Since our 2010 trip to Japan, we have been constantly researching and testing new stones and knives. We are bringing in our favorites from this testing as Japanese Knife Imports’ new brand- Gesshin.
The 5000 grit stone is actually somewhere in between the 5000 and 6000 grit range. It leaves a finish much better than other 5000 grit stones I’ve tested. In addition, the edge, while polished, has great bite and great feeling. This stone is a bit softer than the 1000 grit Gesshin stone. It has very nice feedback for a splash-and-go stone and works well on every steel I have tried it on. It’s not as fast as the Naniwa choceras, but I like the finish and feel much better. This stone can work well both as a muddy and not muddy stone. Also, because it is splash-and-go, it makes this particularly suitable for environments where stones cannot be so easily stored in water (i.e. professional kitchens or homes with strict significant others ;) ).
This stone should not be soaked for any significant period of time, but is ok for a couple of minutes... in fact, I have found that a 5 minute soak before using is very nice. To use, simply splash a little water on the surface and start sharpening.