We are back from another epic trip! And this time I have recorded / journalled our trip in my new Midori Travelers' Notebook, bought right there in Tokyo. It wasn't planned, but once I saw how beautiful it is, I rationalized how we can use it! Besides it cost about half the price it is sold in Singapore! I figure I will re-use the cover for every trip we take, with 1 notebook to cover notes/research we always make on where and what to do each day, and a 2nd notebook to record and journal on the trip, and where all the bits and pieces we pick up can go! The notebooks can then be removed and stored in folders as completed records of our trips, while the cover will be used on future trips :)
To see highlights of how I did travel journals in the past, see these posts:
also check my latest LONDON TRAVELERS NOTEBOOK post
by clicking the image below
And so the moment I got back I got to work on my traveler's notebook. Really enjoyed the process!
I chose the 014 kraft paper refill notebook which has 64 pages or about 32 spreads, and planned out my pages to cover highlights of our trip. First I selected (about 3 to 5 photos for each spread), printed them out on my home printer, and cut them out. Then I got busy pasting and using all the stickers and washi tape in my rarely used paper scrapping supplies. I tried some stamping but my inks weer all old and didn't work well, so left that out. And finally hand-journalled. My handwriting is kind of messy and doesn't go straight even though I tried, but it feels authentic and me, how it should be in my opinion :)
The simple Cover Page
A Preface page
- as this is our 3rd time to Japan, our goals were to take it leisurely, go beyond the touristy spots, and try to taste and soak in and savour all that is Japan and Japanese.
Two spreads to cover the day to day itinerary for the 16 days trip
Followed by Highlights of the trip, sorted by themes:
We visited Historical Sites
Hiked historical trails between preserved old towns
Went up to UNESCO Heritage site of Koyasan and the atmospheric centuries old Okunoin cemetery
Marveled at the beauty and elegance of Kyoto
We did the whimsical, quirky, cute and fun,
including going to a Bunny Cafe (!)
We experienced traditional towns, streets and traditional foods and ways of life
We made our own Cup Noodles
Also skiied (on fake snow) and stayed in a 'log cabin'
But mostly we stayed in Various AirB&Bs
We always play games on trips, but here in Japan we played Japanese games
Went on a walking tour led by volunteers
And of course we totally enjoyed the Japanese Food!
Mostly in hole-in-the-wall joints, and also in the very-happening Japanese Cafe scene!
They have the fanciest bakeries and confectioneries, and even their train station bento sets are incredibly delicious
Taking the public transport is a big way in how we get to know a country
We also got to visit some parks and take one of the many giant Ferris wheels
Not to mention the shopping and window-shopping we did.
The 3 men went on anime/manga hunt
The rest of the pages were filled with more store-cards, name cards from all the shops
Finally I ended with 3 pages of reflections -
so much good stuff and fantastic shared memories unique just
to the four of us
The completed notebook - just about an inch thick - I love it!
A Bit more about My Process
You might have noticed that on each page, I tied the theme together using these labels that said "we were here", "we did this", and so on. What I did was to repeat and arrange digital labels (I used these from 'SmartAleck by Sugarplum', and 'So Majoe by OneLittleBird) on a page in photoshop, typed out all the phrases I wanted to use, and printed them out on A4 (8.5x11) sticker or labelling paper. Once printed and cut, they easily went into my notebook.
For the photos, because I chose the kraft paper notebook, a white frame for the photos would look great, so that's what I went with most pages. I did some without frames to keep it interesting. Also did some in phonebooth strip style, and in varieties of square, landscape and portrait formats.
I did mine in A4 (8.5x11) photoshop files so I can print them on my printer, and sized them so they would fit the notebook nicely. If you want to try these, you can download the template by clicking on the link below. Once printed out, cut along the grey lines. Love to know if you are trying this too!