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Taroko Mystique A5 Journal With Orchid 80Gsm Dot Grid Paper


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I recently bought a Taroko Enigma A5 journal, featuring 68gsm dot grid Tomoe paper. At the same time I bought a similar journal from Taroko featuring their 80gsm Orchid paper. I thought it would be worth trying it out as it is half the price of their Tomoe version, at US$15 + shipping. Delivery from Taiwan to Australia was under a week.

 

I am vey impressed indeed with the customer service from Steven Chang at Taroko, his comunications, the care with which he packs and ships his products and with quality of the journal. All these factors are excellent.

 

Summary from their web-site. My comments in italics

* 400-page of Taroko Orchid Paper (80gsm of fountain pen friendly paper with most nib/ink combinations. Wet nibs, flex nibs, and certain inks will occasionally bleed. Not suitable for watercolor) The paper is great with all the inks I've tried so far. There is minimal show-through, especially when compared to Tomoe 52gsm. There has been no bleed-through or feathering.

* Sewn bound journal reinforced with glue at the spine (in essence, like a case bound book without the hard cover), and when opened, will lie completely flat. If you are familiar with Nanami Seven Seas journals, the construction of the Mystique is very similar. I actually think the page alignment and sewing is better than Nanami's, which I've found a little inconsistent. The cover is an attractive dark red, with a textured finish. It is a soft cover, same as Nanami. It does lie almost completely flat with very little central gutter to impede hand position when writing. No pressure is required to make the pages lie flat - they fall into place easily.

* Layout in 5mm dot grids I really like the dot grid print. It is a soft grey, not too dark, so doesn't impede writing and could be easily used for sketching. Yet the dots are visible enough to provide a good guide.

* Comes with 3 index pages at the beginning.The index is useful. The pages aren't numbered so you'll have to number them yourself to take advantage of this useful addition. There are also Keyword/tag list pages at the back for your use and a 2016 and 2017 calendar. The calendar page also has the top and bottom edges marked with an imperial and metric ruler respectively.

* Perfect for bullet journaling. Lots and lots of pages to write with, if you write at length, and feel like you should have all your writings in one place. I don't bullet journal but I think it would be ideal for those who do. There are indeed plenty of pages - 400 in fact.

 

I've put mine in a Mircofibre slip cover from Belle & Sofa, but it could be used without. Being a standard international/ISO A5, covers are very easy to find.

 

It doesn't come with a page marker/ribbon (but my Belle & Sofa cover has one already so that addresses the omission).

 

Shipping from Taroko Shop in Taiwan, to me in Australia, was US $10 - about a third of the shipping charged by Nanami.

 

Overall, I'm delighted with this journal. It's good quality and a fair price.

 

(NB Taroko Design Enigma A5 68gsm Tomoe journal is the same construction, with a dark blue cover, the same dot grid print and other features, but with 420 pages. It costs US$30 + shipping)

 

Finally, here are some photos. Apologies that some are rather blurred, I tried to keep the sizes down.

 

I hope this overview of the Taroko Mystique Journal is helpful.

 

STURDY CARDBOARD WRAPAROUND PROECTION, SHIPPED INSIDE AN OUTER CARDBOARD BOX

 

fpn_1462842658__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

THE JOURNAL COVER

 

fpn_1462842677__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

THE INDEX PAGES

 

fpn_1462842715__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

THE KEYWORD/TAG AND CALENDAR PAGES AT THE BACK

 

fpn_1462842752__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

LAYFLAT PAGES - THIS IS APPROX THE MIDDLE OF THE 400 PAGES

 

fpn_1462842854__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

 

TAKES INKS WELL - NO FEATHERING

fpn_1462842767__taroko_mystique_notebook

LITTLE SHOW-THROUGH AND ZERO BLEED-THROUGH

 

fpn_1462842796__taroko_mystique_notebook

 

MYSTIQUE JOURNAL ON TOP OF NANAMI SEVEN SEAS (TOMOE) WRITERS JOURNAL, TO SHOW COMPARABLE THICKNESS (BOTH INSIDE BELLE & SOFA MICROFIBRE COVERS)

 

fpn_1462842812__taroko_mystique_notebook

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Thanks for the review! :) It's good to hear about an alternative to Nanami, as Nanami's international postage rates are very expensive. I've thought about ordering their tomoe river notebooks, but the postage costs have always put me off.

I was once a bottle of ink, Inky Dinky Thinky Inky, Blacky Minky Bottle of Ink!

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Thanks for the review, I have just ordered one on the back of this ! I hope it fits into the Hobonichi Cousin cover I have. If it doesn't, are the Belle & Sofa covers a good price?

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Thanks for the review, I have just ordered one on the back of this ! I hope it fits into the Hobonichi Cousin cover I have. If it doesn't, are the Belle & Sofa covers a good price?

Hi there :-)

Oh I hope you like it when you try it!

I think it should fit in the Cousin cover. I've got a Cousin cover here so I'll try it for you and report back after dinner (I'm in Australia at the moment so it's 6.00pm here)

 

I bought the Belle & Sofa covers direct from Japan. They do lots of colours. They are ¥1,500 each, less 4% consumer tax, plus shipping.

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Thanks for the review, I have just ordered one on the back of this ! I hope it fits into the Hobonichi Cousin cover I have. If it doesn't, are the Belle & Sofa covers a good price?

Good news. I've tried the Taroko Mystique journal and it fits into my official Hobonichi Cousin cover very nicely. There's a little room to spare, but not so much that the journal moves or slides inside the cover itself. The Cousin cover easily accommodates the thickness of the journal.

 

fpn_1462869905__image.jpg

 

Edit to add: TarokoShop also sell A5 Fauxbonichi journal covers. I haven't tried one of them yet.

Edited by migo984

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Looks good, thanks for that.

Yes, I saw the covers that Steven had, but decided just to get the notebook first.

Hope you are enjoying Australia.

Cheers

 

John

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Thanks for the thorough review and photo documentation. I'm an Etsy addict and stumbled on Steven's store about 3 weeks ago. I agree 1000% with you comments on his customer service, communication and fast shipping. My order was shipped in 48 H and in my hands in the SW USA/New Mexico in a week. Steven is very accommodating and made some minor changes to my items to meet a special need without any issue. I got several of his Passport sized refills for my Faux Dori and Midori Passport sized Notebooks, as well as a FN sized leather cover . He is a first class gentleman and artisan. You won't be disappointed in his service, product or work. His pricing for such exquisite work is more than reasonable. I heartedly recommend him. Usual Disclaimers apply, no affiliation, just a very happy client. Jim

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