I gave myself a random Christmas present — it came in the mail today.

This is my first Japanese fountain pen — a Namiki Vanishing Point Raden.

It came in the same type of box that a Pilot Vanishing Point pen would come in. Pilot and Namiki are the same company much the way that Honda and Acord are Acura are the same as well.

The thing that makes this different from a normal Vanishing Point pen is the finish. This finish is a hand-lacquered finished containing hundreds of fragments of abalone shells. These bits of shell catch the light creating glints of rainbow-colored light as you move it around.

Pictures don’t really do it justice though.

The other cool thing about the Vanishing Point line of pens is the fact that they are capless pens! It’s a clicker fountain pen!

The aperture of the pen has a tiny door covering where the nib lives in the retracted position.

I cleaned the pen and inked it up with some Diamine Crimson and tried it out. The reviews and conventional wisdom were spot-on: the Japanese pens seem to run a size smaller than the European pens. This pen is a fine point and it’s finer than any other fine point pen I have.

That being said, it’s a very good nib and it writes smoothly on the couple of different papers I’ve tried with it thus far. It doesn’t seem overly wet or dry, but that could be as much the ink and paper as the pen itself.

The cool thing with it is that from a distance it looks like a nice pen. Up close you can see it be a bit bling-y, but not too much. It’s not like the Pelikan with the big gold and platinum nib (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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