Pipe Fest 2012 in Hachioji, Japan
Those of you who follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or better yet, happen to live in Japan, probably know that this past Sunday was the Third Annual Pipe Fest, a pipe show convened in Hachioji that’s as exuberant and lively as its venue is intimately undersized for the impressively solid turnout. Very recently we’ve made an effort to translate much of Smokingpipes.com into Japanese, as well as establishing a Japanese-language customer service support (in the form of one Ryota Shimizu), and so naturally we thought we’d further share our support for the Land of the Rising Sun's recent renaissance of interest in pipe smoking by exhibiting at the Hachioji show. So it was that I found myself flying over to Japan, for the first time in my life, to meet Ryota "Our Man in Tokyo" Shimizu, who was kind enough to voyage with me everywhere, answer all of my dumb questions, translate everything for me, and even pay for a few lunches, dinners, and travel expenses (I could not have got along with out him, and for his kindness and patience I am eternally grateful). In addition to Smokingpipes there were present at Hachioji a couple of other retailers, but the real meat of the show was the healthy turn out of collectors, smokers, and pipe and tobacco enthusiasts, in addition to attending pipe makers like Hiroyuki Tokutomi, Shizuo Arita, Gajin Hayafune, Tatsuo Tajima of Tatu Pipes, and even Austrian carver David Wagner of Baff pipes (and if I’ve left anyone out I apologize - it was, after all, quite a crowd). All in all, it was a brilliant good time and I’m excited for us to do it again next year.
This evening you’ll find fresh pipes on the site from Becker, Askwith, Tokutomi, Kevin Arthur, and Randy Wiley, as well as new work from Ashton, Winslow, Nording, Savinelli, and Peterson. Also, as usual, we’re adding 60 pipes to our estate section. Be sure to take a look around at tonight’s latest offerings!
Ted Swearingen: Vice President, General Manager