Yet another interesting paper product from Japan, Tsubame Fools Notebooks are an excellent quality mid-range notebook with a couple of interesting features to set them apart form the pack.
Tsubame has been making paper since 1947, most of it featuring their lattice-style watermark. This is not something seen or felt when writing, but is interesting nonetheless when holding the paper up to a light source. I was concerned it might be obtrusive at first - as a rule I don’t like watermarked paper - but it isn’t noticeable under normal use.
The first pens I tested on the Cream B5 5 mm Graph were fountain pens and I felt that the paper was smooth but didn’t have that glassy quality like Rhodia has. There is no tooth, per se, but there is a different feel to it. With my widest pens there was no feathering or bleed either. Zero. It barely showed through too, so those who write on both sides should have no issue.
All other pens performed well and pencil users may especially want to take note. Super smooth paper isn’t the best for graphite, so leadheads may enjoy these.
Everyone should enjoy the clean, classy design of the Tsubame Fools Cream Notebook. The navy/white combo looks great on the graph paper model, with gold/white and red/white featured on the plain and lined notebooks, respectively. I’m a big fan of the cheesecloth tape exterior binding and the thread stitched interior binding, both combining to allow the notebook to stay flat while retaining its flexibility.
At $6.50 for 32 sheets of B5 paper it’s moderatley priced. There are both less expensive and more expensive imported notebook options, but for one that can handle it all like Tsubame Fools I think the price is right.