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The Best Pens for Hobonichi Techo in 2023


Hobonichi Techo is a popular Japanese planner notebook that was first created in 2001. Since introduction, it’s been refined and updated constantly to cater to customer demands, which continue to increase worldwide as bullet journaling and planners become more popular.

Hobonichi notebooks have stunning designs and offer a space for boundless creativity. However, these planners can be expensive because of their construction materials, like its Tomoe River paper, which feels amazing to use and is the reason the planner can have a lot of pages while still being compact.

That being said, the tools you use matter just as much to complete the experience. This guide has collated some of the best pens for Hobonichi and other things to consider when buying writing tools to pair with the planner.

The Best Pens for Hobonichi Reviews

1. PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pens


To start strong, we have the fan-favorite Pilot brand. It is a fine-point, thermal-sensitive gel ink pen. You get 12 in the pack, and although this one is blue, there are plenty of other colors to choose from, like purple, red, or black.

Now, if you are like me and tend to make mistakes while writing journals, you might fall in love with these erasable pens. I used to be worried about certain pens since they can tear paper easily and leave a trace, but these pens can help avoid that for the smooth writing experience they can give.

The ink is vibrant and provides a pleasant experience. You get a lot in a pack with a bonus feature that they are refillable. They are also retractable, and you can clip them on your journal without worry.


  • Erasable and won’t damage the paper
  • Retractable and refillable
  • Come in a pack of 12


  • Issues with ink flow and skipping

2. Pentel EnerGel RTX Pens for Hobonichi


Hobonichi journals are pretty popular for being easy to personalize according to a person’s style. If you are the type to prefer using different colors, worry no more.

These pens come in a pack of 8 with assorted colors. These Pentel pens are known for their vibrant inks that dry quickly. They are perfect for writing tiny notes on the go. Each pen has a comfortable rubber grip that matches the color of the pen.

I prefer having a choice of other colors but also have my favorites that I commonly use in this set. Many also swear that their ink doesn’t dry out even when not in use. So for those days when you feel spontaneous, these would be great to have around. A great thing about these pens is that they make them with 54% of recycled materials. They are also refillable and offer a smooth writing experience.


  • Quick-drying
  • Made from at least 50% recycled materials
  • Ink doesn’t dry up when not in use


  • Ink leakage problem

3. Tombow 56429 Fudenosuke Colors Brush Pens


One popular journal style includes calligraphy and lettering. If you lean more towards that, these Tombow Fudenosuke Brush pens will intrigue and surprise you. These hard-tip brush pens are water-based but don’t bleed through most paper. Don’t just limit yourself to words with these pens,though, as they are also made to cater to other artistic needs.

You get 10 pens in different colored ink that are extremely pigmented. That means that these are also quite buildable and versatile.

Many are hesitant to purchase these kinds of pens assuming that they are difficult to use. That shouldn’t be a problem as these are beginner friendly, with the hard tips offering more control than traditional brush pens. A perfect choice for seasoned calligraphers or just wanting to branch out. I would definitely suggest these for those looking to spice up their daily journaling activity.


  • Ink flow and coverage
  • Tip shape retention
  • Great for lettering


  • Dry up easily

4. Copic Markers Multiliner Fine Pigment Based Ink


As another established Japanese brand, Copic markers are loved in the journaling community. This model has a fine tip and pigment-based ink. It has multiple pen nib sizes that give a premium writing experience, especially with great-quality paper.

This is a 4 piece set in noir black but is offered in other colors. For more writing purposes, the nib sizes are 0.03mm, 0.05mm, and 0.1mm are the best choices. They go up to 1.0mm, but this size is only available in black.

These pens are amazing. They write smoothly for their great nib and have rich ink pigment in them. The pen nib and ink are refillable while the body is made of durable aluminum. It won’t degrade the paper over time since they are acid-free and have certified sustainability certification.


  • Won’t bleed through other pens or markers
  • Acid-Free
  • Nibs and cartridges are replaceable


  • Issues of drying out while in transit

5. PILOT Dr. Grip Rolling Ball Pen for Hobonichi


Writing daily journals can be taxing on the hands in the long term. Some people might want to get Hobonichi journals but suffer from arthritis or difficulty writing due to the stress on their hands and get discouraged. This product is for them.

The Arthritis Foundation, for its easy-to-use design and highlighting the importance of comfort, has recommended the Pilot Dr. Grip Pen. It’s a retractable rolling ball pen and comes in this stunning silver color.

The barrel has a soft rubber grip, and though thicker than normal pens, it is well-balanced. I suggest you add this to your pen collection if you value comfort and ergonomics in the design of a pen. This is great as a daily journal pen or even as an everyday pen.


  • Ergonomic design for reduced writing fatigue
  • Caters to customers with arthritis
  • Available in multiple colors


  • Grip attracts dust and dirt

6. Boxiti Set Lamy Safari Fountain Pen for Hobonichi


People nowadays prefer ballpoint or fine-tip pens, but there is something truly timeless about a fountain pen. Boxiti fuses the classic style with a modern design. The all-black matte pen has a stainless steel nib for sturdiness and an even ink distribution. The fountain pen comes with a blue ink cartridge inside and 5 spare black cartridges. It also comes with a Z28 converter.

One of my favorite parts about the design is the ink window showing how much ink is left, so you are not suddenly left stranded in the middle of writing your entry. The lid is sturdy and the metal clip ensures that it stays attached to your journal.

Its design makes it perfect for those long writing sections without straining your hands. The fairly premium price comes with premium quality.


