Kyo Iro and Kyo No Oto Roundup


Kyo Iro and Kyo No Oto Inks

The past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of trying out all the different colors of Kyo Iro and Kyo No Oto. It was really a lot of fun, and while I enjoyed trying all of them out, a few of them really stood out for me as my favorites.

Kyo Iro Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

I really love this blue. I don’t think I have a similar shade of it in my ink collection. It’s a mellow kind of blue that has purple tones. It really pops out of the page for me, I love seeing an entire page written with this ink. Simply lovely.

Kyo Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

This one’s really easy to like. It’s a beautiful shade of terracotta, and it stays so vibrant on the page. The shading is so expressive too.

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

Kyo No Oto Kokeiro

No surprises here, I guess? It’s a light olive green ink that has beautiful shading. It flows a bit on the dry side, but works beautifully with the right pen.

Kyo No Oto Yamabukiiro

Kyo No Oto Yamabukiiro

I am quite surprised that I ended up liking this ink so much. I’m not big on yellow inks at all. In fact, I don’t think I have any yellow inks. This one’s a beautiful, earthy yellow though. You need to see this in person, on paper, to fully appreciate how beautiful it is.

Overall, both lines have really interesting colors. The collection is quite varied and the inks have their own personalities, so to speak. I had such a great time reviewing them, thanks to the wonderful people at Everything Calligraphy for the samples.

Ink Swabs Kyoto Inks

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro


Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

The last Kyo No Oto ink that I will review is this cute pink ink called Imayouiro. It’s an intense pink when wet but it dries to a more mellow, suitably saturated pink. Dark enough to be easily readable, but also light enough to look a bit delicate on paper. It’s not a screaming neon pink color, but something that would look nice with calligraphy or in combination with other darker inks on a page.

The flow is pretty wet on a medium nib. It’s also quite well-behaved. It’s not all over the place, doesn’t feather or bleed through. It dries relatively fast at 15 seconds or so. It’s not water resistant. It’s got beautiful shading, though not really what I would call expressive or with a complex range of colors. It’s a pretty standard, nice-flowing, saturated pink ink. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

Kyo No Oto Imayouiro

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi


Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Here’s the last of the Kyo-Iro line of Kyoto Inks that I’ve tried. The next inks linked up for review are all Kyo No Oto inks. This one’s called Flaming Red of Fushimi. At first I was surprised because it was neither flaming nor red when wet. The ink’s color got darker as it dried, and under natural light, the red component is much more obvious. It does start out as a cross between pink and peach, like the color of pink guava flesh or four seasons juice. Pink that leans more on the red side. When in a low-light surrounding, the ink looks less-saturated and more pink, but in natural light, it does become a more pronounced shade of red. The color is pretty interesting in both cases. I don’t think I have tried an ink that is similar in hue. It’s eye-catching, to say the least. It’s a moderately saturated ink, so I would recommend that you use it with a medium nib at least, or something that writes wet, so that you can appreciate the character of the ink. The shading is expressive and gorgeous, with shades of peach and dark pink. It flows a bit drier than moderate, though not unpleasantly so. I just feel it’s not as wet as the other Kyo-Iro inks I tried. The drying time is more or less the same, about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant. Here are a few close up shots of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyo-Iro Flaming Red of Fushimi

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage


Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Gosh, look at that. That is a purrty shade of pink. Cherry blossoms come in a range of colors, from pure white with the faintest hint of pink to dark pink, yellow, purple, and even green. This color of Kyo-Iro ink reminds me of pink cherry blossoms because the shading is expressive and shows a range of pinks, like the blossoms. The ink is sufficiently saturated enough to make it easy to read, but I find the color so delicate and refined.

The flow is moderate; not too dry, not too wet. It’s well-behaved and pleasant to write with. It dries in about 15 seconds (using a European medium nib on Tomoe River paper), and it’s not water resistant. I like that the vibrancy of the ink doesn’t fade after several days. The color didn’t go flat or dull.

Pink ink lovers will definitely love this shade. Here are a few close-ups of my writing sample:

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Kyo-Iro Cherry Blossoms of Keage

Overall, you may not be able to use it for work or exams, or anything like that, but it’s a cute ink for journal-writing and other creative purposes.

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Stone Road of Gion


Here’s another Kyoto Ink from the Kyo-Iro line. It’s called Stone Road of Gion. It’s a delicate shade of brown. It’s earthy and soft, almost a bit silvery, at least on tomoe river paper. It has this old-timey feel to it and it’s really gorgeous when used on ivory-colored paper.

