Last week I visited a shop, Tanaka Toishi, in Kyoto and picked up my first natural stone. I was wondering if people thought it was a good purchase or not?
It's a Hideriyama Awasedo 210x75x30 slate colour, with a very nice shape. I paid JPY 20,000 for it, or USD 250 - so hardly cheap!
(Sorry - was trying to figure out how to upload a photo, but there appears to be no option!)
I took a chance with this, I think. It's my first Jnat stone, never used one, and had only read about them a bit, and so deciced I'd have to trust my feelings. I was also in Japan and had the opportunity so thought I should take the plunge when I could. I read about Tanaka Toishi in Kyoto, and so paid a visit. (http://www.foodieforums.com/vbulleti...hp?t-7735.html)
The shop and Tanaka-san were pretty much just as described in the article. The shop was a bit dark and garage like with stones everywhere. Mr Tanaka was quite easygoing and like to joke, but didn't speak any English. I attempted to ask for a recommendation for a Jnat finisher and told him my highest grit stone was currently 6000. (Same visit, I also bought a 10000 synthetic from him too.) He recommended this one, saying it was on the softer side, but not too soft. He also recommended a harder one for the same price, but which I thought might have been more appropriate for razors. (Can't remember the name.) He let me try out any stone I wanted with a knife, and the one I got did feel good and somewhat soft but not too soft or muddy. He had 3 and I chose the best one. Others were 25% or 50% cheaper, but were smaller, not as nicely shaped, and the cheapest had a line. He gave me a natural nagura with my stone 'service' and I later saw the nagura priced at another shop at over JPY 3000. He gave me a wooden base if I wanted to attach it, too. He also confirmed he was the go-to guy in with Kyoto Knive & Swordmakers' Association, and so I figured I should be able to trust him. He had way more expenseive stones there too, but didn't attempt to sell them.
So does it sound like a good purchase? My SS are now a 400, 1000, 6000 and 10000 and the Higeriyama too. Does anyone know this stone and how it might fit in with my others? (I'm hoping I'm set and won't feel that I'll have to go back to Japan and shop some more!)
... Though that would be nice.
Thanks for any info