Kinokuniya

New York City Stationery Haul

My recent New York post went through the stores I managed to visit during my trip, but this post follows up on the details we all really care about - what I bought.    

Haul Part 1 - Kinokuniya  

My modest Kinokunyia haul

My modest Kinokunyia haul

Pilot Kakuno and Zebra Midliners 

Pilot Kakuno and Zebra Midliners 

Kinokunyia was a high priority visit during my trip. I had decided before visiting that all shopping from Kinokuniya would be focused on things that I couldn't, or were hard to get at home. Planning is all part of the fun / sickness

High up on my list was the Pilot Kakuno fountain pen. In the UK you can get hold of these beginner fountain pens but only with the dark grey barrel. I always thought the white barrels were much nicer. Luckily in Kinokunyia they a good rage of colours available. I opted for the Kakuno with the yellow cap and a medium nib. I have some ink on order from Jet Pens so once this arrives I will get this pen inked up and start using it. 

Japanese pencils

Japanese pencils

Alongside this I bought a few Zebra Midliners and some Japanese pencils. I was restrained with the pencil purchases because I would be visiting CW Pencils during my trip so I went for pencils that I didn't think I could get from CW Pencils such as the Mono J and Uni Stars. Below is a full run down of my shopping at Kinokunyia. 

  • Tombow Mono J H x1
  • Tombow 2558 H x1 
  • Mitsu-bishi Uni star pencil H x1 and F x1 
  • Prismacolor Verithin Bleu Indigo 741
  • Tombow HB
  • Pilot Kakuno medium nib fountain pen in yellow and white 
  • Zebra Midliner - 1 in peach, 1 light pink, 1 light blue 

Haul Part 2 - CW Pencil Enterprise

My CW Pencils haul

My CW Pencils haul

A few days after Kinokunyia I visited CW Pencils where I went a little pencil crazy. The classroom friendly sharpener was high up on my shopping list, again, as you cannot get these easily in the UK. I went for this lovely pillar box red. I love this sharpener, I have never used anything like it. 

The classroom friendly sharpener

The classroom friendly sharpener

Beautiful Blackwing packaging 

Beautiful Blackwing packaging 

I tested out the Blackwings Volumes 725 on CW Pencils testing station. I was concerned about the graphite being too soft which stopped me buying these online. After testing them and seeing the gorgeous lacquer in the flesh, I decided I had to have a 12 pack. The packaging, like the pencil, is really well done. I am just glad I managed to grab a pack before they sold out. 

In addition to these larger purchases I bought a Baron Fig Apprentice 3 pack. The paper in the Baron Fig works well with pencils. I have used the larger Baron Fig Confident in the past, but not the pocket notebooks so I am looking forward to trying these out. 

And then of course come the pencils themselves. The wall of pencils in CW Pencils is kind of overwhelming. There are so many pencils on offer, and I did take quite some time dwelling over what to buy, studying the pencil wall 3 or 4 times. 

Despite the time I spent pacing I was fairly conservative in the number of pencils I bought. I bought with testing in mind - all part of the quest to find my perfect pencil. I wanted to try some different brands in the hope that I will find something I really like. Again, I also bought pencils that were tricky to get in the UK. Below is the final list. 

  • Mitsu-bishi 9000 HB x1
  • General's Semi-Hex HB x1
  • Caran d'Ache F edelweiss 341-3 pencil x2
  • General's Cedar Pointe 333 HB x1 
  • Caran d'Ache HB edelweiss 341-2 pencil x2
  • Tombow 8900 HB x1 
  • General Pencil Co. Kimberley 525 F x1
  • 2 pencil caps - not pictured 

 

A graphite heavy trip

I bought a lot of pencils and pencil related items during my trip to NYC. Pencils a lot of the time do not feature within my stationery shopping and I hadn't planned on buying so many this time round. This means for the next few weeks I will be using pencils a lot more than usual. At the moment some big favourites of mine are the Palomino 725, the Tombow 2558 and the Mitsu-bishi 9000. In particular the 725 is so pretty and I am enjoying the graphite much more than I thought I would. The Classroom Friendly sharpener is amazing and is completely stealing the show. I cannot get enough of this and it completely blows away any other sharpener that I have. I have never had a pencil point like it. 

As I use these new additions and become more familiar with them I will be getting reviews up on The Finer Point. 

Stationery Shopping in NYC

Last week I visited New York City for the first time and I completely fell in love with the city. Unsurprisingly I spent my time visiting some of the popular tourist destinations - Central Park, Rockefeller, World Trade Centre etc - but I also managed to fit in a few stationery stores and pick up some lovely new tools. I had prepared a list of stores I wanted to visit, however despite my intentions I only managed to fit in two stores during my short visit.

Kinokunyia 

Mechanical and woodcase pencil display

Mechanical and woodcase pencil display

Kinokunyia is first and foremost a Japanese bookstore, but on the lower level there is a small-ish stationery department. There is a fantastic pen and pencil section filled to the brim with gel pens and pencils. I spent quite some time looking at all the different brands that they had on offer and appreciating the vast colour selection on the gel pens. I haven't been in a physical store like it before so this was a bit of a treat. They also had an interesting mechanical and woodcase pencil section including some branded pencils I had not seen before. But I will save these details for another post.   

Pilot Coleto end of aisle display

Pilot Coleto end of aisle display

My favourite display area in Kinokunyia was the Pilot Coleto end of aisle display - shown here on the right. This was filled with all the Coleto refill colours in all available sizes - 0.25, 0.4 and 0.5mm. The different barrel options were displayed ranging from the entry level plastic Coletos to the higher quality aluminium designs and each with different number of refill slots. Gel pen customisation at it's extreme.

Alongside the pens and pencils on show there was a wall of paper showcasing different Japanese notebooks, writing and letter paper. Mirdori Travelers Notebooks also were featured, cased in their own display cabinet under lock and key. I really enjoyed Kinokunyia and could have spent a lot more on a lot of the products they had on offer.  

Huge gel pen selection on offer 

Huge gel pen selection on offer 

CW Pencils

My husband spotted the tell-tale pencil logo as we were seeking out CW Pencils. A great sign!  

My husband spotted the tell-tale pencil logo as we were seeking out CW Pencils. A great sign!  

I had to take the time to visit CW Pencils. I listen to the Erasable podcast where CW Pencils is mentioned regularly and Caroline Weaver has featured as a guest so I was well aware of CW Pencils and what they have to offer. I have never bought anything online from CW Pencils, but I felt a visit to the physical brick and mortar store was essential. 

Someone who deliberated over their purchases longer than I did

Someone who deliberated over their purchases longer than I did

The store is much smaller than I expected, but then again pencils are small. The layout and display of the pencils are fantastic. You get a clear view of everything on offer. I really liked the cork board display with prized pencils under lock and key. I may add a smaller scale version of this into my office at home.

This is where the special pencils live

This is where the special pencils live

My favourite section within the shop was the testing table. It has draws filled with different types of pencils by all the different brands on offer, where you get to try before you buy. I personally found this very useful and it definitely helped me to make a few decisions. 

CW Pencils testing station

CW Pencils testing station

I wish I was able to fit a few more stores in during my visit. I saw the Fountain Pen Hospital from a taxi on our final evening, but I didn't have time to visit. If I get a chance to visit New York City again I will make sure that I find more time to fit in more of the stores in the big apple. For a run down of some of the best stores in Manhattan I found The Gentleman Stationers post very helpful.