Life Noble Notebook: A Japanese Notebook For Stationery Geek

“What is the best notebook made in Japan? Life Noble Notebooks is one of the most common answers to that question. Many people outside Japan love it, and some of you may have already used it before. Here is my in-depth review based on a few months of use, along with how to import it through Amazon Japan.

Basic Features

Size

Life Noble Notebook is available in four sizes.

  • A4
  • B5
  • A5
  • A7

A5 size is the most popular as it offers the best balance between easy-to-carry and enough writing space.
*If you are not familiar with each size standard, please refer to the below page.

Number of Pages

Basically, 200 pages (100 sheets), but only 60 pages (30 sheets) for the mini A7 size.

Paper Type & Colour

Like notebook size, there are four different types of paper. And the color of the notebook cover differs according to the type of paper.

Paper TypeColor
PlainBrown
8mm ruledSky Blue
5mm gridOrange
2mm gridBlack / White / Navy / Green

The 2mm grid is a collaboration product with another stationery company called “Kleid”. And Amazon.com didn’t seem to have it, so I assume it’s available only in Japan, including Amazon Japan.
Here’s a comparison of the regular 5mm grid and the 2mm grid.

Left: 5mm grid
Right: 2mm grid

5mm grid has black lines. In contrast, 2mm grid is light blue. Personally, I prefer 2mm grid as it is less assertive.

Design

This is what it looks like.

life noble notebook front cover
life noble notebook under sunlight
thickness of life noble notebook

The LifeNotes are so stylish that some people fall in love with them at first sight. I especially love the black cover with the gold printing on it. With 100 sheets of paper, it is thick enough to be used as a notebook for everyday use. And A5 notebook, it’s the perfect size to hold in your hand and flip through.

L Writing Paper

As well as its appearance, the main thing that distinguishes the LifeNoble notebook is the quality of its paper. “L writing paper” is a unique paper that is particularly suitable for fountain pens, as it prevents the ink from bleeding through the paper.

In general, feeling to write on the front side differs from one on the back side. On “L writing paper”, the difference is so scarce. Our craftsmen check and regulate strictly on papermaking.

Source: life-st.jp

The paper has a very soft touch with smoothness. I did a writing test, and there was very little ghosting I could see. I’ve used many kinds of notebooks and papers so far. But, this is the best one in terms of ghosting.

writing test of life noble notebook
no ghosting on life noble notebook
almost no ghosting

Things I Noticed

Softcover

The cover is made of very soft cardboard that bends easily, making it very easy to hold in your hands and flick through.

flicking through pages of life noble notebook with one hand

However, there is a slight concern about durability. So, the cover may easily get creased when you roughly put it in your bag. It is also not water-resistant. Some users have found that the colour of the cover shows up on their sweat-soaked clothes when they carry the notebook under their arm. You need to be careful about moisture and water damage. In my case, I use a transparent plastic cover for Midori MD notebook because I don’t want to hide the stylish body.

life noble notebook with transparent plastic book cover

Smooth writing experience

The surface of the paper is very smooth and comfortable to write on. But if you want to write slowly and carefully, you may find it too slippery. Yeah, it’s just a matter of taste.

Binding

Overall, I love the design and the quality of the paper, but the only thing I don’t like is its binding. Typically, the notebook is bound in blocks of paper to be opened as horizontally as possible. However, as you can see, the Life Noble Notebook has only four blocks, which means that the pages open in a slightly raised position. And we sometimes have to hold the paper with another hand when we write, which can be annoying.

open life noble notebook horizontally
Life Noble Notebook
open midori md notebook horizontally
Midori MD notebook

It is also a bit difficult to write on the front and back pages of the thick paper on the cover is raised in some places.

cardboard in the middle of life noble notebook

If this problem were solved, I would be tempted to replace all my notebooks with Life Noble Notebooks. Seriously.

Where To Get Life Noble Notebook?

In Japan, we can find it in most stationery shops. But for people overseas, the best place to buy it is on the internet, such as Amazon.com or other international stationery shops. It’s a little more expensive than buying it in Japan due to tariffs and other factors. For your reference, here’s a comparison between ordering Life Noble Notebook in the US via Amazon.com and using the Amazon Global service to have it shipped overseas via Amazon.co.jp in Japan.

Amazon.com vs Amazon.co.jp

Amazon.co.jp offers a lower price ¥758 (about US$6.9), but the price goes up when you include international shipping and customs. Amazon.com in the US offers a higher base rate of US$13.9, but of course, shipping cost can be free of charge.

price of life noble notebook on amazon.com US
Amazon.com (US)
price of life noble notebook on amazon japan
Amazon.co.jp (Japan)

However, suppose you purchase a certain quantity of products at a time through Amazon Global. In that case, you can actually reduce the shipping cost per item. So if you order 3 or more Life Noble Notebooks at the same time, it is cheaper to buy from Amazon.co.jp after all.

subtotal fee on amazon.com us
Amazon.com (US) Total Cost
subtotal fee on amazon japan
Amazon.co.jp (Japan) Total Cost

The total fee in the shopping cart is $41.8 with three notebooks for Amazon.com. Whereas if you buy from Amazon.co.jp, the shipping fee is almost half of the total cost, but it’s still ¥4,296 (about $39), which is a bit more reasonable than buying from Amazon.com!

Moreover, the shipping time usually takes up to only 3 to 6 days, which is incredibly fast considering international shipping. So, it’s worth taking into account.

But please note that Amazon Global’s international delivery prices vary greatly depending on the category of the product and the places to deliver. You can find out more about how to create an account for Amazon Japan and how it works with the brief idea of total cost and delivery time.

Overall Score

radar chart of overall score
Overall Score: 4.3 / 5

I really love the design and the quality of the paper though the binding is a little bit difficult to open smoothly. But it’s a great notebook that satisfies our possessive instinct.

If you haven’t tried it yet, please give it a try!

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.