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The Best Japanese Notebooks in 2024

best japanese notebooks

The upside of using Japanese notebooks is their high-quality paper which is resistant to bleeding and feathering, making it ideal for fountain pains and other writing tools. Japanese notebook’s grid paper allows for precise and organized writing, drawing, and note-taking.

This article features six of the top Japanese notebooks that you can use for your writing activities. We have tested several notebooks available in the market to find the best Japanese notebook for writing that anyone can use. Please see the list below.

Top 6 Japanese Notebooks Reviews

1. Midori 15003006 MD Notebooksmidori 15003006 md notebooks

If you want a comfortable notebook to write in, try this Japanese notebook from Midori. It is one of the most suitable Japanese paper notebooks that can handle different types of inks and pens well without bleed-through or feathering.

This Japanese notebook is perfect, and the construction is very sturdy. According to the company, the notebook uses an original writing paper that was used and developed in the 1960s. The warm cream paper color impresses me, which is very gentle to the eyes. This paper is also perfect for fountain pens.

In addition, this Japanese notebook comes with excellent binding. I like the materials used in this notebook binding; they look durable and should last longer. Upon checking it, this Japanese notebook uses thread cobbling that is so easy to open and has a durable finish.

I am also impressed by the grid design, which is perfect for regular writing and making clear task lists. This Japanese notebook does not have a cover that makes the user more comfortable when writing. Furthermore, it comes with an excellent opening that prevents the rattling of the notebook.

Finally, this Japanese notebook includes index stickers. It comes with an indexing seal that matches the appearance of a solid cover but only with a cheesecloth tip. Most stickers are printed with frequently used “ideas” and diaries.” The rest of the blank stickers can be filled in and used. The stickers can also be used to secure the spin.

Pros
  • Built with original writing paper that does not bleed or bleed through
  • The paper is warm and creamy, which is gentle on the eyes
  • The excellent binding makes the notebook easy to open
  • The notebook includes index stickers
  • The paper is built to make you write comfortably
Cons
  • The notebook gets dirty easily

This Japanese dot grid notebook is for users looking for a notebook that is comfortable to use. The gridding is light enough that it does not distract from any writing. This Japanese notebook looks very cute and minimalistic as well.

2. Genkouyoushi Japanese Kanji Practice Notebooks

genkouyoushi japanese kanji practice notebooks

This Japanese notebook from Red Tiger Press is a traditional notebook style that uses kanji paper, also known as genkouyoushi paper. This notebook is ideal for children and even adults trying to learn the Japanese language in terms of writing.

You can use this notebook to practice Kanji, which allows you to write about 200 characters or 400 using the front and back. This product is the most preferred Japanese notebook for studying the Japanese language as it is very durable. You will not rip the pages when you write and will not see bleeding when you write.

I am also impressed by the page’s design, as every page is usable. It is actually functional with Genkouyoushi grids. In my experience, most other Genkouyoushi notebooks usually come with a summary or a notation page alternating with the Genkouyoushi practice page. Those are unnecessary, while the grid pages are the most important ones.

In terms of the notebook’s size, it’s nice and big and is filled with substantial double-sided pages. Each page comes with vertical rows with boxes divided into quadrants. It comes with one kanji per box, which offers a perfect space for practicing kanji with many strokes.

Lastly, I like the overall quality of this Japanese notebook. The pages are thick enough to prevent bleeding, while the binding and covers come with a lot of flexibility but still have the strength in them. The simple design is an excellent bonus for the user.

Pros
  • With a simple but durable design
  • The pages are thick to prevent bleeding
  • Built with binding and covers that offer a lot of flexibility
  • Every page is usable and without useless fillers
  • The side is big with a lot of double-sided pages
Cons
  • The binding does not allow the book to lie flat

This product is for users looking to learn and study the Japanese language. It provides so much space for the user to maximize the writing and practicing of the language. This Japanese notebook is a helpful tool for Kanji study.

3. Hiragana Japanese Writing Notebooks

hiragana japanese writing notebooks

This workbook from Lilas Lingvo is an excellent writing practice sheet when learning Hiragana symbols. It also comes with all the words needed to learn the Japanese language and the space to write and memorize them. It is the most suitable Japanese notebook for school as it includes a flashcard that will help in your learning.

