My Tokyo travel journal is complete. I am sharing it here so you can see that it is possible to fill up a journal even if you are travelling with kids in a very stimulating city for just a few days and that the key is to just start!


I do a mix of found ephemera and elements that I’ve packed in my travel pouch. My go to kit is filled with all sorts of stickers: alphabet stickers, word and sentiment stickers, accent stickers, Most of these come from my Studio Calico kits as well as my wanderings in Beijing and Shanghai. I also had some stickers from my last visit to Tokyo. I also bring a waterproof pen (this time I used a Sharpie pen) for writing and sketching, watercolors, a glue stick and some washi tape. I ended up not using my watercolors this time.


The found ephemera I add comes from business cards of restaurants and shops, free metro magazines, stickers placed on walls and poles, advertisement brochures and packaging. I keep my eyes out for anything and everything that could add to my journal and convey the feel of what we saw or felt.

If I need more space to write, I still include business cards and such by making a flap with washi tape. I often return with leftover paper and stickers; I just sort through them before putting things away.

I shared on my Instagram my best tips to document while travelling. Here they are again:

  • just start, don’t worry about that first page being great or having a plan that is all thought out. Just go for it.
  • if you don’t have time to write during your trip, get all your ephemera in your journal. That way you have a visual reminder of what you did during the day and can fill in the words later (like on the trip home)
  • space out your days so you don’t run out of space. If you end up having left too much room for one of the days, just add some sketching to fill it up

I ended up filling in all the words (or the documenting part!) of this journal on the plane and once I was home. My arm is still painful so writing makes it throb relatively quickly. So I paced myself. Perhaps my last piece of advice is to finish documenting your trip asap because if you leave it too long you will forget things and you won’t feel motivated to finish it.