The ultimate fountain pen brand of our times.

Here are some mini reviews of my ever- expanding collection of Nakaya fountain pens, with pictures.

Nakaya Desk Pen (Basic black urushi)

I ordered this Nakaya Desk Pen from in the USA.

Urushi finish:

This is the basic black urushi edition.  I actually prefer this to the more popular Aka Temenuri red I used to have on the Piccolo Cigar.  It is currently the cheapest Nakaya finish/ fountain pen combination you can buy.  I’m not sure why this is as the Nakaya Desk Pen is an extremely substantial fountain pen and very well balanced…much more so than the tiny Piccolo.

This is a clipless fountain pen.  I do not believe clips look right on Nakayas, except for the Neo- Standard or the Naka- Ai.


I had this nib customised from a soft- medium to a medium oblique (OM) with added flex.  I believe it improves my handwriting no end.

*All of these photos were shot with the excellent Sony RX100iii

Soft- Medium nib ground to a Medium Oblique with added flex…shading!
Unlike most other premium fountain pens in this price bracket, it uses a cartridge converter. It somehow doesn’t detract from the quality of the pen.


Here is a writing sample…

Most wished- for Nakaya:

The most unusual and mystical urushi finish Nakaya currently produce, is the blue-green Ao-Temenuri.  This cool palette has a very modern look to it, and unsurprisingly has become very popular over the past year or so.  The Ao- Temenuri finish of the Dorsal Fin No. 1, is my No. 1 choice for my next Nakaya.  More information can be found at (just don’t look at the price!).  To me the shape, colour and texture of the pen brings to mind a shark swimming in the deep blue sea.  Perhaps ancient Japanese waters.  I would order it in the Rhodium trim of course, to resemble sharks teeth.

Images taken from without permission! link here

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 15.09.25 Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 15.09.34 Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 15.09.46

*Update, as of Spring 2015, the Ao-tamenuri finish has been discontinued by Nakaya.  There are still a few pieces left however at (where I stole this pictures without permission!)

Nakaya Decapod Twist (Ao-Tamenuri)

August 2015…

I didn’t manage the Dorsal Fin in Ao- Tamenuri, but did manage to find the Decapod Twist in the same finish…and in Europe!

Close up of that famous Urushi
Nakaya Decapod Twist next to Danitrio Sho-Genkai
Close up of the section
Side profile showing off that decapod style

Nakaya 17mm “fatty” Portable Cigar (Ao-tamenuri)

…I also managed to snag one of the last Portable Cigar’s in Ao- Tamenuri.  This is the 17mm version.  I hadn’t heard of this before, but after some quick research found the 17mm referred to larger diameter of the section compared to the regular Portable Cigar.

This was a much bigger and more substantial Nakaya than I thought it would be, and has a much more subtle Ao- Tamenuri finish than that of the Decapod Twist, which shows quite a lot of blue-green already.  This nakaya veers more towards a grey/ blue- which is what most people want from the Ao- Tamenuri finish.  Here are some pics…

Shiny Ao-tamenuri finish- very dark initially, will lighten with age
Close up of the blue-green accents in the section
Close- up of the soft fine nib with added flex. Still, not that flexible.

Here is a size comparison of all three Nakaya’s.  A sombre looking bunch but I prefer these to the more traditional (some say chintzy) Aka/ Heki/ Kuro- Tamenuri options.

For some reason the 17mm Portable Cigar looks better in person and the Decapod Twist looks better in photographs…


In photographs it’s difficult to show the Ao-tamenri finish of the Portable Cigar.  It’s fat waist is very visible however!

DSC00488 DSC00493

This Ao-tamenuri finish really is my favourite and not offered by any of the other Japanese fountain pen brands specialising in Urushi.  I wish I had heard about it being discontinued earlier so I could have grabbed a Naka-Ai and Neo- Standard.  Oh well.

I recently had a cull of my Executive- level fountain pens, but I seem to have accidentally replaced them all with Nakaya’s!

Nakaya Piccolo (Ama-iro)

I recently spotted a Piccolo in Ama-Iro on eBay.  This colour has a lot of variation, ranging from bright sky blue (which is what most people are after), to a very light turquoise.  From the pictures, the one on eBay looks to be of the light turquoise variety.  The Piccolo shape and size isn’t my favourite, but it comes ready customised with a firm fine cursive italic nib (a customisation which I don’t yet have on a Nakaya), and at a good price, so…

…this is what I found.

Positive:  At first glance the Ama-iro finish turned out to be a nice duck- egg blue- preferable to the bright sky blue that you normally see.

Negative: However, this turned out to be a very disappointing purchase.  Although the nib is a nice crisp CI with some flex, the urushi has a lot of damage to it.  I have never seen such damage to Urushi on a Nakaya.  The section threads are stained black, and there is serious discolouration to the section.  A kind of yellow-y/ orange.  This may because the pen is very old, but I don’t think this finish has been around that long.  Although in pictures the outside looks undamaged, there is some strange movement in the urushi near the end of the cap.  I’m having to treat this Nakaya as a vintage fountain pen- a crusty pen body with an awesome nib!  Here is a generous photo of the duck-egg blue Piccolo, atop a Sally duck coaster from LINE…


…I will NOT be posting a picture of the Piccolo un-capped.

Here is a fuzzy writing sample of the Fine, crisp CI nib…some decent line variation at least.

IMG_0530 (1)