Kyo-iro inks line comparison

To be honest I don’t know much about the company. Some time ago Algester posted topic about Tag Kyoto branch inks. The bottles and colors presented on their site looked nice so I’ve decided to try some of these inks. The inks are made by or for Takeda Jimuki company and are available in two lines: Kyo No Oto and Kyo-Iro. Kyo no Oto inks are said to be traditional japanese colors that has been used since heian era (roughly 1000 years ago), and expressing a tinges that have been nurtured in long history and profound culture for long time. I was able to get and try all the inks in the series and review them. Basically I share my thougts about each ink in review, so here I’ll just post some scans of all the inks together.

Kyo-iro inks are:

  1. Cherry Blossom of Keage
  2. Flaming Red of Fushimi
  3. Moonlight of Higashiyama
  4. Soft Snow of Ohara
  5. Stone Road of Gion




Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Classic, broad nib


Clairefontaine, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib


Linen paper, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib


Rhodia, Hero 5028, stub 1,9


CIAK, Sheaffer Balance, EF nib



Water resistance



I find Kyonooto inks packaging very elegant and aesthetically pleasing. The bottles are nice and practical although not really good looking. The boxes on the other hand are stunning. Minimalistic yet elegant and well thought. I always throw away boxed but in this case I’m going to keep them.

Price and availability

These inks are well priced if you happen to live in Japan. Sadly shiopping costs and additional fees (taxes) make Kyonooto inks quite pricey for westerners. I’ve bought all the bottles from Rakuten so price per bottle was around 20-24 $. You can het them an Amazon for 30 $ / bottle. Expensive, I know. Are they worth it? Well, objectively speaking this inks are nice but are in no way technologically advanced inks. Choice is yours to make  :)


Kyo-iro inks are medium saturated, subtle inks and the colors are rather subdued. To really enjoy them it’s advised to use wet and broad nib. To be honest I’m not crazy on any of these colors. Stone Road of Gion is interesting, Cherry Blossom of Keage is not generic pink but rather dirty mauve. Soft Snow of Ohara is pleasing but basically these inks have no panache.

Inks behaviour

Kyo-iro inks like fountain pens and papers and it’s mutual friendship. None of them will cause feathering or bleedthrough. Sadly none of them is water resistant so if you need / want water resistance look for other inks. Drying times are reasonable. As for fading – time will tell. I’ll put samples on Clairefontaine near the window and update this post in a month or two.
And the winner is


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