Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion
So far, I’ve enjoyed all of the inks that I’ve acquired from the Kyo-Iro/Kyo no Oto lines, and this one is no exception. They have beautiful packaging, interesting colors, evocative names, and solid performance. From what I’ve seen of the line, their inks are relatively subtle and understated, and don’t really jump off the page at you, so don’t expect them to be eye-catching, vibrant colors. I'm not always in the mood for bold, bright colors, and I like the sense of atmosphere you get with these subdued tones.
This ink is a faded, greyish brown that isn’t too saturated. When wet, there’s a very slight yellow/gold tone to the ink, which recedes as it dries, leaving a final appearance that doesn’t particularly lean towards any undertone besides grey. Most of my other browns have some hint of yellow, green, or red, but this one doesn’t really. The ink is aptly named; not only is the color reminiscent of dusty cobblestone roads, but given that the ink isn’t heavily saturated, the darks and the lights are quite distinct, like the variety of colors in cobblestones. The ink behaves well, with good flow (not gushing, but not dry) and gentle shading. I think in a EF or dry F nib, this ink would probably underwhelm, but I’ve used this in a wetter F nib and still liked the results. I think this ink also benefits from warmer colored papers. I like the ink much more on Tomoe River (both white and cream are yellowish) than Rhodia or laserjet paper (bright, pure white).
Water Resistance: Zero
Other notes: I did this review on cream paper, which brings out the brown a little bit; on white paper, the grey comes out more instead. The writing samples at the end are on white paper.
The following sample was done with a Franklin Christoph 02 (Medium Cursive Italic) on Tomoe River (52gsm, cream, loose-leaf). Doodle was done with a Size 3/0 mop and size 0 liner brush in addition to the pen. Flex writing was done with a Leonardt Principal dip nib.
Bad Scanner Disclaimer: Scan is slightly more accurate than photo in this one, especially for the comparisons at the bottom. The big smear along with all five comparison inks came out pretty true to life in the scan, which I usually can’t manage to do. Photo is a bit better for the doodle.
Comparison inks from left to right (big smear is the featured ink):
KWZ Honey, Robert Oster Melon Tea, J Herbin Lie de The, Graf von Faber Castell Hazelnut Brown, Sailor Doyou