Vinyl Shops in Tokyo, Japan and Japan in General

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

  1. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    I just checked EMS price to UK and is 166 UK pounds to send 16 Kg box.You get 50 records in a box.I put 2 cardboard stiffeners at each end and lots of tape and they arrived by post within a week.I took 2 boxes by plane and bought a $20 cheap bag to put them in and packed my boots and winter cloth around them and arrived safe. On top of that I managed to carry on luggage 18 Kg of records my favorites (7 Kg max) without being stopped.See if your air ticket allows you to buy more luggage Kg and compare the price. EMS Post Offices are every where and you will have no problem with English (Unless your Cockney)As for being a non Japanese speaker I have one word for you ! Hite
     
  2. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    You are a diamond geezer - thank you! But you'll have to tell me what 'hite ' means. Yoroshku onehgaishimus.

    The cheapest option, it seems will be to pay the excess baggage charge on Korean Air, which might be as little as $100.

    And to be honest, I might not even buy that much.

    Actually, who am I kidding? Once I get on a roll, I'll be like a suburban housewife who has just won a trolley dash in Harrods.

    That's why I am doing g my homework. Wouldn't want to pick up lots of awesome records and have no way of getting them home safely.

    I know Tokyo is the place to be for.recors shops. But does Kyoto, Matsumoto or Kanazawa have any must visit shops ? (Those are the other places I am going on my trip).
     
  3. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    damn that is brutal. Japan still does surface mail... I dunno... may have plumped for SAL.
     
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  4. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    If your flying in and out of Tokyo check out a few record shops and store them at your Tokyo Hotel for when you get back.Dont spoil your traveling lugging around Kgs of records in the heat.Google Kanazawa record shops and it will come up on your maps.Also google translate will read Japan writing and translate speech really well.There are times I bought records in a small town and they packed and sent them back to my Tokyo Hotel to save me carrying them around.Last trip when I spent too much time visiting every record shop I could in each town I would leave them in the train station locker until I was ready to leave to the next town.In regards to hite I learned a few Hello Goodbye Thankyou Japan words which got a bit mixed up .I since found that Japanese learn English at school but because pronunciation is so difficult they will not embarrass themselves to reply.So I will speak English slowly using facial expressions where they might understand and feel a little more confident trying to reply . Hite means YES with a nod in Japanese and they do it all the time while talking.Together with hand gestures thats all I needed.As you will be in tourist areas train stations speaking English will be OK. Your going to have a great time and the food is amazing. Good Luck.
    P.S Regarding buying records I myself bought mostly Japanese pressings with OBI strip of anything I liked from the 70s 80s.Also most record shops grade the records so I would only buy Mint or Near mint.Given the cost of taking back to the UK why buy something you can get at home or the cheap bargain bins stuff !!!!!!!!!
     
  5. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    SAL is ok. / i use everytime when i sent records back to my home.
     
  6. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    For major post office , they can speak english.
    For smaller one,it' s on your luck but finally i think you can communicate with them .

    my tips.
    please print form that you want (EMS,SAL registered,SAL parcel or SAL)
    https://plamoya.com/images/images/ems.jpg
    https://plamoya.com/images/images/salparcel.jpg
    https://plamoya.com/images/images/rsal.jpg
    https://plamoya.com/images/images/sal.jpg

    and show the post officers, they will understand and calculate the price for you.
    it can save your time.

    good luck
     
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  7. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    Already excited for this year’s annual pilgrimage, and it is still more than three months away!

    Does anyone know how to determine which DU store has a sale on on any given day? I believe the stores have sales on specific days, but I could be wrong. I would often find that there would be a color-coded sale, for example one day orange tags were 10% off, red tags were 20% off, etc. But I found that one store in one location might have a sale, while another DU store in a different location on that same exact day would not have anything on sale.

    I cannot read Japanese, so I’m not sure how to tell from the website whether - for example - it would be best to go to the DU Shimokitizawa store or the Shibuya store(s) on a particular day. Is there any method to to understand which store has items on sale on which days?
     
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  8. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    du shimo will sales on the first wednesday of every month.
    other branch /you can check from website (you can use google translate)
    if you are disk union member/ they will mail sales date to you.
    happy hunting.
     
    Stump likes this.
  9. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    Coconuts Disk is closing the Nakano store.

    Bought a couple items today, they handed me a “going out of business sale” flier with my receipt.

    Also - and I think this applies at all their locations:

    NM is actually Vg+ in most cases
    EX is actually VG (lots of scratches)

    It seems like DU shops are tightening their grades, or I’m just not finding nearly as many items graded as A.
     
    candyflip69 likes this.
  10. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    CORRECTION: the flier says

    COCONUTSDISK YOYOGI Goodbye Sale 2018.10.13sat-11.25sun
     
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  11. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    NM is actually Vg+ in most cases
    EX is actually VG (lots of scratches)
    Thats not good to know.Will have to make sure CHECK at the counter.If its not M or NM I will not buy..
     
  12. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    I have to say, it looks like our little secret is out. Cannot swing a cat without hitting another western buyer in any of the DU’s, and VERY hard to find bargains anymore.

    Items that were 300-400 yen two years ago are now 800-1400 yen.

    :(
     
  13. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    wow, that is a bummer. Is that all genres? Bit surprising cos the Japanese are really wising up to discogs so I thought if the shops get too greedy they'd just lose the punters yen to the online option...
     
  14. Jimmy Agates

    Jimmy Agates Forum Resident

    I just got back from Japan and bought about 80 cds I didn't notive any significant difference in pricing than my previous visits.
     