  • Stainless steel nib ensures durability
  • Comes with spare ink cartridges and a converter
  • Ink window


  • Expensive

Pens for Hobonichi Buying Guide

That’s it for the product suggestions. At this point, you might have noticed some similarities among the pens. If you are still on the lookout for other options, here is a guide for what to look for before buying.

Quick-drying and Smudge-proof

When you take the time and effort to write down about your day or the goals you have planned, the last thing you want is smearing the wet ink and ruining the page. I think this should be the priority when looking for a pen to use in your Hobonichi. The TRP is great paper but has slow ink absorption, so finding a pen that has a quick dry feature is key. Most established brands like Pilot and Copic are well known for this, so try to stick to high-quality ink pens.


Since the Hobonichi Techo boasts itself in its wide array of uses, many use it to write long journal entries, which is why design plays a big role in the comfort and avoiding wrist pain. Many pens have begun adopting a more ergonomic design, and some even cater to people with wrist pain and struggles.

To truly enjoy the experience, consider looking for a pen with a soft grip and well-balanced design. The quality of the build and clip is also often overlooked but could save you the hassle of breaking and losing them while traveling.

Pen nib

The pen nib can affect how you write more than you would think. Fountain nibs are great, but if you are heavy-handed, they could disperse too much ink and take more time to dry. Marker types feel amazing to write with but could wear out quickly with frequent use. Reflecting on how you will use the planner and how you write can help you find the best pen nibs to buy.

Read more: Best Calligraphy Nibs

What is a Hobonichi Pen?


Hobonichi uses a type of paper notorious for shocking new users due to the material being slightly challenging to write on. Certain inks don’t dry as fast and tend to smear, and a Hobonichi pen ensures a less likely possibility of that happening. Great pens should match the type of paper that these planners are made of, and again, they should be quick-drying and with highly-pigmented ink.

Types of Pens for Hobonichi

Rollerball pen

The ink on rollerball pens requires more runny ink than the other type of pens. These pens are amazingly multifaceted as you can use them on nearly any surface. Rollerballs don’t bleed through paper and provide one of the smoothest writing experiences. Thanks to the composition of the ink and design, you would not need to apply too much pressure.

Ballpoint pen 

Ballpoint pens on the other hand tend to have a more viscous ink than rollerballs. They use an alcohol solvent that dries as soon as it is applied on paper. It utilizes the same ball-bearing tip that provides an excellent writing experience. Since ballpoints dry quickly, I would suggest them for people who like to take quick notes on their Hobonichi without fear of smudging the other page.

Fountain pen

This type of pen uses a metal nib and water-based ink on the paper. Despite being the most likely to smudge, TRP is a fan-favorite paper amongst fountain pen users. It offers one of the best writing experiences and it doesn’t bleed even when used by heavy-handed users.

I would highly suggest this pen type if you are looking to enjoy a slow pace and fully immerse yourself in the writing experience.

Why do you need Hobonichi Pens?

Hobonichi Pens ensure that you enjoy writing on your planner without worrying about smudges and smears. The ink quality matches the premium price of the planners themself.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Hobonichi Techo?

Hobonichi Techo is often referred to as a life book. First produced in Japan, it boasts using authentic Japanese paper and quality materials for its cover. In its essential form factor, it’s more commonly known as a planner.

However, its popularity comes from its versatile use and remarkable freedom of choices for users.. Depending on the person, it can be a planner, a daily journal, or even a sketchbook.

Is Hobonichi good for fountain pens?

Hobonichi uses a kind of paper called tomoe river paper or TRP for short. It’s a thin yet durable paper, so fountain pens are a great choice. Just be cautious because TRP is slightly glossy, so the ink may not dry as fast as other pens. This can depend on the pen’s ink flow or the user’s pressure on the nib. It can smear, if not dried properly.

Why is Hobonichi expensive?

Many users are frank in saying that Hobonichi are expensive. It all comes down to the high-quality materials and craftsmanship involved in making the book. The makers developed the TRP to be thin yet durable enough to hold a significant amount of ink. They planned the design and layout to be enjoyed by all users, and thanks for its wide selection of accessories and covers as well.

Which Hobonichi is the most popular?

According to Hoboichi Techo themself, the A6 Size Planner/ Original/ Day-Free remains to be the most popular item they offer. It is a compact size, but it doesn’t sacrifice space. It is more popular with people outside Japan since it is available in English edition. Hoboichi Techo includes a monthly planner, but there are no dates. This allows for further personalization if you prefer to use it for another purpose.

Where to buy Hobonichi Pens?

For your convenience, I have linked the pens suggested, but more are available on Amazon. Most of these brands are popular, so check out your local stationery store. In areas where Amazon may not be available, JetPens is also a superb choice.

What is the Best Pen for Hobonichi?

  1. PILOT FriXion Clicker Erasable Gel Ink Pens
  2. Pentel EnerGel RTX Pens for Hobonichi
  3. Tombow 56429 Fudenosuke Colors Brush Pens
  4. Copic Markers Multiliner Fine Pigment Based Ink
  5. PILOT Dr. Grip Rolling Ball Pen for Hobonichi
  6. Boxiti Set Lamy Safari Fountain Pen for Hobonichi

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Finding the best pens for Hobonichi can be just as challenging as selecting the size of as well as the cover and accessories for the planner itself. Since the quality of the paper isn’t the same as the ones you use every day, you might be unsure of what type to buy at first. This guide should have covered most bases, but at the end of the day, it is up to you and your preference. Just as the Hobonichi boasts about personalization, your pens can help create a full circle. Your daily planner can hopefully become a great addition to your lifestyle with the right tool to accompany it like the right Hobonichi pens.

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