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Seven Seas "STANDARD" A5 Blank Journal 2nd Edition


What we mean by "Standard": Plain, regular, no-frills. No lines on the pages. Simple, tough, no-nonsense design. It's a blank canvas, with no soul of its own, ready for your personal touch. But at the same time, it is so dense with capacity, and its paper is so thin and receptive, that by the simple act of adding ink you physically transform the book in a way that is real and tangible. That much will become apparent as you go through more and more pages. We think it is better for capturing your thoughts, vision, aspirations, art, work, and whatever else you choose to put down, than any other notebook. And even if you're the type to throw away old notebooks, you'll probably want to keep this one long after it is filled.



  • Flexible, semi-stiff coated fabric cover.
  • Smythe-sewn (thread-bound), lay-flat binding
  • Tomoe River paper - lots and lots of it
  • No printing or branding except for the back end sheet
  • Comes with a kraft slip case


The pages are "thread-bound", which is a very old and still the best production method of bookbinding. Thread-bound pages are sewn (with a special sewing machine) into signatures, which are gathered to form a text-block, which is then cased into a cover. This method allows the journal to lay flat with no stress to the spine, and for that reason it is the absolute best method for binding a book (including a library book) that sees the daily rigors of opening, closing and pressing down with the hands. It can even be folded back on itself. If you were to go on an around-the-world trip over the course of many months and needed to document your experiences in great detail, this journal would certainly be up to the task.

The paper size is A5 (148x210mm or 8.3x5.8 inches), and 15mm thick. The cover is made of buckram, which, aside from leather, is the absolute toughest flexible cover material available. The cover has also been made stiffer through the use of a core board sandwiched between the buckram fabric and the end sheets. You can use the book as-is, or put it inside a leather, cloth, paper, vinyl, fabric, etc. outer cover.



  • The notebook will lay flatter if you bend it back on itself a bit. Don't be afraid to do this - the binding is top notch.
  • If you use a fine-to-medium fountain pen, the ink will generally dry fast enough. If it doesn't, close the book on the included pink blotter sheet.
  • If you use a pencil, softer leads such as 2B and 3B work well.
  • Pencil marks erase very cleanly from this paper, and using a high quality eraser is pure pleasure. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making mistakes on purpose.
  • If you find the book a bit thick for your writing style, please read this.

Recommended accessories:


  • Size A5, 210x148mm, 15mm thick, (8.3x5.8x0.7 inches)
  • Cream-color Tomoe River "Notebook" paper
  • 480 pages (240 leaves), no lines, rounded corners
  • Lay-flat thread binding
  • Flexible, tough, thin water-resistant coated-fabric cover
  • Ivory-colored end sheets
  • Comes with one A5 blotter paper
  • Made in Japan


ABOUT MANUFACTURING VARIATION: We've found that Tomoe River paper, and thin paper in general, is unlike working with "regular" weight papers such as 20 lb bond, laid, wove, etc. papers (we have actually be unable to find any binders in the US that are willing to work with TR paper). Tomoe River paper is very sensitive to humidity, and when bound in a thick book by machine as ours are, some unexpected variations can occur. So far, we've experienced the following (also please see the pictures):

  1. Rippled pages
  2. A subtle "waviness" on the edge of the book block
  3. Dog-eared pages (rare)

None of these issues will affect the writing surface or quality of the writing experience, and it's not practical for us to go through each book page-by-page (these issues can be quite random). However, if for any reason you are not satisfied with the book you receive, please let us know (dave@nanamipaper.com) and we'll do our best to rectify the situation. Thank you for your understanding!

For more information and design goals, please read the Seven Seas Journal Fact Page.

If you'd like to compare this journal to the cost of other journals, please see our notebook value comparison.

Did you know that Hemingway wrote with a pencil? We like to think that, had he known about the Seven Seas Standard, he would have used a fountain pen. Here's the full story.


