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Seven Seas "CROSSFIELD" A5 Journal 2nd Edition

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 11 | Next

  1. Love the original, not wild about the change 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 22nd May 2017

    Enough good things can't be said about the paper, construction and minimalist beauty of the Seven Seas line. That said, I'm disappointed in the new direction of the Crossfield. I'm a dot grid lover and was so excited to find the somewhat unconventional cross grid for my daily journal. I understand the want of a Tomoe grid notebook, but I left the Hobonichi specifically to get away from layouts and margin boxes. Unless the Crossfield returns to its roots, the one I have will be my one and only. :(

  2. A good journal, but less "perfect" than the original :( 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 21st May 2017

    This 2nd edition Crossfield still has the great Tomoe River paper and more pages than any other I've found like it, which were some of the reasons I loved the 1st Crossfield edition. The printing on the paper of this is changed, however, to a grey, more full grid, which is okay, although I preferred the light blue crosses of the Original. The real downside of this compared to the original though--at least to me--is the full rectangle boxes, both on the top corner of each page, and especially the similar rectangle boxes running fully across the bottom of each page. They're clutter, not needed, and take away from the beautiful simplicity of the original that wasn't available in other such journals that I know of. The rectangles would probably be good if your sole purpose for the book is only as a daily per-page list or calendar system. But one of the things I really loved about the original was its complete simplicity, with only the small crosses that seemed to melt away when you put anything else on the page. That made the pages perfect, not only for calendar or bullet lists, but also for drawing, writing, and all kinds of creativity. You can find grid and dotted notebooks elsewhere, but the original Crossfield was unique and I loved it--much more than this edition, although again, there are still some great things here.

  3. Have the original crossfield and love it — disappointed that I can't order another 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 18th May 2017

    I've been using the 1st gen crossfield for a couple of months now, as a bullet journal (inside my roterfaden cover), and it's an excellent product.

    I came back to order two more to stick on the shelf for future use when I fill up this one, and was rather disappointed to see that IMHO the perfect, clean, high-end cross/dot grid notebook had been compromised and cluttered with the new full-grid-with-boxes design.

    Honestly — just make them separate products! Crossfield (the original), and GridBoxField (the new cluttered version).

    I'll sadly be withholding my further purchases until the original 1st edition version comes back. It's perfect; it has to come back! Please!

  4. Love the margin space and box features, but... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th May 2017

    ...would love even more seeing a dot grid instead of a lined grid. Not only would the user be able to maintain orientation, but the page is left with a cleaner feel. Just a thought.

    Needless to say, this is a great product. Love the reference box at the top, but the boxes at the bottom aren't as necessary. They could be used for reference, numbering, or even tags, but I didn't find myself using them as much. If anything, maybe a larger box space in the bottom outside corner would work for numbering ... but that's really about it.

    I do miss the older little crosses as this edition doesn't have the cleaner feel it's predecessor had (or a simple dot grid for that matter).

    Again, an awesome product and the luxurious TR paper CAN'T be beat...it makes sweet, sweet music with my gel pens, fountain inks, and even water colours. Normally, I'd share these products far and wide ... but I'd rather keep them for myself ;) ha!

  5. Still Prefer the Cross Grid 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 12th May 2017

    I absolutely love the Crossfield. I got my first of these amazing notebooks in the last batch of the first edition, and it is perfect, I use it daily as a professional writer and could not ask for anything better. When I found out the second edition of the Crossfield was coming out, I was ecstatic and bought another, despite being slightly put off by the full grid. As a writer, the original "field of crosses" grid style allowed structure when necessary as well as freedom. I personally loved the Crossfield's style for being unobtrusive--
    it showed off inks beautifully and the small blue crosses did not distract at all from my writing. Every page could be exactly what I need it to be, whether that is a page covered in writing, a to-do list, or a table of current projects... With the second edition, I find myself less able to enjoy the flexibility and freedom of my notebook. I previously used the first line of each page as a "running head" which has now been awkwardly replaced by a large half-length box and three half-lines that I have no reason to use. I used to use the last three lines of the page to contain tags that would give information about what is on the page, but putting them into the three boxes along the bottom is less readable and simply awkward to use. In short, although I LOVE this product and will forever buy whatever Crossfield comes out, I think the full grid and unique page layout reduced the amazingly flexible usability of this product, and would really love for the "Cross Field" layout to come back :)

