After a year of using a cheap, but serviceable Ikea castiron frypan, we finally took the plunge and bought an Iwachu from the Takashimaya store here in Sg.
The Iwachu came packed in a no-frills cardboard carton. It's comes unseasoned, which was a plus for me, as I would like to be involved in the entire process of making my pan ready to use.
The handle is wood and removable, so it's possible to plonk the pan in the oven to reseason if needed.
There is no metal handle on the far end of the pan, so it might be considered to be a bit unwieldy, since I can then hold it only at a single side with one hand(the handle is not long enough to permit a two handed hold). That said, the pan is not as heavy as the Lodge equivalent, so probably in use, it will not be very uncomfortable.
The Iwachu seems to be , thinner-walled than the Lodge - maybe they made it that way to reduce the weight and make it more"user-friendly". However, I wonder if part of the reason why cast-iron gives superior heat distribution across its surface is the extra-mass itself. So then, I am not sure is this lesser weight is desirable, or not. I hope more experienced people on this forum will comment and help me learn.
Merry Christmas to everyone and thanks for reading my first post !