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.
Kyonooto inks are:
Leuchtturm 1917, Kaweco Classic, broad nib
Clairefontaine, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib
Linen paper, Kaweco Classic Sport, broad nib
Oxford, Hero 5028, stub 1,9
CIAK, Sheaffer Balance, EF nib
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. I enjoy them because I like the colors, I like packaging and, I absolutely love to discover new things. If you’re the same and can afford getting them to make yourself pleasure, go ahead, you shouldn’t regret. The same is truth however for much ceaper inks. Choice is yours to make
I prefer Kyonooto line to kyo-iro line because the colors are much more interesting. I would risk to say that Takedajimuki’s managed to create a line of unique colors. Practically all of them are interesting and none is really generic. I enjoy all of them except Imayouiro. I don’t hate it but I would never find any use for it – unless one day I have a pink – obsessed daughter to write letters to My two favs are Kokeiro and Aonibi but I really enjoy Yama-bukiiro and Nurebairo (yes, I know, it’s black, and no, I didn’t have any neural accident).
Kyonooto 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 with one exception – in really wet nib Nurebairo can take ages to dry. On the other hand this stealth black offers really smooth feel to it and I guess longer drying time is price you have to pay for this velvety feel. As for fading – time will tell. I’ll put samples on Clairefontaine near the window and update this post in a month or two.