Vinyl Shops in Tokyo, Japan and Japan in General

Discussion in 'Music, Movie and Hardware Store Guide' started by mikemoon, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    My wife and I will be taking a trip to Japan during the first 2 weeks of March. Since it is still cold over there, we will be sticking to Tokyo and the southern parts of Japan. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for good record shops or certain lps and other preferred recorded media I should keep a lookout for.

    In addition, I'm open to other recommendations (areas to stay, hotels, food, entertainment, etc.). When I go to a new place, I typically like to do what the people there enjoy to do. I'm less about seeing all the tourist spots even though some are always intriguing. This will be my first real international trip (outside of the caribbean). We are scared and excited at the same time.

    I know this isn't the place for tourist advice but music can lead to other recommendations so you never know.

    I appreciate an advice.
     
  2. Abhijit Nath

    Abhijit Nath Active Member

    Location:
    Boston
    You'll feel like you've died and gone to heaven. This is the best place to shop for music in the world, bar none.
    Start at the Tower Records in Shinjuku, just to wrap your head around the scale of the stuff they have, then head over to the Recofan and Disk Union stores in Shinjuku and Shibuya. There are 7 Disk Unions in Shibuya, if I remember correctly, one for each genre. The used stores are great as well- there are dedicated used stores that both chains have. Have a look at the attached picture from my last visit- this is just the jazz A-H section in the Recofan used store in Shinjuku. There are also some branches in Ochinamizu, but my guess is you'll be burnt out (and have exhausted your budget and luggage allowance) by the time you're done with these two areas.
    Links, with maps to help you get around: http://www.recofan.co.jp/map/map_eng.html and http://diskunion.net/st/shop/e_index.html.

    Even though they're both touristy, Akihabara (for electronics and manga type stuff) and Harajaku (for the most bat**** insane nightlife you can imagine, and many things you can't) are highly recommended.
    What else are you interested in? That may help in giving you recommendations:).
     

    Attached Files:

  3. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
  4. Macman

    Macman Forum Resident

    Tokyo is a music lovers paradise. There are a ton of shops. If you can find them. It can be a bit confusing finding your way around but it's worth it. The main Disc Union shop near the Shinjuku train station is excellent. At least it was when I was there last year. It had a great selection spread over seven floors, I think. There are all kinds of genre-specific vinyl shops. Unlike the rest of the world, record stores seem to be flourishing there.

    Have fun. I know I did. Wonderful city.
     
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  5. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
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  6. efil2159

    efil2159 Active Member

    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Please do not visit DiskUnion with your cumbersome backpack (rucksack)! The stores are not very spacious. I'm serious! :winkgrin:
     
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  7. ganma

    ganma Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    Word of warning if you're looking for the Disk Union Prog store in Shinjuku. It has been moved back to the main building across the road. No change to the selection though. I think they got rid of the Country & Western floor ... it can't have been too popular. :D
     
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  8. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Wow! I just got more excited...about the music and nightlife.

    The wife and I enjoy good food, drinks, nightlife, music, exploring, history and culture. I'm not anti-tourist spots but when I go to different US cities we rarely go to them. We enjoying finding a cool bar or restaurant and feeling at home and keeping it simple yet fun.

    I may have to buy music and ship back in bulk.
     
  9. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I appreciate all the feedback thus far. Now, I need to find out particular Japan vinyl pressings that are considered essential or must have. If I see a Japanese pressing in an local store for an artist that I like I typically pick it up if the price is right $10-$25. I know some complain about some of the mastering but I've had good to great experience with my purchases. Of course the pressing quality is of the highest standard. I love so much music that I guess I'm in trouble.:D
     
  10. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    Location:
    France, Paris area
    yes its paradise for music shopping eventhough new releases are very expansive ( well the yen has gone down so it will help , but still )
    one problem i have ( for cd's) is that they store them most of the time with the spine only showing , so its a bummer for browsing especially when the name of the artist is written in japanese, thats tough
    careful as well with alphabet , Springsteen for example is to be found at B section ( for Bruce )
    They have lots of great second hand shops for vinyl
    Shinjuku used to be paradise for that but like everywhere in the world lots of small shops have closed down ( you need to go up the stairs in buildings to find them , you will not see them with a front shopping window )
    enjoy
     
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  11. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Honestly, if I were fortunate enough to be record shopping in Japan, I would just take it all in and have fun. You'll be checking out incredibly rare records that you'll never see in person again. Searching for best pressings can be done at home any time you want!
     
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  12. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Agreed but you know those certain one's like Abbey Road or Dark Side of the Moon, etc. It will be an experience to remember. I guess I better start saving my money.
     
  13. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Well, they say the blue triangle Odeon is awfully nice for DSOTM. And if you see a white label promo of Kiss's first album, I'm your man for that. ;)
     
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  14. mikemoon

    mikemoon Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks, exactly what I was looking for!
     
  15. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Orleans
    Sure thing - if you see one and it happens to have the obi, what you're looking for is the version that does not have the band pictured on it:


    [​IMG]
     
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  16. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    Very true. Not just in Shinjuku but in Tokyo many stores from bigger ones to small ones have gone.
     
  17. ganma

    ganma Forum Resident

    Location:
    Earth
    However there are more Book Off's than ever before (CD only, no records). I've found a lot of bargains there as the staff have no idea how to price items they can't read the barcode of.
     
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  18. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
    I know but as you state they have no records.
     
  19. yasujiro

    yasujiro Forum Resident

    Location:
    tokyo
  20. mfidelity

    mfidelity Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Damn. I just visited Tokyo and stayed in Takadanobaba one night. Wish I knew about that shop.
     
  21. mfidelity

    mfidelity Well-Known Member

    Location:
    San Francisco
  22. helter

    helter Forum Resident

    Location:
    NJ
    Japan is on my bucket list
     
  23. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    Related to this thread as this thread now has me making plans for my own excursion.... some questions

    1. Which Tokyo airport is the easiest to navigate?
    2. For vinyl shopping balanced with quality, expense aside, what would be a good hotel to stay at?
    3. Would $1k-$2k be enough cash to budget for vinyl purchases?
     
  24. misterbozz

    misterbozz Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Nerima-ku, Tokyo
    Slightly off the beaten track, my addition to what has already been said would be recomints in Nakano. There's also a diskunion close and last time I was there still quite a few other shops selling weird and wonderful stuff in the same mall.
    http://recomints.com/
     
  25. curbach

    curbach Some guy on the internet

    Location:
    The ATX
    Just be prepared to see a lot of common US pressings with ridiculously high price tags. They're rare imports over there :). Frankly, I had very little luck finding anything of interest that wasn't priced way more than I wanted to pay when I was in Tokyo. Hope you do better.
     

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