My Hobonichi Adventure in Seattle

In Late August, I embarked on a week long trip to Seattle to visit some friends. Of course I have to bring my Hobonichi along with me to journal and record the things I see and the places I’ve been. Although I’ve already built up a system or a habit of journaling in my Hobonichi, the hard part about doing it while you’re traveling is that your day schedule is so full, you’re usually exhausted at the end of the day. Fortunately, many of my plans in Seattle actually are stationery and planner meet ups with fellow journaling addicts, so we spent a lot of time in cafes writing in our Hobo or Traveler’s Notebook!

My simply set up consisted of a pen case with my favorite pens: Uni Pin fine line waterproof pigment ink pens for drawing, Uni Style fit for journaling, my TWSBI Eco fountain pen, washi samples, some sticker sheets, a small sticker book, and a portable watercolor palette! (For a more comprehensive read about how to keep a travel scrapbook, or you can check out a post about my traveler’s notebook!)

img_5700(This was taken at Sea-Tac airport while waiting for my flight back to Boston.)

I’m just going to jump right into it and show you my first fabulous meet up with three amazing girls in Seattle: Phyllis, Leah, and Sandra. They were kind enough to make time for me to meet and we all gawked and geeked over our Hobonichis. Of course we brought multiple journals, and there’s always the inevitable Planner Tower:


This tower consisted of Hobonichi Cousin, three Hobonichi Techos, three Traveler’s Notebook, four Weeks, and two Traveler’s Notebook Passport size (modified to be wallets). Imagine all the creativity and inspiration going on in these journals! We continued our stationery-obsessed frenzy at Kinokuniya, the evil pit and stationery wonderland to us addicts.

The next day, Phyllis and I took the Washington State Ferry to Bainbridge Island! We definitely take every opportunity to write in our Hobos. It was a rather windy day so we hid indoor and admired the gray skies as I catch up on my pages.

Another great location to journal is Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. The space and atmosphere is very chill and relaxing. I commandeered a table to myself while waiting for Phyllis and her husband to join me for a quiet evening while sipping expensive coffee. I also did some sketches, which you can follow on my Instagram: Penguinscreative.



Although I still have three months left in my Cousin Avec, it’s already getting pretty bulky from all the stickers and washis I put in. I can’t imagine how thick it’ll get when I will be printing out photos and adding them to each page!

My journey in the city brings me to Pike Place Market, my favorite place! It’s got the bustle of people and sweet aroma of delicious food everywhere! I discovered an area of seating that allows you to look out at the harbor! Of course this is the best place for me to take a break from all the strenuous touring to eat and journal!


On this trip, I prefer to carry this compact Long Champ backpack in olive green. It’s very light and you can easily fit in the Hobonichi Cover. To lessen the weight, I would often bring the Avec sans cover. Sometimes a nekkid hobonichi is a convenient hobonichi (I just made up this saying).

img_5012(Look at this awesome view!)

Talking about taking the Hobonichi to new heights! Of course I had to visit the Space Needle when I’m in Seattle. I avoided the crowd and grabbed a tall stool to relax and enjoy the view. I went up around 7:30, and was able to enjoy the sunset all the way into the sparkling night lights. How I wish I can capture the splendor of nature at such view points on my Hobonichi, but my mastery of watercolor is not that sophisticated yet.

Photos will have to do.


On a separate morning, I found myself back at Pike Place Market again. I always enjoy journaling while I have breakfast, because it’s when my head is the most clear. While I’m waiting for my brunch to arrive at Lowell’s Restaurant, I was able to enjoy the amazing view while writing in my Hobonichi!

img_5202(The difficult moment when delicious french toast competes with my Hobonichi for attention)

Around the evening, I found myself at Storyville, a cave like space that offers amazing coffee. While I sip their cold brew, I utilized this quick break to write postcards! Of course, I squeezed in some journaling time too. The great thing about traveling alone is that you can enjoy the tranquility of relaxing at a stop point for however long you want. The low music and aroma of coffee almost lulled me to sleep…

In the evening, I had an impromptu stationery meet up with new friend Kelly! We met at the University Bookstore (at University of Washington) while browsing their Traveler’s Notebook products! That moment when one stationery addict recognizes another! Enlightenment!



Near the end of the week, I visited Bellevue for the Pokemon Go Park (oops) and also to meet the wonderful Ashley from Ashhdesign! We stumbled across each other on Instagram, and realized that we can actually meet up during this trip! She’s an avid user of Traveler’s Notebook and have the most amazing collection of stationery accessories. My tools for this trip pales in comparison. I had the most amazing time using her ink pads, intricate stamps, and washi tapes!

Ashley and her friend Nita (which I also got to meet later in my trip!) exchange Traveler’s Notebook monthly and write in it for each other! They are both masters of collaging. This is one of her pages that I sneakily took a photo of, hehe.


Our meet up is at Cafe Cesura, a tiny cafe in downtown Bellevue. I don’t know what other people think of us, but our stationery spread took up almost HALF of their giant oak table.



Whenever I go to stationery meet ups, I’ll alway ask my new friends to write in a page of my Hobonichi (using up the blank note papers on the back). We spent a glorious afternoon drawing, stamping, cutting, and sticking things into our journals.

By the way I just had to sneak this food photo in between all the stationery goodness. Uneeda Burger at Fremont district is the most amazing thing I’ve ever eating. This one has caramelized onion, bleu cheese, and watercress combined in its gooey juicy creation.


On the day of my flight back to the East Coast, I had a final stationery meet up with Ashley again, and this time Nita was able to come too! (check out Nita’s amazing stationery store!). This time because there are two of them stationery goddesses, I have more stamps and washi tapes to play with!

In a brief two hours, we were able to write in each other’s journal in a full circuit! There are four traveler’s notebooks here, a Hobonichi Cousin, and Midori MD notebook!


This trip to Seattle was so rewarding, and I made so many good friends! I’m reluctant to leave because all the girls are talking about future Hobonichi meet ups, which I can’t attend because I’m too far away!!!!!

The Sea-Tac airport is a gorgeous place to journal. The terminal has an expanse of floor to ceiling windows. I was able to spend a quality hour noting the final leg of my journey. I had to continue to refer back to my Weeks, where I kept a quick log of my travels and exciting things that happened.

Nothing brings people together like great stationery


Seattle, I’ll miss you and the wonderful friends I meet here! Thanks for giving me so much memory to record in my Hobonichi. I’m also excited to be able to flip back to my journal in the future, and relive these wonderful moments 🙂

One thought on “My Hobonichi Adventure in Seattle

  1. fenfenliem says:

    Thank you for this post 🙂 Will be going to Seattle for work. Excited to visit the place you mentioned here! I would love to meet with Hobonichi users there but I am too shy… hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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