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The Journal Diaries- Ryo's Hobonichi Journal Project

The Journal Diaries is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek into the journals, notebooks, organizers, and diaries from people all over the world. (Click here for past posts.) My special guest today is "Ryo" from Japan.

- Tell us a little more about yourself!
RYO is my screen name. My real name is Kaori.
I was born and raised in Japan, but currently live in Montreal, Canada.
I am a speech-language pathologist with no training in fine arts.

- When did you start drawing/journaling, and how long have you been doing it for?
I started drawing when I was old enough to hold a pencil. I was always drawing on pieces of scrap paper, on pages of notebooks and textbooks during classes, on presentation handouts, on meeting agendas... ;-p In the past, I kept drawing journals here and there, but never consistently. I started the drawing journal project 2014 with some of my friends. I have been journaling everyday since January 2014 and posting photos of journal pages.

- Can you tell us a little more about your journal drawing project and why you decided to start it?
絵日記倶楽部 The drawing journal club is a project I have started this year with some of my friends. I have been blogging for almost 10 years and I made friends all over the world. My photo-editing and typing skills have improved dramatically over years, but I started to miss handwriting and drawing. Then, I discovered Ms. Mogu Takahashi's Daily Doodles.

I thought, "This is it! It will be a lot of fun to share drawing journals among friends who live far away!" I'm 10 months into this project and I'm still loving it :)  Journaling can be a lonely chore. But having a group of friends working on it together actually helps me keep journaling.

This is the blog entry introducing the drawing journal club project (in Japanese)

- When do you find yourself journaling?
Everyday at night unless I fall asleep after dinner unintentionally...

- Where is most of your creativity captured?
I'm currently journaling on the kitchen counter. I moved in April and I still don't have a decent office space.

- What inspires your artwork?
Inspiration comes from everywhere. Things I see, people I meet, things I experience and want... I always try to find small pieces of happy moments in everyday life and capture them in drawings. Little things are easily forgotten. But piles of little pieces of good things get you going.

- What attracts you particularly to the Hobonichi planner?
The Tomoe River paper and the Hobonichi community. The Tomoe River paper is a brilliant quality paper. I cannot find anything negative about it. I just love how the pen flows on the surface. And one of the big charms of the Hobonichi is the community of people who just love Hobonichi journals. It's almost like a big family of people who love to share their experiences. Really fun.

- Do you have any other favorite notebooks that you use?
Traveler's notebook. I am currently using the traveler's notebook as an agenda/life-log.

- Do you carry your notebooks around or do you store them someplace.
The drawing journal book stays at home.

- Where are your notebooks stored when not in use?
In a big basket with pens, scissors, stickers, washi tapes...

- What is you favorite stationery tool, supply or product at the moment?
STAEDTLER pigment liner 0.05 is my favorite pen. But I find the color of the ink is a bit too light for the Hobonichi Planner because of the grey grids. Farber-Castell pitt artist pen XS works well on the Hobonichi Planner. I also like uni StyleFit, a ballpoint pen that you can customize the combinations of ink cartridges. In general, I like superfine-point pens. I am also crazy about washi tapes (decorative masking tapes) and stickers.

- Do you have any favorite stationery stores or brand?
LOFT and Tokyu Hands. I visit my family in Japan once a year and I cannot skip (multiple) visits to these stores. I hope at least one of them will open a branch in Montreal someday...

- What advice, tip, or suggestion would you give for anyone looking to start creative drawing and journaling themselves?
Start small. A blank page is full of possibilities, but it can be scary. Draw things like today's weather, clothes you are wearing, food you have eaten, things you saw on your way to work...Once something is put down on paper, it will be a lot easier to keep going. If you cannot start drawing, cut images out of magazines or print photos small and glue them onto the pages. Fill the rest of the pages with words and drawings. Don't try to be fancy and fake an extravaganza. This is you journal full of little happy sparkles, not Facebook.

- Other than journaling, what are some of your other hobbies and interests?
I love photography and photo-editing. I take pictures of Blythe (big-headed dolls), miniatures, food, daily life... Photoshop, blogging, crocheting, dancing, baking & cooking, interior decoration, restaurant hopping...I do lots of things that are totally unrelated to my day job. :D


Thank you so much, Kaori, for sharing your Hobonichi planner with us! And for all you wonderful readers looking to connect, you can find Kaori aka Ryo here:
Instagram: @amidwinternd
Blog: (in Japanese)


  1. This was such a nice read, Ryo's diary looks great!
    I really enjoy this category on your blog Michelle ^_^

    1. Thank you so much, Natasja! I really enjoy exposing you all to other creative journalers out there as well! It's like finding a hidden gem... ;)

  2. All those little pictures are adorable!

    1. Makes me want to dedicate more time to my hobonichi now. ;) Thank you for always reading, Natasha!

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Marisa! Yes, they're all so pretty! You should checkout her Instagram for more of her wonderful journalings, if you don't already. I really enjoy looking at her food pics too...haha. That's the foodie in me.

  4. Thank you very much for this opportunity. This entry is so lovely! I hope more and more people start journaling and share the love of writing and drawing :)

    1. I hope so too! It's people like you and other passionate journalers that help bring out the creativity we sometimes neglect or disable. Thank you!

  5. I like this post and your last one on your Midori in Korea! With the Midori it's cool how the system is simple but everyone finds their own personal way to stamp it and use it.

    And I love Ryo's pages- been following on Tumblr, nice to learn about her in English :)

    1. Yes, the midori's are very simple...which can be good for me, at least. It forces me to use more of my creative side in terms of journaling and day-to-day use.

      Ryo's journalings are great, aren't they! So glad I stumbled upon her Instgram which then lead me to her tumblr.

  6. woww I love this! I love how she draws and put like everything together in one journal!

    1. Hi Jade! I know...wish I could just stick to one for once. haha


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