I'm now the proud owner of a Hobonichi Techo. Hobonichi is a range of diary planners from Japan. They are coveted because of their sleek minimalist design, and more importantly, their high-quality River Tomoe paper. The paper accepts watercolour well and doesn't bleed through with most pens. This makes them perfect as a daily art journal.
I first heard about the Hobonichi Techo last month when I subscribed to Rainbow Holic YouTube channel. Kaila had a series of videos called 'Hobonichi with Me'. I was instantly struck by, not only the cute art, but the design of the planner that combines a daily planner with an artistic practice.
I really, really wanted one! But it was halfway through the year, and the thought of having to wait 6 months to start one of my own was, well, I have to admit, a little heartbreaking. Imagine my pleasant surprise on learning that Hobonichi also sell a 6-month version of the planner, called the Abeku. Not only that, but the July-December 2016 version was going on sale in just a couple of days!
I hesitated for a while, but by the time the Abeku went on sale, I'd managed to convince myself to purchase it. It was relatively expensive for a half-year planner, but on the other hand, I thought, the daily format and beautiful paper would encourage me in my goal of drawing more often. The coincidence that Hobonichi offer a 6-month version, and I heard about it just before it went on sale ... I was convinced it was a sign! I made the purchase and waited anxiously for it to arrive. The wait wasn't long though -- it only took 4 days from Japan to Australia.
My Hobonichi came in an excitingly large, yellow package styled like an old-fashioned gift bag.
Inside was a sleek sky-blue coloured box, and the planner was inside that. The Japanese version comes with several free gifts -- a tri-colour pen, a tissue holder and a poster. Everything was packed in clear plastic bags.
There was no packing material inside the box and everything rattled around a little bit. I don't think this mattered too much as everything was made of durable materials and was wrapped in plastic.
The Hobonichi Techo comes in two sizes (A5 and A6). I decided to purchase the smaller size for my first. I didn't purchase a cover or any other accessories, as I wasn't sure if I'd want to settle on the smaller size in the long run. Plus, it might be fun to make a cover myself.
The planner has month-at-a-glance and week-at-a-glance pages at the front, but the main body has one page per day. At the end are sections to list addresses, favourites books, movies, etc. as well as recipes, and other information. Much of it is in Japanese so I can't read it, which is a bit of a shame, but I like that the main pages of the diary are in Japanese. I love looking at texts in different languages and it gives me a chance to do that every day.
I couldn't wait until the end of the month to use it, so I wrote in the dates for birthdays and events for the rest of the year, and did this painting in the front:
I'm quite happy with the painting. It's been a long time and I'm very out of practice. I'm very happy with the Hobonichi as well so far; hopefully that will continue.