Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun / Hobonichi Techo – “Almost Everyday” – 2016 edition

It’s that time of year again where I will praise the genius and loveliness that is the Hobonichi Techo.

Created by Shigesato Itoi, he is a well-known figure in Japan for being an advertising copywriter, creator of Mother 2/Earthbound, voice actor in My Neighbour Totoro and the founder of the online publication Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun (a website offering a variety of free content such as interviews, essays and liveblogs).

The Hobonichi is a Japanese daily planner which was designed for maximum customisation to suit the individual user needs which evolves each year based on customer feedback.

The overall cost of the techo and cover which includes customs charges will be around £50-£60. In 2014 when I first purchased my first techo I felt a slight sense of guilt for spending that much on a book. I soon got over that when I started to write in it; the tomoe river paper is bible paper thin, smooth and surprisingly durable.

Tomoe River Paper

The exquisite Tomoe River (Tomoegawa) paper is renowned for its smooth texture that is perfect for fountain pens and various other writing tools. At 52 gsm, the thin and delicate pages are designed to reduce bulk. Despite its thinness, the paper is incredibly reliable. The sheets are resistant to bleedthrough and feathering, and can handle a variety of inks. – www.jetpens.com

The book itself is just 1.4cm thickness which is largely to the Tomoe River paper’s thinness. There are over 450 pages crammed into this little book and it is a page-a-day planner. At the bottom of each two-page spread is a quote which are thoughtful or just plain old light hearted and silly.

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This year the announcement / reminder for the 2016 Techo came out a week before I was heading to Shambala Festival, so on 31 August 2015 (1 September in Japan), the 2016 collection was launched. In UK time that would mean it was launched around 3.30am (there are always technical difficulties with servers being overloaded). The cover that I was after sold out almost immediately however this year the lovely team restocked it almost straight away with a October 2015 delivery date and I managed to order my planner at 6.30am. Dedication to a brand = lack of sleep. Come October, I will be the proud owner of my second Mother 2/Earthbound cover with this year containing the cast. I cannot wait to add this to my collection from the previous two years (yes, I am talking about 2015 like it’s the past now).


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I guess one could compare this to the Filofax except with the Hobonichi there is more much room to customise with a choice of over 80 covers and use it as you please. User Examples of the Hobonichi

This is indeed still one of the best planners I’ve had the pleasure of owning. The size is perfect to transport about but not too small to require a magnifying glass, the paper is exceptional, the light grid lines help with writing, drawing, scrapbooking. If you feel inclined to use a planner or purchase a new planner this year then this would be my recommendation.

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This is my LIFE.

There was a day that was so much fun.

There was a day something good happened.

There was a sad day, though it wasn’t about me.
Ah . . . and a sad day that was about me.

There was a day that was depressing.
And a day that was so boring.

That day,
this day,
that time,
this time.
Whatever the kind of day,
it was one day of my life.

That day, this day, that time, this time.
Whatever the kind of day,
it was a good day to be alive.

This is my LIFE.
I can’t trade it with anyone.
These are my days,
and they belong only to me.

This is my LIFE.
This is my BOOK.

Hobonichi Techo


Written by Yuen Ting Cheung