Ishida Bungu is a stationary store based in Hakodate, Hokkaido (Northern Japan). I came to learn of their inks only very recently via discussions of Hakodate Twighlight ad Gagome on the pen forums. You can buy Ishida Bunga inks at http://www.ishidabungu.co.jp/index.php?id=45via the White Rabbit Express service. They do not ship outside of Japan.
Gagome is often cited as the pick of the Ishida Bungu ink offering. There complete line up of inks goes as follows;
- Hakodate Twighlight (blue)
- Hakodate Curry (yellow/brown)
- School Brown (brown)
- Gagome (Brown Algae)
- Astringent Black? (Thats what Google translate said…)
- Hakodateyama (green)
- Yawatazaka Blue (blue)
- Hockey Rouge (red)
*Picture below taken from Ishida Bungu website.
In this post I’ll be looking at Hakodate Twilight.
Here’s the box…
And the unique cap. As with all inks in the Ishida Bungu line, they designed a separate label for the cap and for the bottle/box…
Hakodate Twilight is probably the most well- known and well- regarded in the Ishida Bungu line. This is mainly for one reason- sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen. Yes this ink has sheen, in spades.
Here is an example on Hobonichi paper…
In case you can’t see it properly, it sheens from blue to an luminous pinky/purple. The blue itself shifts from a lighter to a darker royale blue.
I was using my new Nakaya Dorsal Fin 1 with Broad CI/Stub nib for this writing sample, I also have it inked up in my other Nakaya- the Naka-ai with Double Broad nib. You can just imagine the sheen on a nib like that. If the sun ever shines in this place, I will try and take a pic of it.
Here is a comparison with another Pen & Message ink- Saku…
I paid $28 for this bottle of ink. I bought it as part of a large ink order of Ishida Bungu and Shosaikan inks. I managed to get hold of it via Japanese forwarding service White Rabbit Express. The ink itself cost 2,100 Yen or just under $20. Thats the price those lucky Japanese would pay. For me, total cost including WRE’s cut and postage all the way to the United Kingdom brings the price up to $28/bottle. For comparison Pen & Message inks cost 2,700 Yen, or $24.50, Shosaikan inks 2,100 and Kingdom Note 2,160 Yen- but the latter KN inks, when I purchased them, were in the squat Sailor bottles, which must also be considered. So they are the same price as Shosaikan inks and less than Pen & Message inks. On eBay about 5 years ago (2014)- according to a review I managed to find, bottles of Hakodate Twilight were going for about $40/bottle. I don’t know if that included shipping.
Like almost everyone else who has used this ink, I rate it extremely highly. I also have that old grail ink- Parker Penman Saphire (in cartridges), and BunguBox’s tribute Saphire. I also have Sailor Four Seasons Souten. I love ALL these inks, but Hakodate Twilight tops them all. It has an incredibly smooth velvety texture, is seriously well behaved, and the complexity of the blue together with its regular and reliable, sheening every time using any nib at all puts it above all the others. The bottle also, need I say more…
Needless to say, I am VERY happy I got this one.