Notebook Review: Crossfield Journal

Review by Laura Cameron

Although I managed to get in on the Hippo Noto Kickstarter, I couldn’t possibly wait that many months to try Tomoe River paper (!!), so I went ahead an ordered a Crossfield Journal from Nanami Paper ($24).

The Crossfield Journal I purchased is actually the second edition of this journal. The journal is A5 size, so the paper measures 8.3 x 5.8 inches.  The journal has a flexible semi-stiff fabric coated cover and is threadbound, with lay-flat binding.  This means that when I open the Crossfield, it lays open nicely.  The journal is filled with graph lined white Tomoe River paper and lots of it; 480 pages.  There are two end pages, and both are in ivory.  There isn’t a bookmark in this book.  The Crossfield comes with a kraft slip case that is printed with some of the journal specs.  Finally, the package includes a sheet of blotting paper.  All of this is crafted in Japan.

When I ordered the Crossfield I actually had a purpose in mind for it.  After watching Azizah’s video about how she samples her inks, I wanted my book to be an ongoing journal of the inks I try with different pens and nibs.  To that end, I tried to experiment with a variety of techniques.

I was pretty impressed with the Tomoe River paper.  For the most part, I was splashing large dots of ink on the paper and, of course, those bled through to the other side.  But I was consistently surprised at how the thin paper (52 gsm “notebook” paper) didn’t bleed through on “regular” uses – when I used a pen or dip nib to write the name of the color on the page or play with the ink in other ways.  Several times I tested a pen just by writing a page or two of text and those pages showed no bleed through. The pages did ghost though, and quite a bit.  If you are intent on using each and every page of this journal front and back, this may not be the best book for you unless you’re sketching with a soft pencil or some lighter use. Finally, I would note that on the pages where I was heavy handed with the ink drops there was rippling, like the paper had gotten wet. On the pages where I had just written normally, I didn’t experience that.

I’ve included a sample of pages that I’ve been inking in the Crossfield, as well as a shot or two of the backside of the pages.

Overall I’ve been very pleased with this journal and plan to continue using it as I grow my pen and ink collection.


Laura is a tech editor, podcaster, knitter, spinner and recent pen addict. You can learn more about her knitting and tea adventures on her website, The Corner of Knit & Tea and can find her on Instagram as Fluffykira.

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5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. One of these days I will order the Crossfield. I have ordered other items from Nanami Paper and David is great to deal with. I love the Oscar Wilde quote. He must have been quite entertaining to be around.

  2. I love these Nanami Paper journals! Yes, if you just write on one side you get ghosting, but if you write on the reverse side as well you’ll find it’s hardly noticeable. When you’ve written on both sides, the paper makes a satisfying sound when you leaf through it, something only a stationery aficionado would appreciate!

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