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Product Reviews

Showing reviews 1-10 of 23 | Next

  1. The best journal 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Dec 2016

    I absolutely love this A5 size journal. I wanted something with thinner pages but at the same time something that wouldn't bleed through. This is it. I will continuously buy this product. It lays flat to write in, although plain the cover is durable but could be decorated if you wanted to do so. I've used all kinds of writing materials in my journal from bold marker to pencil and all write beautifully. When I erase my pencil writings, no erasure markings are left behind. I can't say enough about this journal

  2. excellent journal 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 7th Dec 2016

    This is my 1st Seven Seas journal. The cover seems durable; the journal lays flat when open; the sewn binding will hold up well; & of course the Tomoe River paper is the main reason I purchased it.The size is big enough & comfortable for my somewhat large fountain-pen handwriting. The only reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is that the price seems a bit hefty. But I'm willing to be spendy on a quality journal with so many pages of fabulous paper. The paper has a kind of crinkly sound which I like a lot. I'm sure I'll be purchasing more...

  3. Simple Quality 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 4th Dec 2016

    I was on the hunt for an undated notebook with ample Tamoe River paper. I journal daily with a variety of mediums, including fountain pens, brush pens, and watercolor paint. This suits my needs well, and ordered a second one.

  4. Absolutely outstanding 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 8th Sep 2016

    The original reason I came to this website! I'd bought loose leaf Tomoe River paper before and loved it for the way it accentuated shading on various inks, so I was looking to purchase more. This was highly recommended, and upon receipt, I see why - the notebook is beautifully bound and supremely useful.

  5. Best Journal For An Avid Writer 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Aug 2016

    The Standard is incomparable, far surpassing other journals in excellence of paper quality, capacity and portability. The paper quality is top notch, easily handling fountain pen inks without bleeding or ghosting. The capacity and portability of this product seems miraculous at just over 1/2" thick with nearly 500 pages. Some of my favorite features are the dust cover for storage and that it lays flat when open. I am currently on my 3rd Standard.

  6. The best journal available! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Jul 2016

    I have been using the Standard since June of 2016. I am a visual journalist which just means I journal daily and include some illustrations. I use water-based products like Derwent Inktense blocks and watercolors. This paper is amazing for both art and writing! I was able to get 7 months of daily journaling into the Standard. And I recently purchased both the Standard and the Crossfield. I am quite eager to try the Ctossfield as my combined bullet journal and visual journal. The only complaint I have is that the these products are unavailable frequently for long stretches of time. Thanks for a great product!

  7. The Ultimate Journal. 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd Jul 2016

    Let's face it, there IS a certain fun in the search for the perfect journal. That fun is over. This is it. And expensive though it seems at first, it's actually an astonishing value considering the number of pages of delicious TR paper, and the quality of the binding and cover. Even the slipcase is helpful. I bought SIX. (In two orders.) Great customer service, too. I shall now be spending the time and money I would've wasted had I not found it by writing in it and maybe buying more ink or paying the rent or something.

  8. best paper, nice simple binding, excellent value 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th May 2016

    This paper is famous beyond this journal so suffice it so say the binding is very well done -- the journal opens so that the paper lays flat -- the cover is simple but looks strong. Very good value for a journal with this paper. Highly recommend!

  9. Absolutely wonderful! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th May 2016

    I've had this journal for a few months now and it is fantastic. The amount of pages, the quality, and the feel are excellent. The more that you write, the better the journal feels; there's something immensely satisfying about the way the thin pages feel when you've given them life.
    As someone who thoroughly loves to write, I've always had the desire to find a perfect vessel for my thoughts and creations. I've owned numerous journals and this, by far, is the best.
    When I fill up the book I have now, I will definitely be coming back to purchase another.

  10. Functional & Beautiful 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th Apr 2016

    This is one of the best journals you can find for the money. The paper is excellent and amount of pages is fantastic. I know the "writer" is the brass ring so to speak but if you do any sketches the blank pages are awesome. I use a guide page made from an A5 sheet of lined stationary for writing and the pen and ink sketches look great minus the lines. Think about what you are going to do. If you plan on writing a novel, or use this for bullet journaling wait for the "writer" to come back in stock. If not the "Standard" is fantastic... Word to the wise, do get the "cheap notebook cover." It does help the covers from deforming. Also the customer service is amazing. Big UPs!

Showing reviews 1-10 of 23 | Next