  6. Outstanding journal 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 6th May 2017

    Tried TR paper and loved it, so I went looking for a journal using it. I use mine for a bullet journal and the high page count is a plus. Some show through, as expected, but not a problem for me. This site was some good ideas for mitigating the show through, but I actually haven't needed to use them. If I were designing the journal, only two things I'd change: (1) make the "title" block at the top of the page full-width (maybe split into a large & small block, so the latter could be used for the date) and (2) reduce the height of the blocks at the bottom to 5 or 10 mm. But, these are minor quibbles; this is an unmatched journal. In fact, I just ordered another one!

  7. Finally... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 4th May 2017

    I finally found the notebook I feel I've been looking for forever. It's perfect for fountain pens and it holds up great to watercolor. The tip about using a sheet of dark paper to make ghosting disappear is genius, and the piece of blotter paper is handy to keep tucked in the pages. Two Crossfields fit in my Chic Sparrow A5 like it was made for them. I may "need" to get a 3rd notebook someday soon!

  8. a gorgeous notebook but....... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 9th Apr 2017

    I really love the new grid that is in the second edition of the croosfield, however I just don't see the point of the 3 large oblongs at the bottom of the page, the one at the top is fine as I'm using it as a journal so I can pop the date here but the bottom ones are just a bit useless, and a waste of valuable journaling space, I'm just going to cover them with Washi tape as I really do love everything else about the cross field, the cover is a gorgeous wine red colour and very sturdy and the paper is amazingly smooth,light but as others have said stands up to fountain pen use with no bleed thru and very light ghosting.So Dave if you're reading this a huge thank you for another gorgeous journal but if you redesign it again please leave out the bottom oblongs. :)

  9. Customer Service as Excellent as the Notebooks! 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 5th Apr 2017

    My first two came in dented, and within hours I had a response from Dave who is just wonderful. I returned the two and ended up adding a third to my order. Frankly, I will probably buy another two (for the max 5) because I think I need another one for work ;)
    The grid is light and gentle, easy to paint over or write on. Guiding, without being distracting (I find the Taroko Enigma dots too dark for painting)
    The paper is thin, light, doesn't bleed or feather, as Tomoe River is famous for. It does ghost, which to me shows "use" and I love the look of ghosted paper.
    The notebook itself has a beautiful cover made of a thick cardstock type material and covered with a lovely red texture. Perfect for adding a leather or other material cover to. Holds up on it's own.
    I can't get enough of these! They really live up to all the hype, and NanamiPaper really lives up to all the good reviews!
    Thank you so much! We are enjoying our notebooks!

  10. Phenomenal 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 1st Apr 2017

    Just received my first Seven Seas Crossfield 2nd edition in the mail, and I must say it's even better than I expected. I've never used tomoe river paper, so this is very exciting. The fact that nanami paper uses such high quality paper, and sells these books from CA, the $30 or so is totally worth it. I've used the Quo Vadis Habana,Leuchtturm1917, and Kokuyo Campus notebooks, and this Crossfield blows them all out of the water. I do wish I had purchased the faux leather notebook cover, because although the Crossfield front and back cover seems semi-sturdy, I can see it getting damaged pretty quickly if I ever carry it around with me in my backpack. Also the writing pad is a good idea because the pages are so thin. All in all, the fact that you're even aware that this company exists means you know why you should get this notebook. Or don't. It'll leave more for me =).

Showing reviews 1-10 of 11 | Next