I went to JKI last Wednesday with my girlfriend and her sister. I was mesmerized by everything from the second I walked in, the knives, the stones, and the art. Both Jon and Sara were so inviting towards all three of us. Jon and I started talking about what I was interested in and let me watch him sharpen a few knives while we talked. (I was amazed at how effortless he made it look) Sara brought out her new tea and some chocolates which we devoured. Jon explained to me the different nuances of many of the knives that he has. I do not have much experience with Japanese knives and thought I wanted one thing and was pleasantly surprised when Jon told me that, in fact, I wanted something completely different. I ended up purchasing a 240mm Gesshin Uraku Wa-Gyuto and I could not be happier. This is my first Wa handle and it has taken a few days to get accustomed to it, but I don't think I will go back to a western handle.
I want to thank both Jon and Sara for helping me start on a great new adventure. They have secured me as a customer for the rest of my life, I will be back there soon for another knife and to gain greater insight into everything knives.