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Nakaya & Itoya

itoya nakaya tokyo japan

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29 replies to this topic

#21 gerigo

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 06:28

Although I fully agree with Pen_samurai about Itoya regarding service, the one thing that you simply cannot predict as a foreign visitor is what would be the available Nakaya on the day you visit.

 

I just returned from another visit to Tokyo last weekend.

 

The last time I went a year ago, I picked up a LOT of regular production Japanese pens from all three manufacturers, Sailor, Pilot and Platinum. I bought the majority of the pens at Itoya and they couldn't be nicer or more accommodating.

 

This time, I wanted to spend on just one nice pen, namely a Nakaya. I knew before going, based on information from the Nakaya website, that K. Itoya had the best selection. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived only to find they had a very meager selection. 3 Piccolos, one carbon version and a pink and light violet urushis, about 5-6 portables and longs, and 3 Chinkin pens. None of them were the designs I wanted. Many of them were fine and medium nibs with only one that's broad. Also I was told that even if I wanted to buy one of the existing pens, I had to wait a month for the pen to get shipped back to Nakaya and switch to a Music nib, which was the nib I wanted. I am guessing this is because stock rotation is extremely fast at Itoya, and it's almost impossible to predict what would be available. Also I am sure that Nakaya would send pens that are easy sellers, fitted with easy to sell nibs.

 

I ended up buying a European pen in Itoya instead that was impossible to find in the US. The experience was nothing short of amazing as described by Pen_Samurai. I initially had a bit of problem with skipping on the nib. The salesperson was extremely accommodating and had the nib adjusted right away by the pen tech. The pen tech even came over to look at how I used the pen, and suggested a slight change to how I held my pens. Which was a revelation and delight. Truly an experience you could only have in Japan with it's extremely customer centric service and great stationary retail culture.



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#22 Cdub24

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 08:27

Thanks Gerigo, sounds like an amazing experience even though no Nakaya found its way home. Given there is very limited pen choices in NZ I have in the back of my mind a couple of European options if need be....

#23 gerigo

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 16:05

Cdub24, actually a Nakaya did find it's way home with me :) . But since this was a thread about Nakaya and Itoya, I thought I'd stay true to what transpired. I ended up buying my Nakaya from Maruzen.

 

Maruzen has an even smaller selection of Nakayas. There were maybe 3 portables of different urushi finishes and one long. That was it. However, one of the portables had a truly unique nib I couldn't say no to. It was an Aka-tamenuri with an elastic broad nib. When I held it in my hands and started to write, I knew I had to have it. The nib was magical :D


Edited by gerigo, 06 August 2014 - 06:58.


#24 Cdub24

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:11

Gerigo, which Maruzen did you visit, Oazo?

#25 Tinjapan

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:48

Maruzen at Nihonbashi usually have a few Nakaya pens on hand. As I understand, they may be special ordered for that store, kinda like a store specific model, though I am not sure on that point.

Definitely go to K. Itoya, but Maruzen is nice too. They also have their own inks, made by Sailor, however the selection of their inks was rather thin a couple of weeks ago.

#26 Tinjapan

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 15:10

I should also add Kingdom Note to the list of shops. They have 15 of their own inks, also made by Sailor, and carry a lot of used pens. Most of my pens have been purchased from them. Sometimes they have vintage pens, currently they have vintage propelling pencils, and even limited edition pens. I picked up a limited edition Visconti D' Essai and others there.

#27 gerigo

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 15:50

CDub24 I was at the Nihonbashi Maruzen. Their service is excellent, as are many of the stationary shops in Japan. They do have a small selection of Nakayas and also some of the more unusual Japanese pens I couldn't get from Itoya. I guess because K. Itoya is such a destination for everyone, their stock, although extensive, sometimes run out. Maruzen is easy to get to from Itoya and worth the trip. What you can't get at Itoya, you would probably be able to complete at Maruzen.

 

I LOVE the experience at Kingdom Note. Cosy, club like space. The people are also VERY helpful. They have all of 1 Nakaya. A purple piccolo with a bold nib. I tried it but it was not for me. I also wanted to buy their exclusive inks. When I inquired, the sales person sat me down and gave me a dip pen to try the inks I was thinking of purchasing. What a great experience!

 

In general, the selection at Kingdom Note seem much more European focused, and I would say geared towards local clientele. In the US, we are privy to VERY competitive prices and if you see the prices in Japan, you'll appreciate our ability to buy premium pens at such reasonable cost. About the only European pens worth considering in Tokyo are Pelikans. They are well priced, sometimes on par with prices in the US, and sometimes just a hair lower. Example of crazy pricing!

 

Waterman Edson in the US is about $900. In Japan it's $2000 :yikes: . The Visconti Opera Typhoon which was going for $650 when it was initially released here in the US a year ago, is $1100 in Japan. Currently a few places here in the US are having closeouts around $350. It's so totally worth getting right now. The Pelikan 101Ns which is about $500 when they were initially released here, is about $480 in Japan based on current exchange rates. I picked up a Tortoise version that had a beautiful stubbish BB nib also at Maruzen, since a BB nib is not something that's readily available.

 

If you're OK with used pens, Kingdom Note is a great place to browse. The Japanese tend to very careful with their possessions, and I am sure the used pens are in excellent shape, with all papers and box. The price is pretty good too!


Edited by gerigo, 06 August 2014 - 15:53.


#28 Tinjapan

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 16:11

Some, but not all of Kingdom Note's pens come with box and papers. Usually cost less without. They also come with a 6 month warrenty, not useful purhaps to one just staying for a short time but shows that they do sell quality used pens.

#29 Cdub24

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 21:18

Tinajapan & Gerigo, thanks for the info, Kingdom Note very much on my list of places to visit. I'm also on the look out for a couple of European pens as well, so open to options, I get what you're saying regarding price but living in the south pacific we have zero choice, one mont blanc store (where a new MB149 runs to $1500 NZD which is about $1,200 USD or 130,000 Yen) in the whole country and a few lamy pens in the odd book shop, so even at retail pricing they will be better then NZ prices, if I got get them. So I have a couple of pens I'm looking for (Nayaka, Dolce Vita, MB149) and hopefully across the stores I plan to visit I'll be able to grab them, with the odd Japanese pen thrown in for good measure and probably a million bottles of ink....



#30 gerigo

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 22:14

CDub24, used Montblancs are quite easily available in Tokyo. I think because it's such an archetypal fountain pen. I believe Kingdom Note had a few to choose from. They also have quite an extensive used Writers Edition selection. If you want the best price, try the Montblanc at Narita in the departure area upon check in. I believe the last time I checked, you could get a Montblanc for just under $800 US.

 

I don't remember seeing a Dolce Vita used, but I was not on the lookout for it. I know they do have quite a selection of Delta fountain pens at Itoya, especially different versions of the DV. They have a ruthenium demonstrator version of the DV that's quite elegant, but the asking price is 1K!

 

Nakaya selection is touch and go. Try all the stores that are listed on the Nakaya Japanese site. I have a feeling the more obscure stores that don't get as much tourist traffic might yield a treasure or 2. I say that because on my last trip, I was at the Itoya Shibuya. It's so different in feel than the main store, in that it's dingy and poorly lit. But the service is as warm as the main store, and they had a Heki-Tamenuri Decapod. For me, the Decapod is the most beautiful Nakaya. I did not see any Decapods on this trip at the bigger stores this time around.


Edited by gerigo, 07 August 2014 - 11:46.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: itoya, nakaya, tokyo, japan



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