Posts filed under Tomoe River

Nanami Paper Seven Seas Writer Review

(Jeff Abbott is a regular contributor at The Pen Addict. You can find more from Jeff online at Draft Evolution and Twitter.)

Tomoe River paper took the world (well, a very small portion of the world) by storm a couple years ago for its phenomenal paper. Basically, the paper that Tomoe River produces is super thin, but handles fountain pen nibs and inks like nothing else. You're hard pressed to find something that will bleed through or feather on its worst day. Brad wrote a bit about it back in 2013, and I've never had a bad thing to say about it. I love Tomoe River paper.

Problem was, you could only buy Tomoe River paper in loose leaf. There weren't any notebooks or pads at first. Thankfully, this has changed. There are many products nowadays that feature this miraculous paper, and in many different formats and uses. This review focuses on a product that appeals to those who like to write on lined pages without having to switch to a new notebook for a long, long time: The Seven Seas Writer by Nanami Paper.

Most of the notebooks I review come in around 80 pages or so. Some of them even have upwards of 220. The Seven Seas Writer blows that number away with a whopping 480 pages of ivory lined Tomoe River paper. In case you didn't know, that's a ton of paper for one notebook. You'd expect a notebook of that size to be about 3 inches thick to accommodate all those pages, but that's not the case with the Seven Seas Writer. Since it's using the ultra-thin Tomoe River paper, it's the same thickness as other notebooks I have that only have 220 pages or so. Same size, almost twice the pages.

The book is an A5 size, and features a strong (but soft) cover. The cover is thin and made of a fabric of some kind. To my eyes, it's a dark brown or dark green color, and looks really inconspicuous. It's not flashy at all, but you can easily change that by purchasing a high-quality leather cover to go along with it (if you can find them in stock).

The exterior of the book is well-made. When you look at the sides of the book, the pages line up perfectly. There's no sloppy binding here. Everything about the construction of this book is done with care, and that really becomes obvious the more you use it. Tomoe River paper is incredible for how thin it is and how well it behaves with pens and inks of all types, but it's still really easy to tear. The Writer protects the pages very well so you don't have to worry about where you take it.

I've taken my Writer with me (sans-cover) many, many times, and it barely shows any wear. The cover is soft, but strong.

There are a couple of things it lacks that are mostly personal preferences: page numbers and a bookmark. The first is a nice-to-have, and the second can be solved by adding a notebook cover that also has a bookmark ribbon attached. These are really minor quibbles, though.

So, how does the book do when you're actually writing in it? Well, I love mine.

The book has absolutely no issue laying flat, even when you're still in those first pages where most notebooks really resist until broken in. Given the thin paper and high-quality binding, it just lays flat naturally, and closes with ease.

The paper is glassy smooth, the lines are perfectly spaced (8mm spacing), and it just stays out of your way. I tend to get a bit uncomfortable when writing on the fat side of the notebook when I get to the bottom of the page, but that's normal for any notebook that has this many pages (or half as many).

Nanami Paper Seven Seas Writer Ink.jpg

Dry time is incredibly fast, but you will smudge or mark up other pages if you close the book just after writing. Nanami was nice enough to include a perfectly-sized piece of blotter paper that you can use to keep that from happening, but I'm reckless and live a life a danger. The paper is thin, so there's plenty of show-through on the backs of pages, but actual bleed-through is extremely rare, regardless of the pen/ink.

I can easily say this is my favorite notebook. It's a pleasure to use, and it just keeps holding up past my expectations. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys lined paper and an exceptional paper. Since it's a standard size (A5), you can customize it by adding covers.

And, did I mention it's only $25? I'm still blown away by the price. Tomoe River paper is like mithril to me, so I honestly don't know how this 480-page notebook comes in at that price. I would guess that the cost is reduced because of the plain, thin cover and lack of bookmark, closure band, etc., but it still gets the job done.

Check out the Seven Seas Writer for yourself or as a gift. If they happen to be sold out, don't worry — they'll likely release a new edition fairly quickly.

Posted on October 28, 2015 and filed under Notebook Reviews, Tomoe River.

Tomoe River Paper now at JetPens

Tomoe River Paper.jpg

I heard about the mythical properties of Tomoe River Paper on various message boards and blogs earlier this year. Reading others thoughts and looking at sample pictures online I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The paper is so thin it is practically transparent, but over and over again people were touting how well it handled fountain pen inks.

