Japanese stationery brands have developed a cult following, as users swear by the ease of use and the ability for the products to fit into their daily lives incredibly well. There are several preferred brands though, with devoted fans loving one feature over another to help keep their daily home and work lives on track.

If you have been interested in expanding your stationery collection, or just want to determine what brand, collection, or product best fits your needs, there are a few things to keep in mind. Just among Japanese stationery brands, there is an incredible amount of variety that includes everything from the type of paper to the pre-filled pages to the setup to the designs used on the pages and cover.

Everything from cute characters to minimalist design can be found from Japanese stationery brands. This guide will help you distinguish between the many brands, detail what makes each brand special, and help you determine the style that best fits you.

The Midori Brand

The Midori brand has developed a cult following around its planners and journals, and all the writing implements that can be used to make a Midori your own. The brand originally started as a paper and envelope stationery, but quickly expanded to add products that help users stay organized and on task.

The attraction to Midori products is that they are easily customized through the company add-ons, or on your own, and the insert set up. Anyone that has kept a planner or daily journal knows the frustration over owning a planner that you only get a limited amount of use out of. With the Midori, you can add or remove inserts to track multiple items in the same journal at the same time.

The newer Midori Traveler’s Notebook gained so much popularity among fans and those that enjoy journaling that they set up has been replicated by dozens of brands around the world. The travel journals alone have an entire line of accessories, writing implements, and customization options. There are even dozens of stationery blog sites dedicated to the brand.


The equally popular Hobonichi brand of planners also has a huge cult following but does offer different options than the Midori brand. The paper used in the Hobonichi planners is what makes users dedicated fans, for Hobonichi it is all about the quality of the paper.

There is a smaller range of sizes and colors, accessories as well, but what Hobonichi does, it does exceptionally well.

The paper in the diary is set up with the minimal design and soaks up ink well so users can create daily without worrying about designs bleeding through the paper.

If you are used to a traditional planner setup, the Hobonichi system might be perfect for you because it is an easier system to transfer into.

Life Stationery

Life Stationery, like most other Japanese stationery brands, had a history, but unlike many of the others the creation process has changed little and each notebook, paper pad, or diary created by the company is made by hand. The quality paper is thick and able to be used with media and fountain pen ink.

What makes the stationery unique is the design elements that are rather traditional and carry a touch of an antique look and feel to them. Choose this line of stationery for that special project or print job that you will cherish for years to come.


Spiral-bound enthusiasts will appreciate the beautiful and sturdy hardware that is used to bound Delfonics stationery products. Most of the notebook stationery products will be spiral-bound, but there are a few products in the mainline, and its smaller lines that aren’t.

The Delfonics brand produces the Quitterie and Rollbahn collections in the house, which are each unique and slightly more suited for every day than the rest of the brand’s designs.

Delfonics is a favorite among students, creating unique Japanese notebooks for students. Dated, undated, and grid paper that is ivory in color are unique to the brand’s offerings.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons this stationery brand is so popular with the university setting is the line of accessories, covers, and bags that Delfonics has created. The designs, colors, and features are always on point and so very unique to the brand that they are sure to get attention.


Kunisawa is a new stationery brand that was able to use the popularity and reputation of other Japanese stationery brands to its benefit. Kunisawa used the ages-old techniques and paper production methods established by stationers in Japan and then elevated them to create an entire line that is luxe and refined.

Small details like gilt edges, watermarking, and silk smooth paper makes this the choice of those looking to give a gift or impress clients and guests. For that reason, this Japanese stationery makes the perfect gift or is something you invest in for business or personal purposes.

Kobe Ink Story

With stationery, choices come ink choices, and while there are many stationery makers in Japan that recommend specific lines of ink to be used with their paper, Kobe Ink Story is a brand that works incredibly well with most. This line of ink has a cult following about as big and enthusiastic as the stationery only brands.

Not only is the ink quality, but the color line is stunning. From deep-hued blues and violets to subtle grays and blush pinks, there is a color choice for every style and project. The creators know that a good ink choice is only as good as the paper it’s used on, so they work closely with a lot of Japanese stationery brands to create a line of products that sings on every page it ends upon.

Whatever your preference, there is a Japanese stationery line for you to fall in love with. The best way to find the best products for you though is to try the papers with your favorite inks and pens. When it comes to paper, it is all about the feel and ability to create.