Saturday, November 11, 2017

June & Bart's Japanese Pen Store Adventures!

In which we, once again, live vicariously through June & Bart's pen-related trips (see their 2017 Los Angeles pen show report here) ... this time to two Itoya stores in Tokyo and Tokyo's Bungubox store!

First up---the two Itoya stores in Tokyo's Ginza district....

(All text in italics from Bart's emails to me... Click on photos to enlarge images )

The Itoya store is actually split into 2 stores. The one with the giant fountain pen above their store sign used to be the main store that housed fountain pens and ink. Now it carries notebooks, art supplies, regular pens, globes and a few other categories of stationery...
They opened up a new store just across a small street (the one with a giant paper clip above their store sign) and moved over all the fountain pens to that store---(that's) the new flagship store:
They must have really expanded their selection since you last visited... (note: this is in reference to a trip I---Maja---made to Tokyo in 2008, when there was only one Itoya store on that street)
The entire set of photos from these trips can be accessed by clicking this link ---double-click on individual photos to open files, and then hit the "+" button to see the image close-ups.

Here is a small sampling of what the flagship Itoya store had for sale (and yes, it does look like a pen museum!!)...

First, some amazing Namiki pens (Namiki being the sister company of Pilot, and the division that produces their high-end pens).....
Some Platinums....
Lovely Sailor pens...
...and some Pelikans, too!
Danitrio....
Taccia...
Caran d'Ache...
David Oscarson...
Dupont...
Parker...
Visconti....
Vintage Conway Stewart pens...
Some pens made by a couple of smaller European manufacturers---first, two pens made by URSO, a maker of handmade luxury writing instruments, located near Milan, Italy:
...and these ebonite & urushi lacquered Manu Priopria (Latin for "signed by hand") fountain pens, handmade by Martin Pauli in Switzerland:
"Regular" Pelikans (ha) for sale, too!
...and a very pretty Sailor ballpoint...
Now, onto the Bungubox store in Tokyo's trendy Harajuku district...

Until I visited I never knew they (Bungubox) were that small...
That is the actual president of Bungubox! President Kaoru Yamagishi served us some nice cold tea, chocolate, and sparkling wine to support Premium Friday! Very cool.
Premium Friday we learned is this odd sort of government initiative to encourage people at work to leave work early on Friday to shop and support the economy. Stores all around will have little special promos on the last Friday of the month called Premium Friday.
A very interesting Pelikan fountain pen June bought at Bungubox:
A photo of June's Pelikan taken with my (Maja's) camera in September (click on image to enlarge) . The pen has a delicate, hand-painted sakura (cherry blossom) design on it, done in gold lacquer (maki-e)--- a rare and lovely writing instrument!
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Wow, what a great trip! Many thanks to Bart & June for the great photos and report!! Once again, all the photos from Bart & June's Japanese pen store visits can be found at this link .

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