Which Hobonichi is which? A guide to Hobonichi’s

Which Hobonichi is which? A guide to Hobonichi’s

If you have been in the stationery world for a while you will have come across the brand Hobonichi. Based in Japan this company has been producing its Techo books since 2002. Personally, I have been using them on and off for 6 years now. And I think I have used every variation.

September 1st always has a buzz around it as the Techo books go on sale and everyone starts to try and figure out which book will serve them best. But with the variety of books, they have available, which Hobonichi is which? And, which will be the one that you pick?

Like I said there are a few different versions and I’m going to be sharing quite a few photos to compare the 4 different Hobonichi’s that are out there. They are the English Planner (this is in a6 only), the original A6, the cousin (this is the a5 version) and the weeks.

So what is the difference between them!

Most of these photos are of all of the planners together so that you can see the difference between each of them. And then you can make the most informed decision based on what you can see. Please note that the cousin has had a couple of tweaks over the years to these photos may look different from the one that you have. Shall we dig in!

English Planner (A6)

This is the only fully English version of the Hobonichi. All the other Techos have Japanese in them. It is good to note that this does not have a weekly section built-in, so you would need to buy the weekly supplement. But again note that the weekly supplement will be in Japanese and not English.

This has the vertical month, monthly view, and one page per day all in English an the daily pages have quotes and sayings at the bottom of each day. 

The cover of this planner feels like pleather and has a gold emboss that changes each year. I have only had one of these as A6 is not the sweet spot for me.


This the most common of the Hobonichi Techo. The one in the photo above is the Spring edition that they release in February.  Like the English Planner, this does not have a weekly section built-in, you would need to buy the weekly supplement. 

The daily pages each have a slightly different design to the English version but you will see that further down. But this is a compact Japanese daily planner with a colorful, user-friendly design.

The A6 can also be purchased in the Avec style as well. This basically means that the year is split in two with Jan – Jun in one book and then Jul – Dec in the second. The advantage of this is that you get a smaller planner to carry around. And you get that new planner feeling halfway through the year.

Cousin (A5)

The biggest of the Hobonichi’s is the Cousin which is an A5 book. A lot of people use this as a work or everyday home planner. Within this planner you have a full year. So that’s the vertical months, standard months followed by 52 weeks and then 365 daily pages!

Now that’s a lot of pages and thanks to the Tomoe River paper it can stay incredibly thin! You can have all the layouts in one book with no bulk. This like the A6 original is a Japanese daily planner with a colorful design and roomy layout.

Again you can buy this in the Avec style and have a refresh in the middle of the year. The other nice advantage of the Avec is that you use a Hobonichi notebook along the side of the planner. Giving you a lot of options in regards to flexibility.

Weeks + Mega Weeks

The final Hobonichi that I have to share with you is the Weeks (or Weeks Mega if you want more note pages). This has a slim vertical design with a month on two pages and a weekly format with notes page opposite. 

In the back of the Weeks, there is plenty of blank graph paper in the back and if you want even more space you can go for the mega version. I did a review here of the Weeks planner. 

Detailed look at the Techos.

Now that is a very simple description of each of the Techo books. So let’s dig into each of the planners and see how they look next to each other. 

Vertical Month View

Here I have the Cousin, Original and the English laid out on the vertical month. I have seen a lot of people use these as trackers and gratitude journals.

I am to use them as an index for my daily pages, ie if I sent out a certain email or made a certain list. This will be the first time that I have used it this way and I am excited to see how I get on with it. 

How will you be using it? 

Standard Month View

This is a page that a lot of you will be familiar with. The standard month on two pages in all the Hobonichi’s. You will notice that the Weeks has cream paper while the other three have white. 

These are a great month on two pages and have a lot of space even the A6 versions. This layout is great for a birds-eye view of what you have going on in a month.

I have all my travel planned out and appointments that I have and when I need to flea Patch or when Jono has a conference. 

Weekly View

Like I have said previously the A6 does not have a weekly view so you have to buy a weekly supplement which is at the top of the photo below. 

The Weeks has a nice blank graph page opposite the week view and this gives you the option to take notes or Bullet Journal. This is a great way to have a flexible week. 

Daily View

Daily pages make up the bulk of the Cousin and the A6 books. Remember that the Weeks do not have this page but they have the note pages. 

The daily pages have a small timeline so that you can plan out you day and still have space to make a to-do list. These pages have stayed pretty much the same over the past few years.

So having had a look at the Techos themselves you also notice on the Hobonichi shop that there are a bunch of accessories that you can buy.


There are a number that you can get from the shop and they range from pens, covers, stencils, and stamps. Here a just a few of the ones that I have.

Covers and Cover on Covers

There are a variety of different covers out there. Official and unofficial covers below are a few of the covers that I have. Left to right is the Gingham cover for my cousin, the Mina Imagine for the A6 and then the Quiet Harbor clear cover for the weeks. 

Add on’s

There is variety of different add-on’s that you can get to expand your planner, or improve your planner for you.  These are notebooks and writing boards and stencils. 

Now you may be still be wondering which Techo is for you.  Well, I would start with how you wanting to use it. Are you going to use it as a planner for work? Maybe as an art journal? Or perhaps a gratitude journal? 

I hope that this has helped you in seeing what the differences are between the four different Hobonichi’s that are out there. That’s all from me today! You can follow me on Instagram @goodplansam.

Stay Happy!