A kind reader sent me a sample to try for myself, and I came away very impressed. It is the most unique paper I have ever used, handling the widest nibs and inkiest inks with ease. I even mailed a few sheets to friends telling them they HAD to try it.

Since then, Tomoe's following has grown in the US, but there hasn't always been a reliable source to order from. Now that JetPens is stocking it I hope it will be easier to acquire.

Tomoe River Paper is packaged as loose sheets in packs of 100 for $10. If you are looking for an amazing and unique writing experience I highly recommend you check it out.

Posted on November 21, 2013 and filed under Tomoe River.

Raymay Davinci System Tomoe River Paper Refill Review

Raymay Davinci

The recently released Raymay Davinici System piqued my interest for one reason, and one reason only: The use of Tomoe River paper.

Tomoe River paper is something special. When I reviewed it earlier this summer I was taken aback. How could a paper this thin be this receptive to ink? I put it through the fountain pen ringer and it performed so well I started seeking out other products that use it. That was, and still is, a challenge.

The tide is changing though, and Tomoe River is starting to become more available. One of the new sources is the aforementioned Raymay Davinci planner system. I opted to pass on the full Davinci planner since I have a Hobonichi Techo on the way for 2014 (which also uses Tomoe River), but I wanted to give the paper a test run so I ordered the plain, pocket size refill pack.

Raymay Davinci

As expected, the paper performed like a champ. It is very smooth with all inks, with only wider-tipped liquid ink pens like the Lamy Tipo and Pilot brush pen bleeding through to the back - barely. That is an amazing accomplishment for a paper this thin. The lone tradeoff is that inkier pens do take some time to dry. It's not as immediate as more porous paper.

Raymay Davinci

I wanted to see if my first experience with Tomoe River paper held true when used in other products and it did with flying colors. This is not a paper for everyone, but if you want to try something unique - and quite frankly, amazing - search it out and give it a shot.

(JetPens is an advertiser on The Pen Addict and I received this product at no charge.)

Posted on September 19, 2013 and filed under Tomoe River.

Tomoe River Paper Review

Tomoe River Paper

I am rarely caught completely off guard by a product these days. Sure, there are plenty of surprises and disappointments along the way, but to be shocked is a rarity. Tomoe River Paper shocked me.

I heard many of my fountain pen friends sing the praises of this brand but I never dug in and learned more about it. Who knew how much I was missing. A kind reader emailed one day offering up samples (hi Rachael!) and before you know it they landed in my mailbox.

Since I hadn't done any previous research on Tomoe River I was nothing short of stunned when I opened the envelope. Did you ever use tracing paper when you were a kid? That is essentially the look and feel of Tomoe River Paper. It is thin, transparent, and crinkles with ease if you are not careful. There is no way fountain pens will perform well on this paper, right?

Wrong. In so many ways.

To begin with, Tomoe River Paper is very smooth when writing. Rhodia/Clairefontaine level smooth. No matter the size of the nib - from 1.5 mm stub nibs down to my Japanese EF nibs - they all glide across the page with no feedback at all. On top of that, there is no bleed or feathering. That is the real shocker to me. I'm not sure how a paper this thin manages that but it is the truth.

Tomoe River Paper

As great as it is there are some downsides to consider. With the Rhodia-level smoothness also comes Rhodia-length dry time. Lefties beware. You also will not be able to use the back of the page either. Remember my tracing paper comparison? That's what the back of the page looks like. And like I mentioned before, it is fragile, crinkling with ease if you bump it around a lot.

That said, I'm sold. The uniqueness and feel of the paper has me wanting more. Nanami Paper seems to be the main source at this time, and bookbinder Jesse Aston has journals available from time to time (reviewed here). Both sell blank Tomoe River Paper - where are my beloved grids?

I may not be completely out of luck if I want to branch out a little. Did you hear me butcher the name Hobonichi in episode 54 of the podcast? What I was referring to is the Hobonichi Techo Planner, which uses gridded Tomoe River Paper. I'm not a planner guy, but this might make me change my mind (see how the Japanese use their Hobonichi Planners). If nothing else, it gives me hope I will be able to get gridded Tomoe River Paper in the future.

To read more about Tomoe River Paper and see many more ink samples and dry time tests check out Azizah's review at FPGeeks.

Posted on June 3, 2013 and filed under Tomoe River.