Hobonichi Season, Take Two: Why the April-Start?

Hobonichi Season, Take Two: Why the April-Start?

This is Jane with a quick breakdown of the April-start versions of the ever-popular Hobonichi planners. To those who are unfamiliar, the world of Hobonichi may seem chaotic and abstruse. Before I experienced “Hobonichi season” firsthand for the first time last fall, I know that’s how I felt. One of the questions we hear often is about the second release date of Hobonichi planners, just in time for April – a quarter of the way into the new year. What is the purpose of the April start, and who is it designed for?

Hobonichi designed the April-start version of their famous Techo Planner, Cousin, and Weeks planners with students and professionals in mind, as April is when both the Japanese academic and fiscal years begin. The American equivalent of this would be a planner that starts in September or October, which would make a lot more intuitive sense to us. 

Then, why do planner-lovers outside of Japan opt for April-start Hobonichis? Using the data I’ve gathered from a brief online survey, I’ve organized the most common reasons:

1. You missed the first Hobonichi drop in September of last year.

Although Hobonichi-lovers know September as “Hobonichi season,” those new to the hype are often taken aback to learn that the first Hobonichi release date takes place months before the new year – and that these beloved planners often sell out before the new year even arrives. To those who prefer to shop for planners once the chaotic holiday season winds down, the April-start release date functions as a second chance to get a special-edition Hobonichi cover that sold out during the first release, since a selection of the most popular covers are re-released at this time. Here is a list of the special artist-collaboration covers that are returning with the April-start editions this year: 
  • Taiyo Matsumoto: Cat Over Kanda (Techo and Cousin)
  • Animal Crossing New Horizons: What shall we do today? (Techo and Cousin)
  • Omiya Yogashiten: Shall we have some tea? (Techo only)
  • Saul Leiter: Footprints (Techo only)
  • Hiroko Kubota: Count the Lights (Techo only)

2. You’ve fallen in love with the covers that are exclusive to the April-start planners.

Each year, Hobonichi saves some special artist collaborations for the April-start release only. Maybe you weren’t sold on the September cover lineup, but an April-exclusive cover has caught your eye. This year, there are three April-exclusive special collaborations, each with its own colorful personality: 
  • Tokyo National Museum: Katsushika Hokusai – Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji (Techo and Cousin
  • Tokyo National Museum: Dogu? Haniwa? (Weeks)
  • Classic Fabrics: Petite Roses (Techo only)

3. It’s an opportunity to switch over from another planner in the early months of the new year.

Swept up in the early planner craze in Fall 2021, you might have jumped for a new planner that isn’t the best suited to your planning needs – maybe the first few months of 2022 have shown you that you might prefer the good old one-day-one-page structure of the Hobonichi Techo and Cousin, or something that helps you get a birds-eye view of each week, like the Hobonichi Weeks. The second Hobonichi release is an opportunity to rewrite your save file before the new year moves too far along.


4. It’s an unconventional way to reframe the new year.

Maybe your birthday is in April, or spring is your favorite season – or at least one that you associate with fresh starts and new changes in your life. The April-start version of the Hobonichi is a fun way to experiment with the way you think about the progression of the year. Some people opt for April-start planners not necessarily because of their start date in April but for their end date in March of the following year – the end-of-year holidays can be an extremely chaotic time, and carrying over your trusty, filled-out planner into the first few months of the new year can take at least one variable out of the equation, or at least delay it to a calmer time of year when you can better assess new planner options and sit down and set up a new system of tracking the way you spend your time, day by day or week by week.

If you are an April-start aficionado, let us know if you fall into any of these four categories – or if you have a different reason that you prefer to pick up your Hobonichi during the second release! If you were considering an April-start planner but weren’t sure whether or not to spring for it, I hope this list of potential reasons to go for it has helped your decision-making process. Preorders are now available for the Hobonichi April-start planners in the Coming Soon section on our website.

1 comment

  • Mandie O.

    Wow! This has ME written all over it. This year I had every intention of starting a customized journal on January 1st. But. The 3rd week of December, as I frantically searched for my favorite format, I realized: All the people who had their sh$t together had purchased those. I couldn’t find a single planner within 50miles of my home town. And I was hesitant to buy on line. I like to hold it, look at the formatted sections and size. But now I’ve got time to sit with customizing in mind…. April 1st start date? I like it!

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