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

    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    Facing the music: Can Japan’s vibrant record culture survive the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Not the greatest article, not keen on the "We Japanese look after our records better than the barbaric foreigners" riff, "see, we handle the records by the edges"

    The bit on the new shimokita store "Pianola" was interesting though. Dude opened a store with only 1,500 records? In shimokita?
    "I was surprised at how much I sold in the first month. Since then, it’s calmed down a little and sales have been steadily good".

    Man, with only 1500 records your entire inventory could be sold in a month. Then what do you sell to make rent?
     
    Johnny Ryall likes this.
  2. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    Good point. 1,500 LP's is like stock for a record convention. Gets hit then what? How do you pay Japanese rent?
     
  3. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    Location:
    France, Paris area
    LoveYourLife likes this.
  4. mfidelity

    mfidelity Senior Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I'm surprised all the covers don't have split seams on the bottom at Disc Union. The Japanese customers lift the records all the way out of the bins then drop the record back in. You can hear the sound of the record hitting the bottom of the bin.
     
    Sprague Dawley likes this.
  5. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    I don't know exactly when it started, but some time back (a year at least) Disk Union started placing signs on the bins telling customers to not do that.
     
    bjlefebvre and Sprague Dawley like this.
  6. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    They do that pull at U.S. record conventions. They go real fast through tables.
     
  7. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    In most records they add a paper folded reinforcement around the inner sleeve
     
  8. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    ha ha! Now I finally understand why those stupid little folded pieces of paper! Yes, they started putting the signs up last year and it seems to have affected the intended audience as I don’t hear that banging sound anymore, or at least I don’t remember it from last trip.

    I heard the other day that United is starting flights to London with fast results testing done at the airport prior to boarding. you take your test and if you are negative you can get on the flight. I wonder if Japan Air will start anything like that? If they did, then I could look at taking a flight now, as long as the results would be considered valid by the authorities and I wouldn’t have to quarantine for two weeks after arrival.

    I don’t wanna get all political here, but let’s just say I am hoping for a change in administration in the USAfter next weeks election results. As it stands, I’m afraid the Japanese won’t be letting any Americans enter for quite some time as we are rightly seen as plague carriers at the moment.
     
  9. LoveYourLife

    LoveYourLife Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Neither airport is difficult to navigate (certainly easier that some major US airports), just cab or even shuttle it. Haneda is further away but more international flights fly there if I recall.

    Any hotel in Shinjuku (and the prices range wildly so you can find something to suit your budget - just search the area on one of the Expedia-type sites) will put you pretty close to the Tower's, HMV's and more importantly Disc Union's (there are multiple ones all within walking distance). The bigger Tower (the mega 5 floor one) is in Shibuya though but given Shinjuku is the most connected metro station, getting there from Shinjuku is quick and easy - I navigated it alone with a paper metro map, GPRS on my mobile/cell and zero knowledge of the language. HMV also has new 'vinyl only' onfigurations too.

    $1-2K will do you nicely and is probably even a bit too generous (unless you plan to go crazy)... I don't agree with one of the other comments above about nothing of interest, there is so much on offer, it's bewildering. I was averaging 3 hours in any one of the stores.
     
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  10. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Ummmm.... better late than never? Since you’re responding to a post that’s over six years old, I would certainly hope that the original poster has made up his mind already about the trip. But just to clarify a couple of points:

    1. I rarely take a cab in Tokyo unless it’s a dire emergency. Very expensive. If you’re staying in Shinjuku, a cab from Haneda will run you around $70-110 depending on traffic, and a cab from Narita will be around $200 depending on traffic. A much better option is the Limousine Bus, which is the name of a bus service that runs from both airports to most of the major hotels. There’s plenty of information about it if you just do a Google search. Otherwise be prepared for a taxi price that will stretch into the hundreds of dollars.

