Best Japanese Notebooks 2021

by Erika Shinomoto

Check out these best Japanese notebooks perfect for maintaining journals, school notes, or simply even a diary. 

I am a stationery hoarder, in general. I’ve written reviews about the best gel pens, some really cool highlighters, mechanical pencils, brush pens for calligraphy, some super cute stationery from stores like Daiso and Muji. 

If I see a notebook that is cute, artistic, or multi-purpose, I will most definitely get it for my ever-growing collection. No matter whether you’re a student, a professional, or somebody who simply enjoys journaling your everyday life, a notebook is a must. 

I love my notebooks, especially some of these best Japanese notebooks that are high in quality and so much better in terms of the format. 

Over the years, I have successfully been able to add some of the best Japanese notebooks to my collection. If you are a lover of these just like me, I’m sure you will want them too. So today, I am bringing in front of you my treasured collection of the best Japanese notebooks that you can get too.

Which is the best Japanese notebook?

I tested and reviewed several Japanese notebooks based on size, no. of sheets, value for money, sheet quality, and binding. I found that MUJI Notebook A5 Grid Sheets is the best Japanese notebook. 

MUJI Notebook A5 Grid Sheets features high-quality pages. The pages of this notebook are made using 55 percent recycled paper, which is a great initiative by Muji. The paper quality is also excellent and you can write smoothly on it without worrying about ink bleed. It features 50 sheets of A5 size and costs $13.49 on Amazon. 

Some other best Japanese notebooks that made the list are: 

Best Japanese Notebooks

Best Japanese NotebooksNo. of SheetsPage Size
Kokuyo Campus Todai Series Pre-Dotted Notebook –  $41.3130B5
MUJI Notebook A5 Grid Sheets  – $13.4930A5
Muji Notebook B5 Notebook  – $21.9830B5
Nakabayashi Swing Logical Study Grid Notebook  – $18.9930B5
Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook  – $9.0780A5
Midori MD Notebook  – $10.3288A6
Tomoe River FP Notebook – $73.56184A5
Maruman A5 Spiral Notebook – $7.9580A5/B5

Read on to find out the reviews of the best Japanese notebooks!

Kokuyo Campus Todai Series Pre-Dotted Noteboo

This compact and travel-friendly notebook is perfect for all notebook lovers. This is a notebook that will let you organize your thoughts and write your heart out. The notebooks make use of dots that are unlike the traditional ruled lines in other notebooks. The dots work perfectly as an indication. 

With this, you can also use the notebook for several purposes. The paper quality is excellent, smooth, and thick, which is great as it lets you enjoy writing and drawing on it without worrying about the ink bleeding through the pages. 

The notebooks come in five different colors, which makes using them fun. You can color-code your different subjects according to the colors available in the pack. 

And that is not where the good things end. Each page has a section left out at the top for things like name and subject. This is the perfect notebook for taking notes or for any other use.

Key Features:

  • Excellent quality paper
  • Comes in five different colors
  • Pages have regular dots and lines 
  • Compact-sized notebook
  • Thick pages that do not let the ink bleed through
  • Can be used for several purposes
  • Travel-friendly 

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

MUJI Notebook A5 Grid Sheets

Muji is one brand that never disappoints you. This pack of notebooks is a testament to that. The notebooks come with durable thread binding and will look perfect as a part of your school or office supplies.

Also, what I love the most about these notebooks is that they are made of 55 percent recycled paper, so it is completely environment friendly. It is highly important for us to be mindful of this aspect, which is why I recommend you to get these notebooks. 

The notebooks have grids, instead of the regular ruled lines we see. Such grids are perfect for taking notes and writing. This truly is one of my favorite Japanese notebooks of all time. I am sure you will enjoy having these too. 

Key Features:

  • Compact and easy to use
  • Lightweight and perfect for writing
  • Excellent quality paper
  • Simple and sober cover
  • Made of recycled paper and so it environment friendly
  • Have grids instead of ruled lines

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Muji Notebook B5 Notebook

I love these notebooks, mainly because of the size. These are not regular sized but look more like a diary. I love the color-coded borders on the cover, which allows me to allot them for separate subjects and for different purposes.

The paper quality is also excellent and comes with amazing texture. The ink does not bleed through and it can withstand all the ink-flow without spoiling the paper. 

Each notebook comes with 30 pages that are enough for taking notes. These are also not very heavy and so can be carried around easily. You can also easily fold them as the covers are not too thick. With an inexpensive price, this pack of five notebooks is a great deal for you! If you are someone like me who love compact, multipurpose notebooks, this is the one for you.

Key Features:

  • Good quality paper with a smooth texture
  • Ink does not bleed through
  • Can be used for several purposes
  • Color-coded covers for your use
  • Comes with 30 pages each
  • Can be carried around easily
  • Inexpensive

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Nakabayashi Swing Logical Study Grid Notebook

I love Japanese notebooks because of the grids that they have. I find them much more efficient and effective for note-taking. If you are looking for notebooks that look cute and help you stay organized, these are the ones for you. 

