Vinyl Shops in Tokyo, Japan and Japan in General

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

  1. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    yeah Jimbocho was great last time I went, dang, finding a 100 yen Godheadsilo LP was a eureka moment. Of course the thing was surface noised to distraction. First time I went there about 3 years ago it was a total bust though.
    woooaaahhh. factor in the hotels and airfare and train fares... man you must be loaded! How many records get sent for $1,200?
  2. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    Wow you really outdid yourself!

    I usually manage anywhere from 60-100 records, usually closer to the lower end. That's the number that works for me in terms of time and concentration span needed for hunting (hey, I also do lots of other stuff while on holiday!) and the weight limitations of check-in luggage. It just takes time for me to figure out what I really like and want, instead of buying anything that seems to be interesting and desirable. Very occasionally if I go a bit crazy, I get the record stores to mail stuff for me.
  3. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    I took 2 boxes of lp’s to Japan Post, prolly 50 in each, weight around 20kg each box.
    Airmail to USA was a whopping ¥27,000 each!! I have 4 more boxes I’m taking to airport, will pay JAL $200 each box as extra cargo/luggage. I planned to do that with all of it but chickened out, worrying what US Customs will say about all the extra boxes. That’s beside 1 box plus that goes into each of my checked bags. LOVE JAL First Class as I get 32kg per bag for 3 checked bags.

    Definitely learned a lesson the hard way - that picking up tons of “bargain bin” items isn’t such a bargain after factoring in freight home!
  4. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the reports MV. The fun of buying always outweighs the pain of getting the stuff to the airport and home safely. I usually manage about 150 units in my luggage with a weight around 70 kilos. Luckily my wife pitches in as I wouldn't be able to get all the stuff to the airport without her help. Sounds like you've ended up with a huge amount of records and hope you got them through customs okay.
  5. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    I’m home, safe and sound now. USA Customs did not even blink an eye at my four boxes of LPs and three huge suitcases also full of LPs. Since the airline (JAL) charges $200 US per box, in the future I need to remember that NOTHING should get shipped by Japan mail as it’s AT LEASTE an additional $50 per box compared to shipping as additional freight on the airline.

    Total count was 570 LP’s and just over (600) 7” picture sleeves. I’ve always had a fetish for promos, so I would guess that 1/2 to 2/3 of the entire inventory are promotional copies. I really tried this time to focus on finding “A” (NM) rated items, and only those with Obi’s . “B” graded items without Obi’s were the exception rather than the rule.

    I learn a little something every trip. For next year, I’m going to find some extra-heavy-duty cardboard archival type boxes that can be folded down flat, and bring those for use in packing the stuff that will go on the airline as extra freight. The lesson of the “flight case“ type boxes I bought on Amazon? Ended up leaving them all behind in Tokyo as they weren’t worth the extra weight.

    The biggest pain was getting everything loaded onto two luggage carts, and then being able to maneuver the two carts together.

    All in all, I think this was my best trip yet. Already looking forward to next year. Once I’ve gotten them all inventoried and uploaded to my website, I’ll try to remember to come back here and recap.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
    Harvey Rickenbacker likes this.
  6. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    Wow, that's an incredible number of records! The only people I've known to buy so many on a trip are dealers sourcing for their stores or perhaps diehard DJs.

    Many record stores will give you their used packing boxes if you ask. They have to get rid of them anyway.
  7. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    Yes, I do have a store (online only) - although it's really just an excuse to legitimize my obsession with vinyl. At least that's what my wife says! She thinks that although everything is cataloged and very organized, it's still a symptom of my being a "hoarder", LOL! Although I've got my own website ( that's primarily for bragging rights, as 90% of my sales come through Discogs and less than 2% comes through my own website.
  8. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    woah, 90,000 items? If I had that much stuff I'd be opening a real shop to try and pare it down. In fact, the wife would be telling me to open a goddamn shop as she wouldnt want to sort through all that lot after I cark it.

    whats yer discogs handle?
  9. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    Same as here, MightyVinyl (or

