Skip to content

Amazing scenes emerge as you use this notepad

The Japanese design firm Triad just released one of the most Japanese products ever: the Hogwarts Castle notepad.

Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Hogwarts castle as it's used

Wait, that’s not Japanese!

But…it is.

Partly used notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Hogwarts castle as it's used
The latest design in a series of notepads that reveal 3-D scenes as each piece of paper is peeled away happens to be Hogwarts Castle, but the idea of creating three dimensional models from sheets of paper, the meticulous and precise craftsmanship needed to pull it off, and the firm belief that people will pay $180 USD for a notepad is about as Japanese as you can get.

Obviously, people who just need to jot down their grocery lists aren’t going to shell out nearly two hundred bucks. This is about buying an experience, paying for the delight of revealing the hidden scene.

The fact that it can only be experienced once perfectly captures the Japanese aesthetic that also explains why cherry blossoms are so beloved: they’re spectacular for a few days, then they’re gone. You have to appreciate them 100% in the moment, because you can’t do it again for another year. The fact that the experience is rare and fleeting adds to the enjoyment.

Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Hogwarts castle as it's used in clear case
It comes with a clear protective case to preserve it once you’ve revealed the castle, but—like cherry blossom photos—it’s merely a reminder of a sublime experience, not the experience itself.

And if you’re not a huge Harry Potter fan, you’ll be happy to know that Triad’s Omoshiroi online store also carries more traditional Japanese versions of this same idea:

Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Kiyomizudera temple as it's used
Like this block of colored paper that transforms into…
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Kiyomizudera temple as it's used
…the famous Kiyomizudera Temple in Kyoto
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Arashiyama bamboo grove as it's used
There’s one that reveals the Arashiyama bamboo grove
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Kyoto autumn street as it's used
And a couple that turn into quintessentially traditional street scenes…
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Kyoto cherry blossom spring street as it's used
…set in all the best seasons

The 150-sheet Hogwarts Castle design is the newest and most expensive, but their other 150-sheet design (Kiyomizudera) can be had in three different colors for $90 USD, the 40-sheet bamboo grove and street scenes come in at a comparatively reasonable $53 USD…

Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals koi fish as it's used
…and these 20-sheet designs
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that reveals Heian woman in kimono as it's used
feel like a real bargain at $17 USD
Notepad from Omoshiroi online store that can be hung on the wall after design is revealed
The street scenes can be preserved and hung on a wall, which is kind of cool and makes the investment seem more reasonable

Thanks to Japan Today for the Hogwarts Castle notepad photos and for putting this on my radar

And if you’d love some fresh escapist reading…

“A wonderful blend of history and mystery.” —Laura Joh Rowland, author of The Iris Fan

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, altering the lives of all who possess it…read more

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s