The notebooks come in bright colors, which make working on them a lot more fun. The paper quality is good and the ink flows beautifully on them. This is a set of five books in five different colors.

These basic notebooks are great for children as they are cheap and thin. However, there is no limitation to that; adults can use these notebooks too. The different colors of the notebooks make it easy to identify them. 

Key Features:

  • Outstanding quality of paper
  • Lets you write smoothly
  • Available in five different colors
  • Thin and small in size
  • Cheap and affordable
  • Great for note-taking
  • Perfect for both kids and adults

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Maruman Mnemosyne Notebook

Visually palpable, appealing, and durable are what make this notebook from Maruman one of the most highly rated. The notebook comes with a hardcover, which is perfect for those like me who are not at all gentle with their notebooks. 

The notebook comes divided into three sections that are perfect for arranging your work and for several other uses. The texture of the paper speaks about the quality of the notebook. You will notice little to no bleeding of ink through the paper. The binding is also extremely secure and durable.

The design of the notebook is simple yet classy. It is a notebook that speaks of class. Carry this notebook around with you to grab attention and to make writing an enjoyable task.

Key Features:

  • Appealing and durable
  • One of the high rated Japanese notebooks
  • Comes with a hardcover that makes it long-lasting 
  • Can withstand all the pressure
  • Great texture of the paper
  • Little to no bleeding of ink through the paper
  • Secure and durable binding
  • Classy and simple design
  • Professional appearance

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Midori MD Notebook

Keep your notes and writing organized with this minimalistic and refined notebook. This notebook redefines simplicity, without being too boring. The quality of the notebook is long-lasting. For making the notebook extremely durable, it has been bound with stitches, which are considered to be highly secure. 

The notebook has the standard Japanese grids, which make taking notes easy. It helps you keep all your notes organized without looking messy and jumbled up. If you are looking for a simple notebook that helps create a statement while also proving to be highly useful, this is the one that you must definitely check out.

Key Features:

  • Minimalistic and refined
  • Simple yet classy
  • Long-lasting
  • Bound using stitches to make the notebook extremely durable
  • Comes with standard Japanese grids
  • Helps you stay organized
  • Lets you create a statement
  • Great quality paper

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Tomoe River FP Notebook

This is a notebook that comes with a very nice slipcover that adds an extra touch of safety to the notebook all over. Although the paper is thin, you will not experience any unnecessary spreading of ink as the paper holds it really well. You can work on the paper with all types of nibs, such as 18k medium, 14k medium, etc. 

The binding on the cover is minimum and beautiful which makes it look luxurious. The papers have a dot grid that looks very subtle and is also very absorbing. The 5mm grid helps as a guide while writing in equal and straight lines.

You can stay organized perfectly with the help of these grids. Also, do not forget about the smoothness of the paper which makes writing on it extremely comfortable and smooth.

Key Features:

  • Safe and secured slipcover to protect the pages
  • Fantastic quality pages 
  • Holds the ink beautifully
  • Balanced dot grid for straight writing
  • Minimal and beautiful notebook
  • Helps you stay organized
  • Smooth paper that makes writing on it comfortable

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Maruman A5 Spiral Notebook

This Maruman A5 spiral notebook has 80 sheets with stripes on it. Spiral notebooks are beneficial as they are easily accessible and practical in terms of turning the page, detaching evenly and it also looks neat and clean.

This notebook has metallic spiral rings which make it look luxurious and classy. The notebook is highly durable and the papers stay safe even if the notebook is folded or curled. The quality of the paper is super soft with good absorbance while writing with different inks. It is a must-have for various purposes.

Key Features:

  • Striped sheets for neat writing guide
  • Metal spiral for a unique look
  • Stays safe for a long time
  • Paper quality is great
  • Durable and long-lasting

Check out the best Japanese notebooks below!

Write away!

These were some of the best Japanese notebooks that I prefer over all others. These notebooks are durable, handy, and absolutely perfect. I am pretty sure you will fall in love with these notebooks the first time you lay your hands on them because that is pretty much what happened to me. So notebook lovers, what are you waiting for? Get your hands on these best Japanese notebooks today!

How to choose a notebook?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a notebook.

Size

This is probably the most important factor to consider. There are so many size options available, so it helps a lot when you need to find a specific size. Choosing the size depends on the purpose for which you are getting a notebook.

Binding

This is also an important aspect. You need to see which type of binding suits you. A meticulously stitched notebook might lure some, whereas others may like notebooks that are glued or stapled.

Paper Quality

This is yet another aspect to consider. You obviously need a notebook with a great paper quality. It should be thick enough to prevent any ink bleed.

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