Vinyl Shops in Tokyo, Japan and Japan in General

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

  1. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    The abundance of unnecessary boom boxes on display does not bode well.
  2. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Adelaide Australia
    Recofan in Shibuya .This shop has a great range of used at good prices.I spend most my last holiday going to record shops all over Japan.Decided next time I will only go to Recofan in Shibuya for all my needs then stick to the tourist travel.
    LivingForever and yookmook like this.
  3. yookmook

    yookmook Forum Resident

    i have chance to go to Flash disc Ranch /shimokitazawa.
    last trip it's closed.
    i get nothing from here but it's the coolest entrance in the world.

    gothictrade, hockman and Krzych like this.
  4. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

  5. LivingForever

    LivingForever Always one more tomorrow...

    Just spent an enjoyable couple of hours in Shinjuku at a couple of branches of Disk Union- firstly the Prog branch which fascinated me, but I didn’t ultimately end up buying anything due to the fact that a lot of it was CDs, and also the fact that I have most Prog stuff that I need these days.

    Still, to wander through a bricks and mortar record store and find Big Big Train, Moon Safari and Frost* on the shelves was pretty mind blowing.

    Then I hit the 3rd floor Second Hand department in “Shop 6” and that was my budget blown. The prices were a fair bit better than what I would pay in a real shop in the London area, more on a par with Discogs median price- and considering most stuff seemed to be in great condition, I was happy with that. But it did mean I didn’t do a “Supermarket Sweep”-style pile-up of everything I was remotely interested in!

    Anyway, highlights were a nice copy of “Queen Live Killers” on green and red vinyl, an original Japanese pressing of “Starless and Bible Black” by King Crimson, a later press of “Larks Tongues in Aspic”, a Tangerine Dream UK Boxset and the original Japanese pressing of Tony Banks from Genesis’ solo album “A Curious Feeling”.

    I could have gone to town on original Floyd/Crimson/Beatles UK stuff, but the price wasn’t really good enough to justify lugging it all home with me.

    Still, I had fun! I will say though that the size of the shops I visited wasn’t quite what I was expecting. Are there any larger stores nearby? (I just wanted to experience of a really big music shop for the first time in 20-odd years!)
    angelo73 likes this.
  6. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    I am not sure what exactly you were looking for, but the Recofan in Shibuya is pretty big and packed with stuff. If you want really big then the Tower in Shibuya is 8 floors of stuff.

    Record stores in Tokyo aren't very large given real estate limitations and cost but they really pack stuff into their small spaces. You should see some of the smaller shops where there's not enough room for more than 2 people but with incredible records...
    LivingForever likes this.
  7. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Easter Island
    Is 70's-80's Japanese music on vinyl available in these places and what are the prices in comparison to the usual western stuff?
  8. yookmook

    yookmook Forum Resident

    price is acceptable .
    japanese pressing is cheap.
    western is moderate but it's very happy to look around.
  9. Jgirar01

    Jgirar01 Forum Resident

    Dallas, Texas
    Heading to Tokyo in March- want to look for King and Toshiba Blue Note Jazz vinyl. Any recommendations on where to go and what to keep an eye out for?
  10. yookmook

    yookmook Forum Resident

    disk union jazz tokyo at ochanomizu has a lot of blue note lp.

    there are 3 branches in ochanomizu.
    1.ochanomizu ekimae
    2.heavy metal
    3.jazz tokyo

    you 're looking to the third one /
    from JR station turn right /go straight till you see the intersection /turn left /go straight .
    you will see a lot of guitars shop.
    disk union jazz tokyo will be on the right side.

    happy hunting.
  11. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Man, reading all these posts (and everything else I have read about Tokyo makes me really want to go there for real. Think I'll do it this year, hopefully before pound sterling really goes down the toilet!

    No doubt I'll be re-reading this thread closely as preparation for the trip, so thanks in advance for the tips everyone!
    Sprague Dawley likes this.
  12. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    Go for it! My take based on last couple of trips and 25 years bin scabbing in Sapporo:

    DU: Shinjuku/Shibuya not so great but the burbs branches, awesome. There's so many of them too. Took me 5 solid days, 11 am to 8pm, all day trawling, to go through all the ones I wanted

    Recofan/HMV: total ripoff. All the 980 yen lp's you can find for 300 yen or less in a zillion other shops. Waste of time.

    that Shimokita "flash disc ranch" is total garbage. ALL the 7"s I bought there have so much surface noise they're unlistenable
    Orthogonian Blues likes this.
  13. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Cool man, thanks! Are there any DU branches in the 'burbs (of Tokyo or Kyoto) that you recommend in particular?

    Another thing that has struck me repeatedly whilst reading the thread is how cheap some of the prices seem especially knowing that Japan is an expensive place. No wonder some of you could buy records by the boxload out there! Are some of those prices missing a zero or two or what?!
    yookmook likes this.
  14. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    records in Japan are wayyy cheaper than Australasia. Probably US too these days.

