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It’s finally spring over here in Tokyo. Cherry blossom season, with all the socializing, tree-gazing and picnicking that it entails, has come and gone in a blur and there are outdoor events galore to bask in the warm weather. The last three months in Japan have been wonderful, so much so that since moving back to my hometown, I’ve fallen behind on my correspondence with beloved pen pals. It’s time to get writing!

My go-to stationery for writing letters are Midori’s Iyo-style seasonal letter sets. Iyo is an old province of Japan’s Ehime prefecture and the letter sets are made with beautiful washi paper that are smooth to the touch and easy to write on. Midori releases new floral designs each season. The spring sets I own feature bright pink water lilies and delicate morning glories. The minimalist designs with the blooms and leaves on separate pages remind me of ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. I like to think that my grandmother, an elegant lady who was an expert in the art of ikebana and an avid letter-writer, would agree that coordinating the stationery I use with the seasons adds a special touch to my letters.