    I just opened the two boxes of LP's that I shipped home from Tokyo. Both arrived in VERY good condition. Both contain 75 albums (surprising coincidence, but true). That means the true cost for me for shipping each album home via Japan Post airmail is $3.25 ea. (27,000 yen per box divided by 75 pieces). Price per album to bring them home as additional cargo on JAL was $2.65 each ($200 per box divided by 75). Not as bad as I'd feared.
    Stump likes this.
  10. floyd

    floyd Forum Resident

    Spring Green, WI
    What are the stores that don’t charge the Tax if you show your passport? I will be in Tokyo next week and my try to buy some shm sacd and the new Pink Floyd mini LPs. Not sure about vinyl shopping as I am visiting other towns and cities and don’t want to lug too much. I even wonder about too many CDs as space is tight.

    As an aside. I am at the moment in Taiwan I was wondering if I was to come across Pink Floyd minis would they most likely be Chinese knock offs? Would it be obvious, and if they were real would they be any cheaper than buying in Japan? My time in Tokyo is limited and I will be doing lots of site seeing I don’t know if it’s worth trying to find CDs I am just thinking about the possibility to get the promo mini box and have a friend ship it to me.
  11. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    Recofan is only one I’m aware of that will not charge tax if you show your passport at checkout.
  12. Maccaroni

    Maccaroni Forum Resident

    Bay Area, CA
    HMV as well - just near Recofan in Shibuya and Shinjuku (new and second hand items).
  13. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    just fly back from tokyo
    Clanceman likes this.
  14. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    happy happy
    Clanceman and Krzych like this.
  15. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    What's the count on this trip? Discover any new stores?

    BTW how do you use your Disk Union points accumulated on your membership card?
    yookmook and Clanceman like this.
  16. Clanceman

    Clanceman Forum Resident

    Portland, Or
    Now THATS a haul !
    yookmook likes this.
  17. Jimmy Agates

    Jimmy Agates Forum Resident

    I spot LOUDNESS in there :)
  18. Jimmy Agates

    Jimmy Agates Forum Resident

    Book-off stores do it as well.
  19. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    just the same old disk union/shinjuku shibuya shimokitazawa recofan hmv

    i come a little bit late /
    point accumulate is expired dec31 2017. (it's year by year)
    i think i can get some vinyl accessory if i am on time.
    Clanceman likes this.
  20. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    rock and roll crazy night
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  21. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    about 111 vinyls.
    maximum to my weight limit.
    Clanceman likes this.
  22. LivingForever

    LivingForever Always one more tomorrow...

    First trip to Japan coming up in a few weeks!

    I’ve spent all day reading this thread in preparation though a lot of the most useful info on shops, prices etc is now a couple of years out of date.

    I’m going to be staying in Shinjuku for a week and I reckon I will manage to spend half a day (if I’m lucky) shopping for vinyl as I won’t be able to carry much home (plus the wife will enjoy a certain amount of browsing but this is not the primary objective of the trip!)

    If you could only hit one store, which would you go for?
    yookmook and Clanceman like this.
  23. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    1.disk union shinjuku used store /it' on 3rd floor kawase building.
    across BigClo department store.
    near shinjuku station east exit.

    2.disk union shibuya has 4 branches in the same building.
    i get 75 vinyls from shibuya.
    LivingForever likes this.
  24. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    It will blow your mind! I'd agree with yookmook on the recommendations. It also depends on what exactly you are looking for. The info is not really that out of date because things don't change the fast in Japan. Perhaps the only exception is the prices, which have been on an uptick.

    If you are already in Shinjuku, then the DU Shinjuku stores make a lot of sense. The individual stores (each with different genres) are scattered around a small area, all within <5 min walk.

    Recofan in Shibuya is also a good choice. It's messier and sprawling. I prefer DU. And you can listen to stuff but not in Recofan.

    Enjoy yourself. Japan is a fascinating place for the foreigner and you are right in not prioritizing record shopping. Unless you are mad like some of us....

  25. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan

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