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

It reminds me of the color of Raw Umber, which is one of my favorite watercolor pigments. I guess because I see the color a lot in nature, I use it for woody parts of plants, mushrooms, soil, etc. Stone Road of Gion has a very organic look to it. I really like it a lot. In terms of performance, the ink flows very wet, but it doesn’t feather or bleed. If anything, it almost feels a bit watery.

The delicate color may strike some people as a bit translucent, but it’s very easy to read in person. Because the color is a bit light, I would suggest using it with a wet-writing nib. I used a Cross Century II with a custom medium cursive italic nib for this review. I like the gorgeous shading on the ink, I think it would make a nice addition to my brown ink collection.

It dries pretty fast, at around 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant, a few seconds of soaking with droplets of water almost completely erased the ink.

Overall, I think it’s a gorgeous shade, especially when used with a wet writing nib or nib sizes from medium upwards. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample:

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyo-Iro Ink Stone Road of Gion

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Soft Snow of Ohara


Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Here’s another Kyo-Iro ink from Kyoto Inks, Japan. It’s called Soft Snow of Ohara. It’s a pretty interesting ink because under certain kinds of light, it looks a little purplish. In natural light, it is a beautiful shade of blue. A familiar kind of blue, I thought. It actually reminded me of this article I read before about indigo dying techniques in Japan. It’s called Aizome or that indigo dye that comes from the Japanese indigo plant. It became popular initially because indigo was an effective insect repellant. The color of indigo extracted from the plant came in different ranges from “indigo white” to dark indigo and was so extensively used that it became popularly known as Japan Blue. I think this ink’s color is pretty close to it.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

It’s a muted shade of blue that is eye-catching and has a subtlety to it. It’s nicely saturated, but still manages to look delicate. The shading is quite gorgeous, and shows a range of different shades of indigo blue. It’s also very well-behaved. The flow is quite wet, but it doesn’t feather or bleed through. It feels almost as if it’s lubricated. My pen just glides on paper while using it.

It dries relatively fast at about 15 seconds. It’s not water resistant, 30 seconds of soaking in droplets all but wiped out any trace of the ink. Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Kyo-Iro Inks - Soft Snow of Ohara

Overall, it’s easy to fall in love with this ink. It’s a beautiful color and it flows great. I like that it’s really close to an iconic color in Japan. I don’t think I own an ink that’s similar to this hue yet. Looks like it’s a keeper. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed:

Review: Kyo-Iro Moonlight of Higashiyama


Kyo-Iro Inks

The nice people from Everything Calligraphy sent over a few samples of their new line of inks from Kyoto, Japan. There are Kyo-Iro and Kyo No Oto Inks. I’m eager to review them because all the Japanese inks I’ve tried so far have been excellent. I’m curious to see how these inks perform. Kyo-Iro inks are named after famous places in Kyoto Japan. It may be a bit hard to distinguish the colors on the bottle because for Kyo-Iro inks, the names are printed in Japanese characters. I’ll dive right in and review one of the colors that really got my attention. This one’s called Moonlight of Higashiyama.

Kyo-Iro Inks

I like that the packaging of Kyo-Iro inks are so reminiscent of what makes Japanese aesthetics so pleasing. It’s minimalist, simple, elegant, and functional. I love the print on the box and the labels on the bottle. Each bottle holds 40ml of ink, and the opening is convenient to use, no matter what the pen size is.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Moonlight of Higashiyama is an earthy brown color that leans more towards orange or terracotta. When wet, the yellow component of the ink is more obvious, but it gets a lot darker as it dries. The color reminds me of autumn leaves, or caramel. It’s warm and pleasant, and really gorgeous especially on cream-colored paper. I like that it has subtle shading that shows different hues from light terracotta orange to dark brown, the color of burnt brown sugar. It’s saturated enough for daily writing, it’s very comfortable to read. The flow of this ink is also quite good. It’s a touch above moderate flow, and my pen just glides on paper when using it. The drying time is relatively fast at about 15 seconds using a medium nib on Tomoe River paper. It’s not water resistant. So don’t leave your journal out in the rain ;-). Here are a few close ups of the writing sample.

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Kyo-Iro Inks - Moonlight of Higashiyama

Overall, it’s an eye-catching color. I enjoy using it in journal entries. Kyo-Iro inks and I are off to a great start, it seems. 🙂

Kyoto inks are available at Everything Calligraphy.

Here’s a roundup of all the Kyoto Inks I have reviewed: