第18回世界の万年筆祭 a.k.a. Mitsukoshi Fountain Pen Show 2017

Like last year (and many years before that), this year’s Mitsukoshi pen show (translated as Fountain Pens of the World Festival) is held on the third week of March, from the 15th to the 20th at the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department Store’s event area.

The second of the only two major fountain pen shows in Tokyo every year, the Mitsukoshi pen show is a must-visit for any Japanese fountain pen lover if they happen to be in Tokyo in early to mid March.

Unlike pen shows of the West, you don’t really have independent collectors turning up to sell their private collection of pens, pen shows in Japan are strictly a manufacturer/vendor affair. The most “indie” one can get are the smaller pen makers like Eboya and Ohashido.

Sailor, as usual, turned up with their Ink Studio where one can sign up for a 20-minute session with Sailor’s Ink Meister Ishimaru san to make your own original ink. Until recently, one could order refills of their original ink colour directly from Sailor when the initial bottle ran out, but due to market changes (ChiNa tourists buying Sailor Ink in bulk to resell for 5 to 20 times the original price) this was no longer possible. This process is exactly how Sailor’s various shop exclusives are made too, thus when East Asian resale demand for those skyrocketed, so did Sailor’s ability to make refills for people who actually want and need the inks.

And like all other years, there were show-exclusive inks and pens, like Sailor’s Edozakura Nenrin ink and Edozakura Pro Gear in Pink, Pilot’s Capless Art Deco, among others.

There was also a Sailor-made Mitsukoshi pen and ink available at the show, Mitsukoshi’s Hana-Hiraku pen and ink. The name Hana-Hiraku comes from Mitsukoshi’s wrapping paper of the same name. SquishyInk (of Hippo Noto) has a review of the ink.

Edit: Post edited to correct some info that I misunderstood about SquishyInk’s Hana-Hiraku ink review. Thank you Krystle for letting me know.