IT’S OUT! The much-awaited day for all stationery addicts out there. September is journal war zone in Japan and Hobonichi has released its series of line-up now to satisfy our craving. They call it “Advance notice.” We hate it and love it. There are always those covers that are too pretty to use or some that captured our hearts but the price tag scares us away.
No matter whether you’ll be buying the cover or not, it’s always fun to look through all the “lifestyle” photos of Hobonichi in real life (imagining myself in a flowy skirt and holding the Hobonichi with blurry romantic backgrounds.)
Before I dive into the world of Hobonichi, let’s go over some basic vocabulary so we all are on the same page (beginners take note!)
- Hobonichi – Obviously, the brand name
- Techo (手帳) –Japanese for “journal or planner”. It literally translates to “account in your hands
- Hobonichi Techo – Refers to the Hobonichi brand journals, no matter the size. Your Weeks, A6, Avec, Cousin, are all “Hobonichi Techo” or “Hobo” as I like to call it
- Hobonichi Techo Planner (A6 English) – The Engish Version A6 size
- Hobonichi Techo Original (A6 Japanese) – The Japanese Version A6 size
- Hobonichi Techo Cousin (or the Cousin) – The Japanese Version in A5 size (there is no English version of this, yet)
- Weeks – The slim palm-sized version of the journal that is pocket friendly (Don’t mistake it for the “Weekly” as that is an A6 Hobonichi notebook insert that has vertical daily schedules)
- Avec set – The type of Hobonichi that is divided into half year booklets (Jan – Jun, and Jul – Dec). They are available in both A6, A5 sizes but only in Japanese (so far…)
- Covers – The greatest appeal of Hobonichi each year. The various covers are collaborations with different artists, brands, and designed to protect your journals and look good in your bag and on coffee tables.
What you need to know about Hobonichi Covers release in 2018
1.) Save the date!
There are some key dates that you can take note of, whether you are international Hobonichi users or luckily lives in Japan…
- August 23rd, 2017 – What has changed this year?
- August 24th, 2017 – Hobonichi accessories line up a.k.a. things you stuff into the box to justify for shipping and process fee
- September 1st, 2017 – THE SWARM a.k.a. Hobonichi Techo release for sale!
2.) Fun archive quotes
Each year Hobonichi announces its new release in different ways. We all love the little comics that are released each day which personifies what we think about the Hobonichi. These cute cartoon characters are lovable and perfect to print out and stick in your journals! (More cartoons here)
3.) Triple the size! Weeks MEGA
Introducing Weeks MEGA! This is one news that Hobonichi announced before August 23rd. Remember their survey late last year for all Hobonichi users? Apparently many people have reflected that although Weeks is a good size, they wish there are more note pages. It looks like the MEGA version is only available for basic colors, not the more artistic ones.
I personally wonder if this defies the purpose of the weeks, which is to be light and super portable. I like how it is so slim it fits into my pocket literally. Plus I rarely use the note pages anyway. However, I could also see the appeal for users who perhaps keep the Weeks at their desk and carry it around from meetings to meetings.
4.) They know I like penguins
Honestly though, what’s with all these penguin-themed covers? Just a few month ago I bragged to my friend about my resolve to just stick with the Cousin Avec only…yet Hobonichi came and slap me back into reality with these awesome covers and patterns. I don’t know how many people have tagged me on social media informing me about these covers. I KNOW I KNOW! STOP tempting me!
This penguin is actually a children’s story book written by Shigesato Itoi and illustrated by Teruhiko Yumura. As for the “strawberry field” cover featured on the top right, I’m just wanted to point out the excessive use of penguins as accessories to tempt me into other covers.
5.) “Cover Only” Price Change
Ah….the harsh reality of civilization, labor, and manufacturing costs. I happen to come across this note.
“Due to an increase in material costs and other unavoidable factors, starting with the 2017-edition, it has become difficult to maintain the usual price of our Colors and Faux Fabric covers. In order to maintain the price of the covers, we will be offering these covers at the usual price when bought as a set with the Hobonichi Techo book. We apologize for the trouble, but when ordering the cover without a book, we will not be able to keep that price, so Cover Only orders will cost slightly more. Please add to your cart as a “Book & Cover set” to keep the cover’s lower price.”
BUT! I decided to check out the notifications on THIS year’s web store and it seems that this announcement was already in effect for 2017 covers. So basically I don’t see any drastic price hike. If you’ve already bought a Hobonichi last year, the prices are basically the same.
All in all, I’m super psyched more news release from Hobonichi. I personally will definitely be getting the Hobonichi Techo Cousin Avec again for 2018. I need the bigger space to write, sketch, and use up all my washi tape and stickers! However, I’m still undecided about the Weeks and Original size…
I’ll end this post with a quote from the founder of Hobonichi and his note and thoughts about the Hobonichi Techo this year. You can read the whole article here.
A great deal of Hobonichi Techo users we spoke to save their books after the year is over. Once they’re done using the techo, they don’t throw it away, but keep it, along with both the good and the bad things inside. – Shigesato Itoi
This is going to be my fourth year of using the Hobonichi Techo. I’m so proud to be a part of the huge “Hobonichi Techo” community. It has led me to great adventures throughout these years and made me more conscious about things that are happening every day. Furthermore, Hobonichi has become the bridge to so many precious friendship all over the world, which I talked about in this interview with Hobonichi earlier this year.
Just like every one of you, I have not yet decided on which cover I’m getting, but I’m getting antsy and can’t wait to see more pictures that you’ll share of your choice!