    2. Haneda is closer to downtown by about an hour, depending upon where your hotel is so if you have the choice, I would always take it over Narita. The only downside is that if you are lucky enough to fly JAL first class, the lounge at Narita has a fantastic complementary sushi bar, whereas the lounge at Haneda is far more of a bare-bones operation.

    3. I would agree with Shinjuku as one of the best places to stay, it’s done me well on every trip. Hotels for just about every budget and close to everything.

    4. $1-$2k used to be enough to get you by, but with the dramatically increased prices and recently reduced value of the US dollar, it won’t go nearly as far as it used to. Really depends on your tastes and how big a haul you hope to bring home.
     
    candyflip69 likes this.
  11. LoveYourLife

    LoveYourLife Forum Resident

    Location:
    London, UK
    Jeez 6 years? Indeed better late than never.

    I assumed if someone could afford to spend $1-2K on music, they could afford a $70-100 cab ride (approx. $80 when I took it last year) but my reasoning may be off...

    I did about £650 (c$840) worth on vinyl and CDs and came back a happy bunny.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2020
  12. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    I also noticed some stores started putting some kind of soft carpet on the bottom of the boxes.
    Continuous improvement right there!
     
    Jimmy Agates likes this.
  13. pudgym

    pudgym Monster Raving Loony

  14. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Any news on the ground regarding Tokyo record stores? Updates on the RecoFan relocation?

    I had to cancel the trip I'd booked for April as I was obviously overly optimistic about vaccines & quarantines. Have now changed to Oct. 15-Nov 4. I pray to God (aka Peter Gabriel) that I'll be able to safely travel by then, and no quarantine in Tokyo if I present proof of testing & vaccine. *fingers crossed*

    This year I think I'm gonna plan a side trip of a couple days to Osaka, with a side trip on the side trip to Kyoto for an afternoon.

    Are the stores surviving?
     
  15. mfidelity

    mfidelity Senior Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Looks like they have opened in Seekbase near Akihabra station. I've also booked a trip the last 2 weeks of October - fingers crossed.

    Google Maps
     
  16. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Wait... didn't we meet up on my last trip, at the DiskUnion special "japanese pressing" sale that one morning?

    If so, should I be concerned that I have a stalker? LOL
     
  17. mfidelity

    mfidelity Senior Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Yes, the day after the typhoon. Maybe it's me who has a stalker :)
     
  18. Sprague Dawley

    Sprague Dawley Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
  19. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    I don't want to think what he charges.....I see hundreds at $1 every month I pass on.
     
  20. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    yookmook and Harvey Rickenbacker like this.
  21. Chee

    Chee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Denver
    That's amazing. They will be buying loads in the USA soon when the stores and conventions open up 100%. I think their buyers go to L.A. house sales nowadays for product.
     
  22. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    The other night I dreamt a Disk Union opened near my place, here in Italy, completely in the middle of nowhere :confused::laugh:
    I went and it was an almost complete disappointment: they only carried a small selection of new records and only electronica :confused::realmad:
    Looked a bit like those dj shops in London in the '90s or maybe a cheap imitation of Rush Hour in Amsterdam.


    A fine example of the effects of isolation and lockdowns :biglaugh:
     
    Harvey Rickenbacker likes this.
  23. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I’ve already had two orders from disk union’s office in San Francisco this year. Last year, they even bought a couple of items that I bought from disk unions
    in Tokyo!
     
    Briskit likes this.
  24. yookmook

    yookmook Forum Resident

    long time no see
    du open new branch in shibuya
    i guess it's old branch from 5f old building
    it's called Rock in tokyo

    [​IMG]
     
  25. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    FANTASTIC, thanks for the update.

    What do they specialize in? I’m hoping it’s all Japanese pressings?

    Did they move from the five floor building in Shibuya that they were in when I was there last in 2019? They used to be just down the street kind of around the corner from where Recofan was.
    are you saying they moved out of that building? And now they’ve moved a new shop into the fifth floor of that building?

    If that’s true, where did they move in Shibuya with all of the other floors?
     
    yookmook likes this.

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