The general impression of this workbook is that it is great for new learners. Also, it is much larger than I expected. The size is okay since it is about the size of the standard coloring notebook. The flash card is an excellent addition that can enhance your learning.

When it comes to learning Japanese, I am impressed by its ability to show strict order as it comes with examples of how the characters look when it is written in ink. Aside from the flashcards, the vocabulary words come in kanji and kana forms.

The design is also built in such a way that the pages can be easily cut out using a xerox machine. With this feature, you can easily replicate all the pages so that you can easily share them with your Japanese learning friends.

The only issue I have with this Japanese notebook is the transparency of the flashcards, which can be seen at the back. You can use index cards or anything that can modify them so they cannot be seen at the back. But this issue is an easy fix.

Pros
  • 3-in-1 Hiragana workbook
  • All the words need flashcards to help in the learning and memorization
  • It comes with plenty of paper to write on
  • Pages are designed to be easily cut out and multiplied by a copying machine
  • Excellent writing practice tool
Cons
  • Minor misprint issues

This product is for users seeking a writing workbook to enhance their Japanese writing skills. This workbook will give you a basic understanding of the language and be an excellent tool for learning Japanese with other friends.

4. Maruman Spiral NOTE BASIC

maruman spiral note basic

This product from Maruman is one of the most popular Japanese notebook brands in terms of overall quality. It is Japan-made and can be used for schools, businesses, and other applications. What stands out with this Japanese notebook is the smoothness of the paper finish.

In addition, the paper feels premium and silky smooth. You can compass the smoothness and crispiness of a check out of a checkbook. In addition, the grid is precise, while the printing is outstanding. Physically, the ink color is light enough it does not overpower your drawn lines but fine and contrasted enough that the grid can be easily seen and followed by any viewing angle while drawing.

I am also impressed by the simple design of this Japanese notebook, making it suitable for school, work, or any other personal use. On the other hand, I also like the cover, which is made of textured craft paper with no unnecessary writing or decoration.

Aside from the smoothness of the paper, it’s a little bit thin compared to the other Japanese notebook I know, but the dot grid makes it easy to keep your page neat and organized. The pages can also be torn out cleanly. It also does well with many fountain ink pens.

I also like the binding of this Japanese notebook. The end of both rings is intentionally grounded for safety and to avoid injuries. This type of binding will not let the wire get into your bag if you put the notebook inside.

Pros
  • Made with a high-quality and original paper that provides smoothness
  • With a simple but functional design
  • Excellent binding with both ends rounded to prevent injuries
  • Rules lines are made attractive
  • The notebook can be used for schools, businesses, and personal usage
Cons
  • The notebook needs more pages

This product is a suitable Japanese notebook for fountain pens. It is perfect for users looking for the best paper-quality notebook. The paper provides excellent smoothness and has a super durable and sturdy cover.

5. Kokuyo Campus Notebooks

kokuyo campus notebooks

This Japanese notebook from Kokuyo is built to provide comfort and offers a satisfying writing experience. It is made using paper that allows the user to easily erase the writing using an eraser. With this feature, you can easily write characters with more strokes with a lot of clearness and smoothness.

During my first use of this Japanese notebook, the paper is lovely and perfect for those users who like to take notes. The paper will allow you to write both sides with thicker ink pens. Then, the grid line will help engineering and math notes since it has diagrams and graphs.

This notebook is also an excellent tool when practicing kanji as it offers plenty of practice space per page. In terms of quality, this Japanese notebook feels very sturdy. You will never feel any flimsiness in the notebook.

Additionally, you can write anything from any side of the book. Whether you want to start on the right or left side is fine. In addition, this book is very light, and the pages don’t feel like paper. Furthermore, using a pen will not bleed through.

I also like the additional accessories when buying this Japanese notebook. Inside the cover of each book is a small sticker sheet. All the stickers are in Japanese language and label different subjects. A blank sticker is also available, which allows you to write your label.

Pros
  • Built to allow users to erase any writing on the paper easily
  • It comes with guide marks that will guide you to the location where you are currently writing
  • Made with original base paper that provides comfort with its acid-free and resistance to bleeding features
  • The spine is laminated with special film that allows the book to open flat and not easily fall apart
  • It comes in five different colors
Cons
  • The notebook needs more pages

This product is for users looking for a comfortable notebook to write or learn the Japanese language. The paper in this notebook is incredibly smooth and is available with many fun colors. It also includes stickers that can be used as labels when writing notes.

