It’s hard not to fall in love with Japanese stationery.
From stunning notebooks and pens to colorful washi tape and writing accessories, it’s easy to see why Japanese stationery has attracted fans from all over the world.
Japan has a long and rich tradition of papermaking. It is said that papermaking was first introduced to Japan by a Korean Buddhist monk in the year 610. And similar to how regions in France became acclaimed for their wine and cheese, Japan also had specific regions that developed a reputation for their papermaking.
Paper-making is such an integral part of Japanese culture, that Washi, the Japanese craft of hand-made paper, has even been recognized by UNESCO for its promotion of traditional techniques and practices.
Today, Japan remains committed to the art and craft of paper. With high quality materials, attention to detail, and emphasis on traditional craftsmanship, you can feel the love whenever you turn the buttery pages of a notebook or glide a fountain pen across the page.
Here’s a closer look at some of our favorite Japanese stationery products. Whether you’re a stationery addict or someone who loves the art of letter writing, you’ll find a Japanese stationery product that’s right for you.
What makes Japanese stationery so special
Japan’s respect for the art of writing comes through in its stationery products. These are just some of the many reasons why Japanese stationery is so special.
Thoughtful details. It’s as if a notebook or pen were specifically made to make your day feel more special. Whether it's a luxurious cover or a brightly colored pen, these little details bring a smile to your face.
Function meets style. Japanese stationery is designed with everyday use in mind. Colorful washi tape isn’t just a fun way to add personality to your planner pages. It also has multiple practical uses, like creating calendars, organizing your file folders, and labeling your office supplies. With Japanese stationery, you don’t have to sacrifice style for function and vice versa.
Elevates the everyday. Japanese stationery helps elevate our everyday lives. Whether it’s a beautiful notebook to help us record our appointments or track our goals, or a hand-made card to send thanks to a loved one, Japanese stationery makes everyday experiences feel more fulfilling.
Affordable. Japanese stationery is made with high quality materials but they’re also at a convenient price point. You’ll feel like you’re treating yourself to a really nice item without putting a dent in your wallet.
Portable. Because Japanese notebooks are intentionally designed for everyday use, you’ll find that many of them are easy to carry. You can slip them in your bag or suitcase without worrying about damaging the cover or the pages.
Cute stationery. Japan is well-known for its “kawaii” or cute culture. So if you’re looking to brighten up your workspace or office supplies, you’ll definitely want to include tiny erasers, colorful stickers, and adorable planners. Cute stationery makes you feel better. Period.
Elegant and refined. There are also many Japanese stationery options with an elevated style. From the gilded pages of a Kunisawa notebook to the streamlined design of a compact pen, Japanese stationery products are a great way to add a sophisticated touch to your office tools.
So whether you’re a fan of “cute” or a minimalist who prefers subtle design, you’ll find a Japanese notebook or pen that suits your style.
Now let’s get to know some of the most beloved Japanese stationery products.
Why we love them: Established in 1971, the Kunisawa line is both luxurious and functional. From the soft, buttery pages to the smooth, elegant cover, you’ll feel your best when you’re using a Kunisawa notebook. And the best part? Kunisawa notebooks were specifically designed for fountain pens. No more worrying about smudges or ink bleeding through the pages. Your pen will glide across the page, making for a smooth writing experience.
The Executive Notebook. Maybe it’s your first day on the job or you want to treat yourself for landing that big promotion. Then you’ll definitely want to have the Kunisawa Executive notebook by your side. It has the creamiest paper that’s great for fountain pens. A dot grid pattern that lends itself to multipurpose uses. And the notebook size is slightly larger than a standard A5 so you’ll have ample space for brainstorming, note-taking, and creating your action plans.
Find Smart Pocket Notebook. This pocket-sized notebook is perfect for note-taking or jotting down your thoughts whenever inspiration strikes. The sturdy cover also makes it easy to write on when you’re away from your desk.
Pair a Kunisawa notebook with an equally stunning OHTO Liberty Ceramic Rollerball Pen.
Why we love them: Made in Japan, Maruman stationery is high quality minus the exorbitant price tag. And don’t take our word for it: Maruman products are also beloved by stationery fans.
Maruman Mnemosyne A4 Grid Notebook. This isn’t your average spiral notebook. The Maruman Mnemosyne has a slim spiral binding that’s pleasing to the eye. The pages are perforated at the top so you can save them or share. The light grid pattern is great for creating layouts, bullet journaling, and more. The A4 size makes it slightly bigger than US letter size and it’s perfect for brainstorming, note-taking, and sketching.
Maruman Mnemosyne A5 Grid Notebook. This has the same specs as the A4 but the A5 size is smaller, making it convenient for carrying around and taking notes.
Pair a Maruman notebook with a sturdy Zebra F-701 All Metal Ballpoint Pen.
Why we love them: An everyday carry notebook that’s also luxurious? Yes, it exists! With thick card-stock paper that’s silky smooth, these Logical Prime notebooks will be your new must-have tool.
Ring Notebook (Lined). The lined paper is great for jotting down notes and to-do lists and keeping your handwriting in order.
Ring Notebook (Grid). The grid pattern lends itself to tracking habits and goals or keeping a daily log.
Ring Notebook (Dotted). Gives you just the right amount of blank space and structure for nice, even handwriting and for creating lists and illustrations.
These notebooks would go great with the compact Penco ballpoint pen.
Written by JiJi Lee.