Hobonichi Interview Series | Inside Chotskibelle’s Hobonichi Techo Part 1

The Hobonichi  Interview Series  is a blog segment where we get a sneak peek inside the diary of another Hobonichi user. My special guest today is Chotskibelle, from Singapore. I stumbled across her blog and immediately fell in love with it! I’m sure you will too, just read on! Start with Part 1 here.

How did you discover the Hobonichi? 

It all started when I was visiting a Tokyu Hands store in Ginza, Tokyo in Spring of 2014.

I have always been a fan of pretty stationery since I was a child and as with every trip we make to Japan, I had negotiated with the Hubby some time to myself to visit all the stationery stores in the area so that I can browse through every aisle to my heart’s content. (They have very interesting products in these stores!) 

Inside Tokyu Hands store
Inside Tokyu Hands store

I was looking for a planner at the time, and was attracted to a little video with a very catchy tune that was playing in-store. It was the Hobonichi 1101 advertorial video, which you can find on YouTube. You’d have to watch the video, if you haven’t, to fully understand why ANYONE would be intrigued by it! It showed the various ways Hobonichi lovers were using the journal.

I now know that the Tomoe River paper is what makes it such a joy to use and the fact that it lays flat regardless which page you’re at is what makes it such a great book/planner/journal. But I’ll be honest and admit that I was inspired by how these Hobonichi lovers were using their journals – doodling, painting, sketching, etc. I was suddenly very convinced that THIS was the book/journal/planner that would unleash the Master Artist in me! With it, I’d be able to create an absolutely beautiful journal – like those kept by artists and philosophers! Imagine that!

Do you have any recommendations for new users who say “ I don’t know where to start?”

I’d say don’t be afraid to take inspiration from others! Instagram is a great way for me to find inspiration. I started off trying to draw manga-like characters but soon realized that they’re not very representative of who I really am. I’ve discovered that I’d much prefer to draw me as an expressive character, so I don’t focus a lot on other details such as clothes, hair, etc. As long as my doodles have got arms and legs – all’s good!

Chotskibelle with her Hobonichi Techo in Mina Perhonen cover
Chotskibelle with her Hobonichi Techo in Mina Perhonen cover

Google is another great source of inspiration and reference. If I wanted to doodle myself with an angry expression, I’d Google up ″angry expression anime″ images and find one that is something that I think I can draw. There are tons of books out there with instructions on how to doodle/draw/sketch, but I think Google images are a great and inexpensive source of inspiration!

Stuck on a desert island, what are your 3 must have items?

My Jetstream Uniball in 0.5mm, my Sakura Koi Travel Watercolor kit, and blotting paper of some sort. A toilet roll would do just fine!

What’s your latest purchase? 

MyDocumentedLife on Instagram made a Travel Palette using Peerless watercolors. I’ve never used Peerless watercolors before, so I’m excited to try them out. I’m still waiting for it to arrive in the mail

Peerless watercolors
Peerless watercolors

Any other hobbies?

I’ve too many! And not enough time to do them all! I love reading historical and gothic fiction, Japanese manga, watching Japanese anime, knitting, crocheting and jewelry making. I also have a Filofax planner and a Midori Travelers Notebook – both of which I love decorating. I use the former for daily planning because I’m such a scatter-brain and I need a list to tell me what to do and the order in which to do them! I decorate the pages so that tasks look less boring and daunting than they really are, and I feel motivated to check items off the list! I also use the Midori Travelers Notebook as a travel journal and I really enjoy documenting my trips and pasting all sorts of mementos within its pages. It usually takes me weeks after the actual trip for me to complete my travel journal and decorating it – so I suppose that can count as a hobby?

Most Hobonichi owners also seem to love tea or coffee. What’s your favourite tea/coffee?

I love both tea and coffee. I’m very lucky to have my very own personal barista (The Hubby) who makes me cappuccinos from freshly ground coffee beans in the morning. I only allow myself a cup of coffee in the morning and a cup of tea in the evenings – I only drink water in between. My favorite tea? It has to be English Breakfast tea! I like it with or without milk, and half a lump of sugar – but it all depends on how big the mug is or how dainty my vintage teacup is! .


Chotskibelle, thank you so much for sharing how you found the Hobonichi with us! In Part 2 we will get to see inside your Hobonichi Techo.

For all you wonderful readers who want to connect with Chotskibelle, you will find all the details below.
YouTube:Chotski Belle

If you’d like to share inside your Hobonichi, do comment below.

How do you use your Hobonichi?


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