It is almost impossible to go down the rabbit hole of FPs without hearing about Nakaya.  When I first heard about it, it just seemed like something out of legend that I probably wouldn’t own.  However, as I started getting deeper into the passion I realized that I needed one.  Initially I was going to buy it through LCDC, but I was referred to by more than a few people who swear by John Mottishaw’s nib work.

Choosing a model took me a while but I ended up choosing the Naka-Ai in the color Awai-Murasaki which is a purple with lots of pink tones or the other way around.  I knew I wanted one without a clip to begin with, and the Dorsal Fin model seemed like it would be a bit overpowering for a first one.  My instincts were right and the Naka-Ai turned out to be perfect.

As you would expect from an $700+ pen, the packaging is pretty great!  Even the outer box that it comes in has a nice texture.

It comes in an elegant wood box with Japanese kanji on it.

The pen itself is wrapped in a little kimono sleeve that is just adorable!

I opted for the Ruthenium Soft Medium nib, with an extra juicy flow.

The pen came with a regular converter, but of course I wanted the Maki-e one!  They were out of goldfish so I got tadpoles, still super cute and beautifully done.  When inked it looks​ like the tadpoles are swimming.


There is not as much contrast in this color as others, but its definitely there.

But how does it write?  Well, I have discovered that I have an odd grip.  Of course it feels normal to me since I use it all the time, but with this pen and my F-C, it became apparent that the way I hold my pen is not standard.  But like the F-C, I found that if I rotate the pen to the left, it writes like a dream!

The scratchy way I was holding it:

Adjusted smooth performing grip:


I’ve written to and asked about if this is how it should be, or if the nib could be ground to accommodate how I hold the pen normally, but even if not, its still a great pen and the adjustment isn’t a strain.

I asked for the nib to be extra juicy and that is exactly what I got.  So let the sheen out!  ^_^

What is your grail pen?  I think this pen has started a love affair with Nakaya.