One of the dangers of living in Japan, at least if you love pens and stationery, is that everywhere you go, there’s a shop full of stuff you didn’t know you needed, but suddenly can’t live with out. Because that is how I felt about She Who Must Be Obeyed, I feel that buying things from these shops expresses my love for her.
Something like that.
One of the more dangerous stores is MUJI (which is the no-brand “brand” in the same way Naomi Klein is the no-logo “brand”) which is an eclectic shop that features a mix of electronics, fashion, furniture, food, and stationery. Its stationery section is usually small, but they like to sell odd things you can’t find other places.
One time I stopped by “simply out of curiosity” I found three small notebooks for about a dollar each that I couldn’t resist. They were the Passport Memo (ﾊﾟｽﾎﾟｰﾄﾒﾓ) Notepads.
They are the same size as US passports and come in three colors with off-white paper in three different patterns. Blue has a dot grid; green has graph paper; and red has blank pages. They easily fit in a Midori Traveler’s Passport sized notebook cover. The cover says they have 24 pages, but if you count front and back, they have 48 pages.
The covers are reasonably sturdy card stock and have a thin plastic coating that holds up well to being carried in pockets.
The paper (which is described as “recycled paper more than 10%”) is good but not particularly fountain pen friendly. It reminded me a lot of Moleskine paper but for a much smaller price. It had a lot of ghosting and wetter nibs had a lot of bleed through and spotting. I also found that, although there wasn’t much feathering, everything I wrote looked a bit rough around the edges, especially with wet nibs. That said, I didn’t mind using them and managed to use every page front and back with little trouble.
I wouldn’t mind picking up some more, and would recommend them to people looking for a useful, small notebook. Unfortunately I have several other notebooks to try.