Vinyl Shops in Tokyo, Japan and Japan in General

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

  1. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    just fly back from tokyo/
    nothing much and pricey (especially city pop like tatsuro yamashita,mariya takeuchi )
    happy hunting

  2. GentleSenator

    GentleSenator what if

    Portland, OR
    how's the matthew sweet LP?
  3. yookmook

    yookmook Well-Known Member

    i accidentally found matthew original press 1000 yen (vg+) at hmv shinjuku.
    not good condition.
    but ok for this price.

    happy hunting
  4. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    9 Expert Tips For Record Shopping In Tokyo
    Nice of them to mention Mighty Vinyl there!:cool:
    MightyVinyl and GentleSenator like this.
  5. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    I arrived home recently from a week in Tokyo. My first trip there in a year and half. I was missing the place!

    I got about 100 LP's and a few 7". A few less than usual but got a few pricey things with obi's that I'd had on the list for a while.

    I didn't make it out of Tokyo but covered the main areas there pretty thoroughly. Shibuya, Shinjuku, Nakano, Shimokitazawa, Kichijoji, Ochanomizu etc. Probably did 15-20 Disk Unions, the 3 HMV's and a bunch of smaller stores.

    I did check out a few new shops for me. One called Mecano at Nakano that specialised in synth stuff. Good place to go if you need some Kraftwerk etc. Lots of German stuff and early 80's stuff.

    Another new one for me called Record Sha not far from the Jimbocho DU. Had a lot of oldies stuff. Was playing Christmas carols while I was in the shop. But he had a good 7" single section and I got a couple of Nancy Sinatra singles and found a few reasonably priced 60's/70's things with Obis in his rock section. Nice friendly man too.

    Shinjuku Records in Shimokitazawa (had moved from Shinjuku) was also quite good. I was looking for the Beach Boys Surfs Up with an obi and he went out the back and came back with about 15 Beach Boys albums with obis. None of them were Surfs Up but makes me wonder what some of these places might have hiding away. I didn't find anything at General Record Store in Shimokita this time although it had been good for me on the last trip.

    The other new places were a waste of time. Darumaya in Ikebukuro was rammed with stuff and looked promising but everything was overpriced. Same goes for a place called Be-In in Koenji. That would be a goldmine if you were looking for original US or UK pressings and had some serious coin. Original UK Kinks albums for Y120,000-Y150,000. Be nice to be able to afford that stuff.

    Probably best store for me on this trip was the new HMV in Kichijoji. It hit the sweet spot for me and was probably first time on the trip where I found a bunch of things on my Obi list!

    The new DU in Shinjuku was pretty good too and I found some nice things there. It's only about 100 metres away from the big 7 floor one. I went in about 3 times and it was super busy.

    It's funny how each trip throws up something different. I bought nothing in Recofan (which is a first). Maybe I was just shopped out the day I went there. You need to be in the right mindset for that place. The DU Ochanamizu and Shimokitazawa stores have been gold mines for me in the past but were disappointing this time.

    I overheard some dealers bemoaning the fact the DU stores had all been 'done over'. Who'd done them over I'm not sure. Other dealers I suspect! There did seem to be a shortage of Obi's in the 60/70's stuff. I was in my favourite DU (the 4th and 5th floor rock store in Shinjuku) and could hardly find an obi's in the A to Z. But there was some in the new arrivals. I think more things are selling before they make it to the main racks.

    Red Ring in Shinjuku is always with a visit for 70's and 80's rock. Reasonable prices and a good range. Found some obi's there so maybe that area isn't getting hit up by the dealers.

    There did seem to be more Westerners in the shops than usual on this trip. especially in the central DU stores. There had also been a big sale day on Nov 3 for a public holiday. So that might have cleaned out a lot stuff. There definitely seemed to be a shortage of stuff with obis compared to previous trips. I didn't detect any great change in pricing from previous trips. The racks were still pretty rammed with stuff in all price ranges.