    The burbs branches can be a lottery, eg one year Ochanomizu might be awesome, the next year a bust. This is just for me from a punk rock perspective. No idea about jazz/soul branches. Machida, Jimbocho, even Chiba branch, all worth a look
  15. yookmook

    yookmook Forum Resident

    du shimokitazawa / on the first wednesday of each month (sales 10-30 percent)
    du ochanomizu is ok too.
    Orthogonian Blues likes this.
  16. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

  17. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Well sirs, I am actually going to Japan in a fortnight. Can't believe I can actually write that sentence!

    Your record store tips will serve me well I am sure, so thanks!

    This may be covered elsewhere in the thread, but I need to think about how I am going to get my record haul back to the UK in one piece. Yes, I will have a large suitcase, but as I am going to Japan for 2 and a half weeks, I will need to bring plenty of clothes etc (so, not much room to pack in records etc for the trip home).

    I suppose that means posting some of my purchases back. Does anyone know which shipping companies:

    - Offer good rates for a package from Tokyo to London?

    - Are relatively easy for a non Japanese speaker (like me) to do business with?

    If the answer to these questions is the Japanese version of the post office, then great!
    Johnny Ryall likes this.
  18. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    Tokyo in August, wow you're a much braver man than I am. Clothes, I'd take a singlet and shorts and dollar shop jandals and thats it. Sure as hell won't need shoes and socks. It is HOT. 35 degreees, completely normal. You're from the UK? I'd guess your biggest concern will be the amazingly debilitating humidity and, if you're anything like me, having it drain your will to live and wrecking the whole experience. Pretty much the sole reason I got outta Dodge to move to Sapporo!
  19. mfidelity

    mfidelity Forum Resident

    San Francisco
    It is however, nice and cool inside the record stores. The stores and trains are heavily air conditioned.
    Orthogonian Blues likes this.
  20. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    In my 10 years experience I have never shipped records back home from Japan so I can't really advise you on the matter but I did the math a few times and found it is much cheaper to just haul the whole thing with me on the plane back home. Besides the shipping costs keep in mind that there could also be some customs fees involved.
    Depening with which airline you're flying with it could be easier to just or extend the allowance by a few kilos or even add another suitcase to the checked in baggage.
    I usually pick up some old clothing I'm not so into anymore for the travel so that I can just leave it behind and maximize the allowance.
    Since you're not flying with EU low costs airlines, they don't really care about having an extra piece of carry on baggage on the plane so an extra backpack or trolley could do the trick.
    Orthogonian Blues likes this.
  21. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    And yes, Tokyo in august is pretty brutal.
    The only good thing is that because of Japan not wanting to deal with the daylight savings, the sun starts setting quite early and after like 6 PM you can catch your breath from the annihilating conditions of the far east.
  22. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Thanks for the tips , chaps.

    Aware that August is not the absolute best time of year to go. It is , however, the only time I can go this year, and I decided to go while I still can. Because who knows what tomorrow might bring? Kim Jong Un could throw his toys out of the pram, and one of those toys could annihilate Tokyo ...

    Anyway, I like to think I am quite hardy when it comes to heat, unlike my fellow Brits. Honestly, we are in the middle of a heatwave here, and you would not believe the level of moaning going on. My advice to them is 'shut up and have an ice lolly!'

    I digress. As long as my Japanese vinyl haul doesn't melt, I'll be fine.

    As for hauling it home, I might just pack a load of my clothes in a box, and post those, to make room for records. This should at least help me avoid pesky customs fees.
  23. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    I’ve never posted anything back either and always manage to get between 100 and 150 albums back in my luggage. Usually have a couple of suitcases, a DJ case and another case that holds about 30 to check in. With my wife’s help that is! The smaller cases fit inside the bigger cases on the way over. So definitely check your baggage allowance with the airline and max it out as much as you can.

    Can also recommend getting one of those portable LCD luggage scales devices so you can get an accurate weight before you go to the airport. It’ll save any nasty shocks when you check in at the airport. Plus I usually weigh everything on the second last day and figure out how many more records I can get!

    Enjoy the trip.
  24. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Adelaide Australia

    Cant seem to put pics up here but have a thread on another site.This is your best postage option.Should be about same price to the UK.
    Japan Record Shops!

    .Picked up the box from Reconfan with some stiffeners (free) total weight was 16.2Kg. Which was about 50 records.Post from post office EMS was $255Au. (22200 yen) that's airmail.

    That added $5. Per record with the average price of my records being $20.

    Still able to carry 60 records in my luggage so overall works out ok.
    Orthogonian Blues likes this.
  25. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    London, UK
    Thank you, Mr Stump. Those prices seem not unreasonable.

    I must ask - Are EMS Post Offices easy to use for non Japanese speakers (like me?)

    At the moment, I am torn between shipping my haul back, or buying a hard shell record box there and carrying them back. The former will cost quite a bit in postage and customs, and the latter.... well, we all know how heavy boxes of records are, right?
    yookmook likes this.

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