  15. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Well-Known Member

    CD’s are still mostly good bargains. But all vinyl seems like it’s priced based on Discogs prices.

    There are still bargains to be had but it takes a LOT of digging. And my favorites - Japanese promo’s - used to be very cheap, now they seem to have wised up and realized promos can command a premium.

    I thought Coconuts and Rare were great on my first trip. Now, having become accustomed to the quality found at most of the DU’s , I find the quality at the competition is seriously lacking. Rare appears to have chosen their name because ir is RARE to find anything in their inventory that’s not thoroughly trashed.

    Maybe I’m just jaded but seems like the days of digging and finding amazing bargains are mostly hpgone, and now it’s more like real work.
     
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  16. candyflip69

    candyflip69 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Melb, AUSTRALIA
    I'm sorry to hear that.
    Of course, we are not in a vacuum are we, when we talk online about these things in public forums?
    We are advertising the zeitgeist and appropriately, people respond, bring even more people with them, and inevitably change the landscape.
    That's the nature of these things.

    Great while it lasted though.
     
  17. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Well-Known Member

    So after a full year spell I was back to Tokyo for a few days in October.
    This was trip wat tacked at the tail end of a Beijing and Hong Kong tour so I had only 5 days to go thru the whole thing and I basically sticked to the good old central shops without branching out for more.
    I went to Shinjuku, Shibuya, Takadanobaba, Ikebukuro, Ochanomizu, Shimokitazawa and Koenji, Tachikawa, Nakano and Kichijoji along the Chuo Line.

    Came back with about 100 records (7"+12"+lp's) and only one cd.

    The shops in Shinjuku have been rearranged a bit and they opened a big one under the old Union Record monicker just round the corner from the 7 storey one.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the latest maps:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I was confused by all the moving they had done and realized on the last day that I still needed to visit the club music shop in Shinjuku.
    A quick look to the map and I found out that the new big Union Record shop was not a single storey shop :sigh::(
    [​IMG]

    As per map the all genres shop on Shinjuku Avenue has been moved next door to the Kinokuniya building and I had to wait a good 10 minutes to get on an elevator to it :confused:
    All the Disk Union shops were giving out 100 yen discount coupons for all future purchases over 1000 yen. Not bad. Most shops had different color price tags with discounts up to 40%.

    The Record Heaven shop in Kabukicho that I rediscovered last year after being gone for almost 10 years is sadly gone again :cry: I think they are now running now a rock metal bar in the same location. Saw a street sign for it but did not visit.

    It looks like Recofan in Shibuya finally tried to rejuvenate its selection and was able to score some post 1990 records. They were running a 'you get 200 yen off each record if you buy 5 items' discount that I fully exploited.

    Found a few good ones from HMV Studio Alta but nothing from HMV Kichijoji. Cool store though.
    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Well-Known Member

    Found a new spot in Shimokitazawa called General Store Records. This location is just round the corner if you're walking back to the station from Disk Union. Decent selection and prices were just slightly over the Disk Union median.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Long boxes! :love: Expensive af tho!
    [​IMG]

    Gotta love those japanese phonetics :) :love:
    [​IMG]

    Sabrina greeted me in picture disc form from the METAL :confused: section of some Disk Union and upset my hormones balance for the day.
    [​IMG]
    'CONTAINS 'WE ARE WOMEN'!!!'
     
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  19. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Well-Known Member

    At Yodobashi you can find a Stax headphone and amp set that will set you back about 10k USD/Eur.
    [​IMG]
    Wasn't too impressed with it but it's probably not made to play the garbage that I enjoy. It is just amazing how they let you play with such expensive devices with no supervision.


    It was 'Cassette store day' when I was over there and found Walkmans and portable cd players are still going strong.
    [​IMG]
    This was taken at Bic Camera in Tachikawa. They also have a nice selection of vinyl accesories.

    Clear Coca Cola zero! :yikes:
    [​IMG]


    As usual, as I am sitting here back home, 10000 km away from Shinjuku, playing, checking, cataloging all the records I brought back home, I just cannot wait to go back :love::love::love:
     
  20. Orthogonian Blues

    Orthogonian Blues Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks Johnny. I still can't believe that such a place so wondrous for record and audio shopping exists as Tokyo.

    But for the love of God, give the Coca Cola Clear a miss! :hurl:
     
    Sprague Dawley likes this.
  21. hockman

    hockman Forum Resident

    Wow, Johnny, thanks for that! Did you find that prices in general have gone up, as Mighty Vinyl thinks?
     
  22. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    Location:
    France, Paris area
    Thank you for this update , i will be there at the end of the month
     
  23. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    that clear Coke tastes like chemical sugar rotgut.

    The new G.U store only had about 500 records when I went there a coupla years ago. Judging by the pic it looks to have filled up a wee bit more

    In desperation after all my 90's manufactred sony walkmen carked it I bought one of the new walkmen. After 30 seconds it went directly into the bin. Straight up garbage.

    Great pics though guys. Have to get back there one day.

    How's the prices at the HMV?
     
  24. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Thanks for a great report Johnny. As luck would have it I’m in Tokyo next week for the first time in 18 months. Looking forward to hitting the shops again!

    Great photos too. Which shop did you say that Sabrina record is in? I have a friend who wants to know
     
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  25. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Well-Known Member

    Compared to Disk Union shops I'd say they swing between slighlty overpriced to outrageously overpriced but sometimes you can still find a record or two that are just in the ok zone.

    Honestly they are mostly the same to me. I've been visiting once, twice per year for the last 10 years and the biggest prices swings I've seen were because of the Yen/Euro exchange rate.
    I don't do much digging in the 100/200/300 yen bins so I really can't comment on that.
     

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