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Seven Seas "CROSSFIELD" A5 Journal 2nd Edition

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Announcement: This version of the Crossfield has been printed with a full grid, replacing the individual crosses of the original Crossfield. Spacing remains the same at 5mm, with 15mm top and bottom margins. 

Note #1: We've found that, compared to cream Tomoe River, white Tomoe River is a bit more see-through - thus you may be able to see, very slightly, the lines from the prior or following sheet, giving a slight "out of focus" effect. If it's bothersome, Just place something thin (like another sheet of paper or a transparent writing mat) underneath, and the ghosting will disappear.

Note #2: A few people asked why we went with a full grid, and why the margins? Well, regarding the grid, a lot of customers asked about it - and I try to accommodate requests that are possible to put into production (as opposed to, say, page numbering, which would be too expensive in a low production operation such as ours). A full grid is definitely doable in that respect, and the cross-grid had already gone through several runs, so we thought we would try it.

As for the margins, that was my idea, for a couple reasons: First, looking at thousands of notebook entries, I found that hardly anyone uses the top and bottom 10-15% of any page (for handwriting anyway), thus any printing in those areas seemed unnecessary. So, I could have left it blank, but instead decided to add some visual interest, partly inspired by the "drafting paper" layout, which has title boxes at the top and bottom.


Finally - a Tomoe River notebook with a grid! Construction is the same as the Seven Seas Standard, except that it comes with white TR paper and a dark red coated-fabric cover. Same lay-flat binding! Same massive page count!


  • Flexible, semi-stiff coated fabric cover.
  • Smythe-sewn (thread-bound), lay-flat binding
  • White Tomoe River paper - lots and lots of it
  • No cover 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 a coated fabric, similar to buckram, but a bit less coarse and heavy duty. The cover has also been made stiffer through the use of a core board sandwiched between the 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. Go ahead and bend it backwards! It won't break.
  • 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)
  • White-color (which is really an off-white) Tomoe River 52 gsm "Notebook" paper
  • 5mm grid with 15mm top and bottom margins
  • 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. Stuck-together 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 35 | Next

  1. Near perfect 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd Jan 2018

    After about six months of use as my daily journal/planner/diary/notebook, I've found the second edition Crossfield near perfect for my use. I definitely like the full grid over cross/dot grid which I do not like at all. If it were a full line versus a dashed line it would be fine, but the dashed lines are OK. I like the bordered page. I like the block space at top and find it useful. I even like the bottom blocks and often find them useful in various ways. I like that they and the top block make creating inner page margins and spaces easy by giving me a good quarter page reference. Of course the Tomoe Rive paper is excellent and great for fountain pens. I'm finding the construction quality very good after six months of use/wear. I've tried many, many notebooks through the years and this is definitely my preferred product. Price is good and an attraction. The only thing I really am not liking is coming back to stock up on another Crossfield and finding them out! And finding a third edition reverting back to a cross/dot style already available. I know some love it--not me, especially after being spoiled by the second ed. I hope the second makes a comeback. Nanami service is well above par and highly recommendable. But wobbly favorite product availability/sustainability is cause for a bit of nail biting.

  2. Superb Quality / Bewildering Format 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 10th Dec 2017

    The quality of the paper and binding are outstanding. My only criticism is the format of the page layout. There are relatively large boxes at the top and bottom of the page. I'm bewildered by those large boxes. Excluding those areas with the large boxes leaves only 34 rows of normal sized boxes/grids. This equates to less rows than most A5 grid journals. So this product could be improved by making the entire page nothing but standard-sized grid. Also, I'm guessing a dot-grid format would probably appeal to a broader group of people. However, I'm personally fine with the solid grid since the only thing I'll be drawing in it are lines for tables.

  3. Fantastic quality as always 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 7th Dec 2017

    Ok, I gave this product 5 stars because the quality is outstanding as it always is from Nanimi Paper. Frankly, I like the old page format better, the ones with the little crosses on a grid instead of this new full-grid format. But the print is light enough that it will work out just fine and there is no way not to love the Tomoe River paper. I love that this book has 480 pages. I use this as a yearly journal so I have enough pages for each day plus many collections, weekly goal lists, monthly calendar pages, future logs, etc. Love it!

  4. My favorite journal! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 26th Nov 2017

    I have stumbled onto this notebook after much searching and experimentation. The paper feels fantastic. It is the perfect journal for my work!

  5. Wonderful Paper 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 24th Nov 2017

    Just love the Seven Seas Crossfield. I was actually looking to get the Seven Seas Writer but bought this one since it was in stock. I'll get the Writer when available. This paper is great to write on with a fountain pen and the grids help me as I try to learn how to draw basic things. I'm using my Crossfield as a miscellaneous book for writing, drawing, painting, etc. I can use watercolor paints on a page, and the reverse side of the page is still useable. No bleed through. Tomoe River paper is the best. The book is also well constructed with the sewn pages. I have a Hobonichi cover for it. I will buy this again.

  6. just wow 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 16th Nov 2017

    Very nice notebook. Feels amazing.

  7. Superior all around 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 3rd Nov 2017

    Superior product and service. The Tomoe Crossfield is a wonderful journal. The Tomoe paper is by far the finest, most fountain pen friendly paper I've ever used.

  8. Perfect for studying! 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd Nov 2017

    I wish I could make an edit to my earlier review, but after today I have discovered this notebook is perfect for studying kanji!

    I still love a full page grid for general use, but specifically for my studying purposes, this notebook is perfection! Hahaha, I'm torn between this staying just the way it is or wanting a full page grid now.

    If you're a student I highly recommend this notebook for studying purposes!

  9. Absolute writing zen 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Nov 2017

    What is there not to love about this notebook? The cover has a beautiful deep shade of crimson and a lovely texture. The book lays flat. The paper, well, if you're acquainted with the Tomoe River, you know well the wondrous qualities of it.

    My only complaint is that it's not a complete grid. The boxes up top and bottom aren't used and it feels like I'm wasting a good chunk of the paper every time. I used to use Midori A5 Grid and I feel like I'm used to working with that one. However, it is still the best grid notebook if you want Tomoe River paper inside. I am satisfied with my purchase and still recommend buying it, even if you're like me and prefer a full grid. If a version with a full grid is ever released, woe to my pocketbook! Until then, I will use this version.

  10. Perfect 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 20th Oct 2017

    I have tried out just about every notebook I could find. This notebook is my perfect notebook. It has enough pages to not make you nervous about what to put on them or if you have to skip one or two because you bore down too hard. The paper handles fountain pen ink like a dream (TWSBI echo medium nib using eclipse ink). Not a bit of feathering, no bleed through.
    The cross hairs in the graph are a nice touch and the grid itself is both easily usable when you need it and ignorable when you don't.
    I personally love the fields at the top and bottom of the page. I used the outer bottom boxes for page numbers, the bottom inner for topic, category, or project, and the center for any important status notes, I use the top open for title.
    I plan on purchasing many more of these, please dont let this be the last run its taken me so long to find it!

Showing reviews 1-10 of 35 | Next