sizes and finishes. Very nice.

From Asia

Taroko Design do a range of different notebook sizes. The best way to get them is from Etsy, now that Bureau Direct is gone. They’re based in Taiwan.

Nanami Paper do a range of  well-regarded Tomoe notebooks, available from their own shop. Based in Japan.

Elia Note. Based in Malaysia. Shop here. Also stocked in the US here.

Musubi. Incredibly expensive artisanal journals. From Singapore. Here.

9 thoughts on “Tomoe River: more options than ever before!

  1. A mouthwatering line up you have there. I’d like to mention two things.

    One – Musubi is very expensive but the quality (hardback, fabric covered) and the beauty of their products is extraordinary and they have a social mission too – the Singapore workshop employs artisans with physical and intellectual disabilities and in Indonesia they employ women from abusive families.

    Two – having sampled all of the TR notebooks from Asia, it might be worth knowing that these notebooks all lie flat when open.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A mouthwatering line up you have here. I’d like to mention a couple of additional points.

    One – Musubi is expensive but it is high quality (hardback and covered in unique fabrics, such as antique Kimonos) and extraordinarily beautiful. Also they have a social mission – in Singapore the artisans have intellectual or physical disabilities. In Indonesia they employ women from abusive families.

    Two – the Asian TR Notebooks all lie flat when open (probably others do) but I use all of the ones you have listed and they are my “go to” notebooks.


  3. Thanks for the round-up – there are some interesting options to look into.

    On the Nanami Seven Seas books – although they source their stationery from Japan, they’re actually based in the California and that’s where items ship from. Also Sakura Fountain Pen Gallery in Belgium carries some Nanami products. I haven’t compared the cost from them vs buying direct from Nanami, but it’s at least another option.

    Also, if you feel like spoiling yourself, Pebble do some beautiful handmade hardbound books using 52gsm Tomoe River paper with Chiyogami covers. They come up from time to time on their website. Shipping from Australia isn’t cheap, but they are works of art.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: UKFP Uncapped: 15th September 2019 | UK fountain pens

  5. I will add my 2 cents on few of those I have tried.

    GLP Author is my favorite notebook. However, over time I have found a few “issues”:
    – closure band gets loose – on several notebooks I use for longer time band tear out from notebook (one side) and is no longer usable.
    – one of the notebooks is slowly falling apart – it’s binding gets loose

    Taroko Breeze is second best notebook I have used. I would say that binding is probably even better than with GLP. Its main shortcomings are sharp corners and paper cover

    GooINKpressions – based on your review I bought few. They are nice small notebooks, however, in comparison with GLP or Taroko, it seems to be less advantageous as they are quite expensive for the amount of paper we get for the money.


    • I’m glad you’re enjoying The author notebook Kamil and thank you for your support!

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had issues with your notebook. Although it isn’t something that has happened a lot, we addressed both those areas of our notebooks earlier this year. Therefore The Author notebook now has a stronger binding and fixing of the elastic closure. The notebooks still lay flat in use though.
      The Author notebook is guaranteed against manufacturing defects, so please do get in touch through our website.

      GLP Creations


      • Thanks, Gavin, this is what I also enjoy about GLP. Your kind customer support.

        I do not need to replace the current notebooks. One of them is already almost finished, in other, I am halfway through.

        They are great notebooks – nice to look at, great to write in. Most recommended.

        I just hope that we will get a planner soon :-).

        Liked by 1 person

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