Around this time of year, the stationary floors of stores like LOFT and Tokyo Hands are packed chock a block with people picking out the next year’s schedule book, what Westerners would call a diary. As with a number of other things, the Japanese take organising their time very seriously. I had never really bothered with them until I came to Japan. Even then, my very first one was a Suzy’s Zoo one, and although it was adorable, I didn’t really use it very much. Perhaps I just wasn’t busy enough, or didn’t really see how useful it could actually be. I don’t even know where it is now.
My second one, for 2012, was a lovely Sentimental Circus one produced by San-X (the same people who make Rilakkuma and all manner of adorable mascots and characters), which definitely got more use. I am a hoarder by nature, and it came in handy for stashing bits of paper with random musings on them or cinema tickets (yes, I’m one of those people), or just writing things down that I needed to remember – which is what they are for I suppose!
For 2013 I chose a diary featuring Airou from the game Monster Hunter by Capcom, which I have absolutely no clue about, but I think he’s the cutest thing ever, far more than Rilakkuma (sorry Rilakkuma) and also Hello Kitty (a scandalous thing to say, I know). From this year, having a diary planner has become essential to me, and especially now that I have a blog. Don’t you find that there always comes a moment where you think of something, or see something that you need to look into more for your blog, but it’s just the wrong time and you have to write it down somewhere? I suppose many people use their phones, but I like having a snazzy little book I can pull out of my bag and write something down in. I’m quite tactile and visual too, and perhaps having paper suits me more. I also find the mechanical act of writing something out helps it to stick in my brain more, but maybe I’m weird.
Anyway, the diaries for the new year always start rolling out around September, with the most choices available around November/December. I have been umming and ahhing since September. I kid you not – for the past three and a half months, I have been stressing out about which one to get, and only relieved my pain yesterday when I finally bought one. I know I always cause myself more stress than necessary, but when you are as spoilt for choice as you are here, it becomes incredibly difficult to choose one – it’s really the bane of all indecisive people such as myself.
I think my quandary will become clear as you look at the photos below. Really, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Aside from your Hello Kittties, Rilakkumas, and Airous, you have an array of Disney ones, Peko Chan, Coco Chan, Ado Mizumori illustrations, the new LINE characters, the recently popular Kumamon, Barbie, Rollbahn, the Happy Make diaries – just so many your head might explode.
In the end I went with an Ado Mizumori illustrated diary for 2014. Her drawings are just so kawaii and positive, and they make me smile. There is also plenty of space inside for writing down random thoughts and ideas, which is wonderful. I’m really happy with it and definitely feel like I made the right choice.
I believe the pictures will explain things best, so I will leave you with those.
Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!
P.S. – Sorry, pic heavy and not great quality.
Some pages from my 2012 Sentimental Circus schedule book. Isn’t the main character adorable? Her name is Chapo.
My current schedule book – sorry it’s so grubby. Airou is on the left. If you don’t think he’s the cutest thing ever, I don’t know what to say.
This is the one I finally chose for 2014 – an Ado Mizumori illustrated diary. The cover character is a ballerina, how cute is that?
Plenty of space for notes.
In case I want to take the train…
There’s even a lovely illustration on the back.