    Looking forward to the next trip and hopefully having time to get back to Osaka and Kyoto again.
  6. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    what genre stuff were you after?
    wow, that's a surprise. What price range were you up for?
  7. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Hi SD. I mainly look for 60’s and 70’s releases. Most of what I buy in Japan is in the Y1000 - Y3000 range. I’ve been collecting Japanese pressings with obi’s by my Favorite artists from that period for 3 or 4 years now. I have fairly complete collections of Kinks, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Young, Mott etc. but always on the lookout for earlier pressings rather than reissues by these artists. To that end I picked up a couple of pricey items st the Kichijoji HMV. An early pressing of the Kinks ‘Face To Face’ with an obi was Y16000. But I didn’t expect to see it again. likewise Flying Burrito Bros ‘Gilded Palace Of Sin’ with obi was Y12000 but I didn’t even know that one existed. It’s not on discogs. They were the most expensive things on the trip. I also picked up a couple of Bee Gees 60’s Albums with obis and some Francoise Hardy albums for under Y2000. A Badfinger and early Fleetwood Mac album with obi for around Y5000. An early US pressing of the first Zombies album for Y3000. It was an expensive day out but all stuff that’s been high on my wants list for some time that I didn’t see elsewhere. And it was my birthday so my wife was giving me some leeway! They also had a sale going with all their Y800 and below stuff at half price. But I didn’t have time to go through that.

    I’ve always found good things in the HMV stores and on this trip the Kichijoji one didn’t seem to be attracting the traffic of the other stores.Their pricing can be a bit all over the shop I know but this shop seemed to have more stuff in the sweet spot for me than others. I got to fill up their points card too and use it for discounts at the Shinjuku store later in the trip.

    The other good thing about The Kichijoji HMV is it opens at 10. I’m usually champing at the bit waiting for 11 o’clock to come around when most stores open.

    the Kichijoji Disc Union didn’t have much for me on this trip. I also looked in Rare Records but nothing to be had there.
  8. Stump

    Stump Forum Resident

    Adelaide Australia
    Did you carry the 100 LPs back or use some shipping?
  9. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Sapporo, Japan
    wow Harvey, you're after the heavyweights. More of a punk/indies bottom-feeding bin scabber myself.

    Surprising about HMV, Shibuya (?) branch was a total bust for me. After about 10 minutes going thru the 500 yen lp bins it dawned on me this is all generic stuff you can get anywhere in Japan for 100 or 200 yen. lOl at their cassette tape section too, 2,000 yen for bog standard releases that are $3 on discogs...

    Will say it is a GREAT time to be in Japan for Toto fans. You can probably buy their entire discography, on LP, with OBI's, for the same price as a pint of Guinness.
    Johnny Ryall and candyflip69 like this.
  10. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Carried them back Stump. I asked the hotel re getting them to the airport for us but in the end the two of us managed. 2 suitcases with LP boxes inside (about 20/25 each). One heavy duty UDG DJ bag that holds about 50. Then a carry on bag with the expensive ones. Got a taxi down to Shinjuku Station and then the Narita express out so there was virtually no lifting involved. JAL allow 46 kilos per person check in so we ended up being way under the weight on this trip. Luckily my wife only tends to buy clothing and lighter things that come in handy for filling out the cases and stopping the boxes moving around ;)

    The other thing that always amazes me re Japan is pretty much every album plays perfectly and was graded conservatively by the stores. The Zombies record mentioned above actually looked a bit rough but still plays with very little surface noise.

    Was going to add some photos but looks like I need photo bucket or something so will look into that over the weekend.
    Stump likes this.
  11. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Ha, yes Toto are on their way to Australia too. Saw the poster this morning that just said "Toto - I bless the waves down in Africa". I had a chuckle too myself that they needed to put the lyrics of the song up to get the message across re what band it was!

    I buy a bit of 70's punk and new wave stuff too SD. That was actually my first love and what got me into music as a teenager. I probably have most things I want now from that era but will get a Japanese copy from time to time to replace my worn out copy. Was keeping an eye out for Japanese copies of Magazine and Undertones albums on this trip but didn't have any joy. I got a Pop Group album though and an album by the Outcasts on the Irish Good Vibrations label. Have only heard a single before. It was on the wall at DU Jimbocho and set me back around Y4000 from memory. Haven't listened to it yet so can't comment re whether its any good or not but anything with an Undertones connection is worth a punt I reckon. The Outcasts - Self Conscious Over You
    Sprague Dawley likes this.
  12. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Well-Known Member

    Great report, Harvey!
    You can use Imgur to up photos.
  13. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the tip Re Imgur Johnny. I’ll give it a go.

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