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Pen Shops In Kyoto- What Can I Buy, And Where?



MissCellany

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Hi all!

 

One of my partners is going to be visiting Kyoto in late December/early January, and offered to check out some pen shops while they're visiting to pick up any pens/ink I might want. I know there are some neat Japan-only exclusives, and buying Japanese pens/ink in Japan is probably less expensive than buying it where we're from (the US).

 

The only problem is, I don't know what stores are in Kyoto, and I don't know what the going rate for pens out that way is. Does anyone here know of any fountain pen stores in Kyoto, or what the prices for pens/ink usually are out there? I'll have a budget of around $150 USD, and would love it if I could pick up a Sailor Pro Gear or similar pen- especially if it's exclusive to Japan. Same for ink!

 

Any help or recommendations would be appreciated~ thanks so much!

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Hi MissCellany, I will be visiting Kyoto next year myself, so I am keeping an eye on this thread :)

 

I see nearly 40 people have looked but haven't responded, so thought I'd put in this link to a similar Reddit thread from 4 years ago:

https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/30rm1w/im_in_kyoto_for_the_next_few_months/

 

Also found this, from 2 years ago:

https://www.handoverthatpen.com/2017/04/10/kyoto-pen-store-recap/

 

Maybe that can help to get the ball rolling. It would be vastly preferable to hear from someone here who has recent personal experience, of course.

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OmegaMountain

TAG Stationery is the go-to in Kyoto. They have a main store and two smaller locations in town. I would suggest the main store first and then their shop in the covered market area.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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Hi MissCellany, I will be visiting Kyoto next year myself, so I am keeping an eye on this thread :)

 

I see nearly 40 people have looked but haven't responded, so thought I'd put in this link to a similar Reddit thread from 4 years ago:

https://www.reddit.com/r/fountainpens/comments/30rm1w/im_in_kyoto_for_the_next_few_months/

 

Also found this, from 2 years ago:

https://www.handoverthatpen.com/2017/04/10/kyoto-pen-store-recap/

 

Maybe that can help to get the ball rolling. It would be vastly preferable to hear from someone here who has recent personal experience, of course.

 

These are both super helpful; thank you very much!

 

TAG Stationery is the go-to in Kyoto. They have a main store and two smaller locations in town. I would suggest the main store first and then their shop in the covered market area.

 

TAG seems to be a good starting point- thank you! Do you know if they carry Sailor pens/ink there?

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Please check out 趣味の文具箱 Shumi No Bungu Bako magazine. It lists all of the shops in all of Japan in the back of the magazine.

 

You should be able to purchase this magazine from any international ebook store.

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OmegaMountain

 

These are both super helpful; thank you very much!

 

 

TAG seems to be a good starting point- thank you! Do you know if they carry Sailor pens/ink there?

Yes, they do.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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Prices on pens will not be significantly less than in the USA. Prices on some inks may be less, maybe up to 30 percent.

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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OmegaMountain

Prices on pens will not be significantly less than in the USA. Prices on some inks may be less, maybe up to 30 percent.

This is not necessarily true - you get the 8% tax off and many JDM only pens or limited editions can be had far cheaper than import prices. TAG had a Sailor Tequila Sunrise in shop for under $200 earlier this year when I was there which I fully intended to buy, but the hours I found online were wrong and I arrived right as they were closing. You couldn't find that pen for sale in the U.S. at that time for under $300 and still can't.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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Omega, I am sure you are right on potential savings on Japanese Domestic Market and limited edition pens, and hope the friends of MissCellany can find them in the $150 range.

Reviews and articles on Fountain Pen Network

 

CHINA, JAPAN, AND INDIA

Hua Hong Blue Belter | Penbbs 456 | Stationery | ASA Nauka in Dartmoor and Ebonite | ASA Azaadi | ASA Bheeshma | ASA Halwa | Ranga Model 8 and 8b | Ranga Emperor

ITALY AND THE UK

FILCAO Roxi | FILCAO Atlantica | Italix Churchman's Prescriptor

USA, INK, AND EXPERIMENTS

Bexley Prometheus | Route 54 Motor Oil | Black Swan in Icelandic Minty Bathwater | Robert Oster Aqua | Diamine Emerald Green | Mr. Pen Radiant Blue | Three Oysters Giwa | Flex Nib Modifications | Rollstoppers

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We just returned from Japan Nov 7th but unfortunately did not visit any pen places in Kyoto. Kyoto was for ceramics :P

 

All the usual suspects were in Tokyo: Bungubox, Eboya, Shosaikan, Kingdom Note, Moriichi, Maruzen, Itoya, Eurobox (was closed :-( google goofed) and the only other outside Tokyo was Morita-san in Osaka.

