Pens and Pencils | Reviews and Data

Hobonichi Techo Cousin

The Hobonichi Techo is one of the top-selling Japanese planners each year, including 2019 (and soon 2020!). It’s also a main competitor to the Traveler’s notebook, with some distinctive advantages and disadvantages when the two are compared.

The Hobonichi Cousin is the A5 size of the planner, which is the largest size that is sold. While this is a Japanese planner, it is available in the United States and other countries, though normally at a premium price.

The Hobonichi Cousin is generally sold as a full-year planner, but they have many other uses, like a scrapbook or diary. It has features like weekly planning and timetables so you can fully replace or replicate any digital calendars on paper without having to draw out extensive grids.

The A5 Cousin is a quite expensive but price-conscious consumers can opt to get the smaller A6 size or buy a 6-month size for about half the price of the full-year model.

Why Buy a Hobonichi Cousin?

What makes the Cousin so special? There are a lot of reasons, but the foremost is likely the great design. This planner is wonderful to use and a joy that will become part of your everyday life. It also uses Tomoe River paper, which means your inks will look their best and the notebook is fountain pen safe. This paper is also very thin and very light. It’s also notable that every day gets a full page, so it’ll be easy to plan and organize your schedule.

It’s worth noting that the Cousin has text and it’s all in Japanese, so any quotes or instructions will be in Japanese characters. It does use numerals for any numbers though, so it’ll be clear what day and month you are looking at.

The Cousin has stitched binding for extra durability and a great feel in your hand.

Downsides of the Cousin Planner

The Cousin is our favorite planner at Unsharpen, but it’s not perfect. First we’ll have to note the price — this planner often sells for over $50 and there are no deals or discounts on it. The prices barely drop as the year progresses!

Next, the Cousin has some accessories, but it’s not as wide a set of offerings as the Traveler’s planners. Those are more customizable with a better set of accessories. Some of the accessories include a pencil board for writing, leather and fabric covers, and some very cool leather carrying cases with pockets made by Porter. While the accessories are quite nice, there are not many of them.

As mentioned before, there are no localized versions of the Cousin — all the text is in Japanese. Hobonichi does have a Techo planner that is sold in English, but it’s in the A6 size. This model is actually called the “Planner.”

Lastly, the Tomoe River paper is not for everyone. Many people prefer the Midori cotton paper used in the Traveler’s notebooks.


Hobonichi Techo Cousin Information

Street Price Check Price
Manufacturer Hobonichi
ModelsColors, Black x Sky Blue, 2019 January Start; Colors, Peach Sky, 2019 January Start
Cover TypeSoftcover
Cover Material Fabric
Cover Color Pink, Black
Paper Color Ivory
Paper Decoration Blank
Line Spacing3.7 mm
Number of Pages 272
Perforated Edge? No
Refillable? No
Paper Size A5
Paper Size 23.0 cm x 16.7 cm, 9.1 inches x 6.6 inches
Paper Depth2.5 cm cm
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