Employee Picks


Fountain Pen Ink Book

Sailor Pro Gear Realo Yellow & Black LE Platinum mix free ink kit Fountain Pens of Japan

Fountain Pen: The color, the piston filler and of course the unbeatable Sailor nib makes this Classic Fountain Pens Sailor Pro Gear Realo Yellow and Black Limited Edition 22nd Anniversary pen John's top choice.

Ink: Platinum mix free ink kit. John enjoys mixing colors to get exactly the hue he wants. When Sailor discontinued their Red Brown, he was able to match it pretty closely. Why stick to one color when the entire palate is available?

Nib: Sailor Medium/Fine 14k nib." I just finished testing another Sailor Medium/Fine rhodium plated 14K nib with ink on paper. Several things impress me. It was both smooth and reasonably fine (the same size as the Pelikan Extra-Fine point).

Sailor has the most profoundly involved relationship with nibs of any company I know of. Besides an amazing range of specialty nibs, they offer a finely tuned range of practical nibs in the smaller sizes from Extra Fine, an accountant's delight, to Fine, to Medium/Fine, all falling below most Western manufacturers tips rated at Fine.

These are the practical nibs capable of note taking, marginalia and not likely to blot on poor paper. For me, with my aging eyes, the Medium/Fine achieves a perfect balance between legibility and smoothness. Anything smaller begins to be hard to read without optics and is just not as smooth. This nib, because of the cut, glides across the paper on its own hydroplane.

We offer this nib both in solid 14K gold and for the same price a rhodium plated 14K that fits into the Sailor Sapporo and Sapporo Mini as well as the Mid-size fountain pens.

If ever there was a smooth practical writer's nib, this is it."

Book: Fountain Pens of Japan has taught John that there is a big world of fountain pens that he did not know existed. The pictures are beautiful and the history fascinating.


Pen: Eboya Hakobune Small in Shinryou Beige (fountain pen and ballpoint set). I’ve always been a fan of Eboya, but after visiting their factory in Tokyo and seeing the amount of time, care, and craftsmanship that goes into their pens, I’m devoted. 
Accessory: Eboya fountain pen pillow in Kougetsu

Ink: Pilot Iroshizuku Ina-Ho (Rice Ear).This earthy yellow-brown-khaki pairs nicely with the marbled beige of the Shinryou Eboya, and has some really nice shading qualities.


Pen: The Nakaya Piccolo Writer in Araishu, with a Medium two-tone nib. The size is right for my hand in the generally larger barreled Nakaya, and the color is to me, quintessentially Japan. The two-tone nib is subtle but a little more detailed than it’s single-toned cousins, and a Medium Japanese nib gives me ease of use while not being overly large or wet.

Ink: I exclusively use converters at home, but Platinum ink cartridges in black save so many messes and headaches when traveling.

Accessory: The Taccia Kimono Floral Garden pen roll is as lovely to look at as it is to carry. It protects my pens at home and during travel, and it always feels luxurious to unfurl.


Fountain Pen Ink Accessory

Nakaya Desk Pen Aka-tamenuri Pilot Iroshizuku Fuyu-Syogun Sailor Five Pen Collection Case

Fountain Pen: I've been using my Nakaya Desk Pen in Aka-tamenuri for a long time now and it is still my daily go to here at the shop. It sits on my desk in the matching Desk Pen Stand.

Ink: Old Man Winter sounds rather appropriate since we've finally dropped out of the triple digits here in Sounthern California. Fuyu-Syogun is a grey that gradates and shades beautifully.

Accessory: The Sailor Five Pen Collection Cases haven't arrived yet and I don't think my Desk Pen will fit in one but I'm really excited for them to arrive! Can't wait to see how my daily carry nestles into this spacious case.


Fountain Pen: Nakaya is well-known for their many cat pens, but I’m glad our 23rd Anniversary Pen gives dogs their rightful place in the world of Maki-e pens – and on our exclusive Naka-ai model too!

Ink: Year-in, year-out, Sailor Kiwa-Guro, dark black, fast-drying, water resistant, and smooth on the page, is the go-to ink for this lefty.

Accessory: Another great item for lefties, the Rhodia 5.8 x 8.3 Lined Wirebound Notebook puts the rings at the top to make this great for writing and note-taking regardless of which hand you write with…and the smooth, bleed-resistant paper is perfect for fountain pens.


My picks need color, but just a touch. I really admire the finish on the Aurora Nebulosa Silver because its not subtle and yet not too flashy. Its a good balance for me and if you want the pen to pop there is Rose Gold version. Keeping it consistent with a touch of color my ink choice is the Pelikan Edelstein Ink Of The Year Olivine! Its a dark green when layered can be mistaken for black. Green usually comes off bright and rich but this Olivine is a deep heavy color with character. I write big and use big nibs so the Tomoe River Paper Pad is a great way to practice writing. Without a notebook spiral coil getting in the way and no lines to guide my hand the pages are open to sketches and writings. 


Lamy Dialog: Clean lines and a retractable nib makes for a distinctive writing instrument.

Field Notes Coastal West: Lightweight and with a striking cover, these notebooks are great on the go.

Sailor Storia Green Ink: This vivid color makes for a unique composition experience.


Kaweco Liliput Stainless Steel: Once I (lili)put this in my hand, I knew it was the pen for me! It’s the perfect size to carry everywhere, and I love that I can screw the cap on so I don’t lose it.  While this pen is available elsewhere, the complimentary accessory package that is included is quite the (stainless) steel!

Haiku Journal: Durable paper. 
Great Writing Experience. 
Buy it while you can!

Sailor Souboku Bottled Ink: While I love black ink, every once in a while I feel a little blue and reach for Souboku.  Best blue-black I’ve used!


Nakaya Long Cigar Karasu Kite and Crow: Nakaya's homage to Yosana Buso's Kite and Crow / my homage to Leigh Bardugo's Six of Crows.

Sailor Shikiori Yodaki: Rich, crimson red...a color frequently spilled throughout Bardugo's Grishaverse.

Tomoe River Loose Sheets in Cream: Paper. Cashmere.


Fountain Pen Ink Book

Sailor 1911 Midsize Fresca Blue Platinum Lavender Black Field Notes Coastal

Fountain Pen: Sailor 1911 Midsize Fresca Blue. This is a gorgeous shade of blue and the pen fits perfectly in my hand.

Ink: Platinum Lavender Black. I love writing with this ink, the color changes as it dries to a deep plum red.

Accessory: Field Notes Coastal limited editions. Perfect size for traveling, catchy metallic gold detail, and who doesn’t love the beach?! 


Fountain Pen: Nakaya Naka-ai Writer Araishu. Crafted with a warm sensibility and attention to classic detail, the Nakaya Naka-ai is my preferred writer. If you are ever in deep thought as to what makes a fountain pen sublime, here is your answer.

Ink: Platinum Forrest Black. I love the rich earthiness of this hand crafted Japanese ink. The variation of color, the color play of the dark and green, truly provides a cerebral writing experience.

Accessory: Field Notes Signiture Ruled 2-Pack limited editions. With a clean and classic design, these signature notepads deliver for all your writing needs.