Because it was our first time there, I did not want to devote a whole lot of time, bargaining and hunting.

 

Nevertheless my better half was a good sport and help route out the major ones.

 

Japan has so much more to offer than just pens! :bunny01:

 

Pricing is a mixed bag.

 

I concur with @Bobje that prices are not significantly less than USA (Ebay, Pensachi, Wancher, Endless, etc) across the board. One place had a Pilot Custom 823 at 30000 Yen which actually more expensive than $288 USD here in the States?! :huh:

 

It depends on what you're looking for which goes to the point of @OmegaMountain on Limited Editions and certain rarer beasts. For these special color store tie-ins and vintage like ribbed Sailors, price or availability favors Japan domestic carry out.

 

But I found that most of them had the same stock with only vintage or special ones to distinguish them from each other. Even a "special" one we got as a souvenir was not much different in price than Wancher, though it is out of stock :blush:

 

@MissCellany I would up the budget to $200 and ask your friend if they could send you a selection of colors or better yet, target what you want, ie Sailor Pro Gear limited edition: if in x,y,z colors The extra cost is not a difference in the long run because it would be 'special' from Japan from your partner. :) Otherwise, Instagram is your friend and you can bypass travel by emailing vendors directly on special editions.

  • Example: here is a Sailor Pro Gear Limited Edition for $165 from Pensachi (I have no affiliation and not a customer but they post on FPN) Can someone in Japan tell us if they can get it significantly cheaper?

 

What is significant is a retail presence where you can sue-me-ma-sen your way to actually trying before buying. :D Wanna handle the latest Lamy Bauhaus Blue 2000, Horoscope Sailor Mini, or a Namiki Emperor? They would be happy to help.

 

The consumption tax was increased to 10% and only some stores will tax-free that back with a paper record to your passport. We only did that with Itoya which does full retail as they made it so painless.

 

The damage was not too bad: Morita 2, Bungubox 1, Itoya 2, Eboya 1 and ink and a whole buncha mechanical pencils :drool:

 

Honestly, a terrible thing about this hobby, Japan or USA, is that everyone was so nice than we just wanted to give them some business to keep the lights on and stave off the bigger sumos like Amazon

 

We really enjoyed our time in the land of the rising sun: people, culture, and history.

 

So special in the world of nations, definitely worth visiting, pens or otherwise! :happyberet:

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OmegaMountain

Omega, I am sure you are right on potential savings on Japanese Domestic Market and limited edition pens, and hope the friends of MissCellany can find them in the $150 range.

You're pretty much right on the standard models though - no significant savings. Of course, I wouldn't buy a standard model pen in Japan when I could get something largely available only there. The only pen I came home with was an Eboya Manten from the Mitsukoshi Pen Fair which I love. Japan really is a pen lover's heaven.

"Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts." - Patrick Rothfuss

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This is a great thread, thanks. I’m heading to Japan in just over a week and will be adding these to my list. :D

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Hey all,

 

Thanks so much for the help! I did an oops and accidentally bought a special edition Pelikan, so the Japanese purchases will just be relegated to ink and paper now.

 

With that in mind, I know that Bungbox is easier to get in Japan than in the states. Would y'all happen to have any good ink/paper recommendations that would be easier to pick up over there?

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Kobe is basically a suburb of Kyoto (Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka form the giant Kansai metropolitan area). You can take a quick Shinkansen (think its about 30 minutes) from Kyoto-eki and visit Nagasawa Kobe - one of Japans great pen stores. They have a full line of exclusive Sailor inks (I think theyre up to about 70 now), as well as a constant stream of limited edition pens from Sailor, Pilot and Platinum. Kobe also has a great little Chinatown so you can gorge on dumplings at the same time. Win win!

Too many pens; too little writing.

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