What is all the fuss about Tomoe River?


You get your fountain pen enthusiastically, and had your the fanciest, the most colorful ink, grab a copy paper and put your nib on the paper. Whaaaatttt? Your ink started to invade the paper like Germany invaded France. Oh shooot!

Let it be the worst! Thanks God, we have access better papers to use fountain pen with. However, there is a brand here called Tomoe River or Tomoe Gava you could write a book called “By the River Tomoe I Sat Down and Wept”

Tomoe River is a Japanese brand and the squaremeter of this very paper is just 52 grams. Therefore, it is quite thin and light-weighted. For a long time we brought it from abroad (US or Japan, wherever we could find) and we didn’t have heart to use it enough. Finally we have the access to Tomoe River in Turkey. Hey, stop googling, I will provide you with the links on the bottom 🙂 But first we have to answer this question: “Why use Tomoe River instead of a standard paper?”

I, myself am a person who would get sick and die if I have less than 20 pens inked at the same time. But this time it worked. Using the same pens, I write both Tomoe River and standard a4 paper. Let’s see what is the difference. 

The best thing about Tomoe River that it reveals the sheen out of the ink. But what is sheen? Is it shimmer or some other particles? No! An absolute no! Sheen is where the different colors or particles in the ink reveals itself on the pooling parts of the writing on the paper. It means that, there is no shimmer residue will remain at the bottom of a sheeny ink. But you will still see another color or metallic sheen on the pooling parts of your writing, especially on glossy paper. Glossier the paper, merrier the sheen!

I am putting photos one on top of other so you could compare. On top you could see Tomoe River and bottom, you can see standard copy paper. I used Iroshizuku yama-budo and Krishna Anokhi inks. While they have sheen on the tomoe paper, there is no sheen on copy paper. Because standard copy paper absorbs the ink without let it pooling.  

Again, you could see the difference on the sheen of Pelikan Edelstein Olivine (sorry for the extra e) and Krishna Jungle Volcano.

Let’s stab them on back. Sorry, let’s see them on back. There is only two bleeding lines in Tomoe. One is J. Herbin Rouge Grenat and the other is written with an Osmiroid B4 nib which is basically a spatula. However, on the copy paper, we have bleeding in every line except Anokhi.  On the other hand you wouldn’t use the back side of both paper as there are ghosting.

What were we saying? Tomore River reveals the sheen and shading in the inks. And provides a smoother writing experience. But what about the dark side of the moon? First of all, drying time of the ink expands. Yes! It does. And secondly, this pen is soooo thin that, if you are a pressure writer, you can see your nib marks, I mean every detail on the following page. But again, let it be the worst again. You could use a paper functioning as a blotter paper and for the following page, you could put a piece of thick paper even using it as gridline. 

Especially on kon-peki line, did you notice the writing is bolder on the standard copy paper due to feathering?

So, how do we get this paper? Marka Kalem/Panel is bringing this paper to Turkey. And moreover, they are selling it in a4 and a5 blocknotes and as we are carrying a Martha Stewart soul in you, they are selling it as a4 loose sheets in 100 packing.  (Tık Tık)

That’s all from us. What is your favorite notebook to write with a fountain pen?



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