Hobonichi Techo: A Japanese Day Planner

Hobonichi Techo: A Japanese Day Planner

Hobonichi Planner, English Version While browsing through Shopify stores, I stumbled upon Fangamer’s blog post about Shigesato Itoi’s Day Planner, which is apparently very popular in Japan and available in English for the first time this year. I was instantly beset with desire.

The planner, designed by the aforementioned Shigesato Itoi, is called the Hobonichi Techo, and you can order it from the 1101.com English website. A techo, I was pleased to learn, is a kind of notebook that combines sketching and life doodling over the course of a year. Mr. Itoi is something of a renaissance man, with cred as a writer, video game designer, and “good mood” news site operator. He sounds like someone I aspire to be like.

The hardbound planner itself is around US$30, and you can order a leather cover for it for another US$164 plus US$15 for shipping. There’s helpful instruction on both Fangamer’s informative post and on the shopping website itself for navigating the Japanese-only order form.

Though it’s pricey, I’ve ordered one to for “research purposes” as there are many features in this planner that I’d like to have in my own almanac! Perhaps I can design a hardcover notebook that uses the same covers; they are apparently available in all kinds of materials and price points.

» Jump to the English Hobonichi Planner 2013 Web Shop


  1. Avrum 11 years ago

    It’s nice looking but…

    1. If i’m going to purchase a journal with curated quotes, I’d want the author to be someone I know or admire. In this case, I’d find it to be a distraction.

    2. For writing – I prefer dot over graph paper. But when I’m sketching (which is how I capture parts of my day a la the wonderful “Creative License” – http://alturl.com/fvxnh – I want open space.

    Still the overall product is stunning, and I look forward to seeing what you do with it.

  2. Mary Witt 11 years ago

    The planner is 30 and the leather cover is 164 ? I guess it’s a lifetime cover while the planner is purchased annually?

    I recently saw a spiral bound weekly menu planner for the first time. Part of the genius of it — in January/February/ of the first year of use, you have to think/research what to make for dinner. But by July you have 26 weeks worth of ideas; and if you keep it for next year, you have 52 weeks of ideas! As someone who has had to decide “what’s for dinner” for 27 years and whose kids are now grown and gone, I wanted to scream, “Why didn’t you appear in my life sooner?” I had been menu planning on tear off sheets that were discarded at the end of the week. I guess I could have put them in a box or ziploc, but I was a tired young mother and never thought of it.

    sorry for that side note tirade… but it shows you that creating things to help people can be life-changing. :-)

  3. Author
    Dave Seah 11 years ago

    Avrum: Yes, it looks pretty interesting. It appears to include all kinds of interesting tidbits of information in it, which is ultimately what I’d like to do with the ETP Almanac, interspersing pages with review pages based on insights collected from feedback.

    Mary: My impression is that it’s a high-quality luxury item that you can reuse…the hardbound (I think it’s hardbound) journal fits inside it, and is reusable.

    Wow, I love that spiral-bound weekly menu planner side note!!! That’s a great way of mining everyday activity and creating something useful…super! I must think of how to do that now :)

  4. Marika 11 years ago

    Thanks. This was very helpful. I have been looking for a graph paper japanese-style planner for months.

    I am having trouble ordering it, though since the ordering page is in japanese.

    -Marika Detroit, MI

  5. Author
    Dave Seah 11 years ago

    Marika: There are instructions for English-speakers that walk you through the ordering process on the page. Here’s a direct link: English Help

  6. Sam Matla 11 years ago

    This looks pretty awesome, I like how minimal the idea is as well – only having ’12’ as a time guideline.

    May just end up getting it!

  7. Lindsay 11 years ago

    Here’s a simplified walkthrough that may be easier to navigate: http://lindsaynelson.com/techo/simple-instructions.html (Or a youtube video if that helps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g6QeJPu1RE )

  8. Author
    Dave Seah 11 years ago

    Mine came in on Saturday. It’s quite small! Will post pictures soon.