6. Moleskine Art Japanese Album Notebooks

moleskine art japanese album notebooks

Moleskine art Japanese albums are different from your ordinary Japanese notebook. It offers art collections that can be used in different ways, such as sketchbooks, sketch pads, watercolor notebooks, music notebooks, and storyboard layout notebooks. I am impressed with the number of applications that this notebook offers. You only need to check which will fit your needs.

I really like the quality and the overall thickness of the paper, as it comes with a very smooth texture. This notebook is also very sturdy and can easily draw while standing in place. This Japanese notebook is lightweight but not cumbersome.

This Japanese notebook is also perfect for creative activities. Specifically, I like the continuous pages, which allow anyone to keep a daily journal that includes stamping, drawing, and stickers. More importantly, the entries can flow into one another to create a better picture of the journal’s content.

In addition, this Japanese notebook also comes with thick fanfold sheets, which is standard with Moleskine books. This notebook can also be used in creating a photo album that allows you to use a new level of creativity.

Lastly, this Japanese notebook also works well with ink. There will be no bleeding and no fuzzing, even when using metal nibs and getting a little scratchy with the pages. This Japanese notebook is great and compact for my art journaling.

Pros
  • Available in different types of collections to enhance the creativity of the user
  • Built with durable cover and elastic closure
  • It comes with soft and hard covers, making it a perfect gift to anyone
  • Made with thick and ivory paper pages
  • Perfect for ballpoint pen, fountain pen, or pencil
Cons
  • Come in small size

This Japanese notebook is for users looking for a Japanese notebook with excellent quality and durability. This notebook is available in various collections,, which allows you to choose with your preferred needs. The product has the quality you look for in a Japanese notebook.

How to Choose a Japanese Notebook

best notebook for studying japanese

A Japanese notebook is an incredible tool for all your writing needs. However, choosing the best Japanese notebook can be challenging with all the options available. However, there are factors that you need to consider when choosing a Japanese notebook to help you pick the right one.

Paper Weight

The paper weight and the overall page thickness can affect the quality of your writing experience. Ultimately, the paperweight can influence show-through and bleed-through when you write. So, when you use thin paper, expect this situation to happen. Also, thin paper usually shows more ghosting. So it would help if you balanced the weight against the ability to pack pages into a slimmer book.

Sheet Style

best japanese notebooks for fountain pens

The sheet style is the ruling per page in every book. Japanese books have lined pages between 6 to 7mm, while the grid rulings are from 2.5 mm to 5.0 mm. If you use smaller rulings, it can help in fitting the page. But it would help if you also considered your writing style.

Paper Tooth

This factor is the overall texture of the paper, which can dictate your overall writing experience in the notebook. If your notebook has toothier paper, expect more feedback from the writing instrument you are using.

When the paper has a rough tooth, it will offer more control with a pencil but may snag when you use a fine-tipped fountain pen. Then, there is the smooth paper which allows a wet pen to glide over the surface but feels slippery when using a pencil.

Notebook Size

best japanese notebooks for school

There are several sizes that a Japanese notebook offers. The range is from B7 to B5, but you also get as big as the A4 size. So, if you are looking for a Japanese notebook, consider your needs when it comes to choosing the right size of the notebook. You can refer to a paper-size guide to help you decide.

Binding

Binding is essential when looking for a Japanese notebook, as it affects its durability and longevity. Binding also affects how it lays open, which is also very important. Look for a Japanese notebook that is thread bound because it can easily lay flat and will not snag or slide when put in a backpack.

Covers Design

The cover is also an important aspect when looking for a Japanese notebook. Besides enhancing its appearance, the cover’s quality improves the notebook’s durability and longevity. Some Japanese notebooks feature a softcover that is flexible and easy to carry, while others feature a hardcover that provides additional protection to the paper inside.

Conclusion

The best Japanese notebooks will allow you to have a nice writing experience. But the type of notebook you need will depend on the particular purpose of using the Japanese notebook. So, in choosing the right Japanese notebook, we have presented several factors to ensure it meets your needs and provides a high-quality writing or drawing experience.

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