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

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  2. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    The news keeps getting better!

    First, to address some of the confusion. As it stands right now, the tourist cap has been raised to 50,000 daily, which really isn’t an issue, especially as Chinese travelers are still not part of the mix. Guided tours are no longer required, but the tourist visa is still required as Visa exemptions were suspended at the beginning of COVID (and have not as of yet been reinstated). The biggest impediment is that you still have to book all travel through a Japanese agency. The reasons for that are that the Japanese agency is responsible for ensuring that you clearly understand all Japanese Covid restrictions, laws and protocols; is responsible for checking in with you on your COVID status and then performing all of the necessary notifications if you should become ill, and ensuring that you then follow all the necessary protocols in such a case. They also have to be aware of your entire itinerary and the law has been clarified to clearly state that they cannot simply “rubberstamp“ your self-made travel accommodations, they actually have to provide all travel accommodations and airfare through their agency.

    As of this morning, that is where things sit. But according to the Tom Bricker website TravelCaffeine.com (highly recommended to anybody considering travel to Japan) there are rumors of impending changes being reported by all the major Japanese networks. It’s thought that Prime Minister Kishida will make a final decision as soon as this weekend.

    When Will Japan Reopen for Individual Tourists? (Mid-September 2022 Update) - Travel Caffeine

    “It’s thus our view that Japan reopening in some capacity to individual tourists in October 2022 is a very realistic scenario. As improbable as it might’ve seemed even a week ago, Japan welcoming back international visitors who are not part of tours (guided or unguided) sometime before November 2022 is likely. It’s pretty clear the government is focused on moving forward. As frustrating as this whole process has been, Japan is not still (completely) stuck in March 2020.”
     
  3. Jgirar01

    Jgirar01 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I am moving to Tokyo for an extended time for work. Was there in 2014 and visited the Disk Unions and a bunch of stores in Shibuya and Shinjuku. Any recommendations for current best stores to visit for mostly jazz and classic rock? Also, best cities to vinyl hunt outside of Tokyo?
     
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  4. RadioheadMario

    RadioheadMario Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manila
    Osaka has its fair share of Disk Unions and a slew of independent record shops. If you google “record stores in Osaka”, you’ll see a lot of listings. Some of them seem new as I didn’t come across them 3 years ago when I last visited. Japan is a haven for vinyl.
     
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  5. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Most of the reports speculate that Kishida could make his announcement today as part of his trip to Wall Street, so we should know soon. If not, I’m hoping we will find out later this week
     
  6. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    Kishida was at UN but his talk didn't touch on tourism.

    I bit the bullet anyways and booked a flight with ANA for the week before Xmas.
    All things considered, I got a decent rate for premium economy. Flights from the EU will be a little longer since Russia cant be flown over at the moment.
    Hotels are pretty cheap.
     
  7. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

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  8. mfidelity

    mfidelity Senior Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Woo-hoo! Just booked 10 days in mid-November. @MightyVinyl, does the 10/11 date line up with the trip you booked?
     
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  9. Harvey Rickenbacker

    Harvey Rickenbacker Forum Resident

    Terrific news. Time to get planning for the Christmas holidays.
     
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  10. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Congrats, and have a great trip! And YES - I'll be landing in Tokyo 10/18/22, so exactly one week after the travel ban is lifted. Hopefully that means there will be lots of good stuff in the shops again, as last couple of trips you couldn't swing a cat without hitting 1-2 Australian or European dealers that were buying up wares for their record stores.

    The only downside (if you want to call it that) is that the only Business Class flight I could score on JAL direct to Seattle using miles is not until November 9. I've found on previous trips that 13 shopping days in Tokyo is the optimal, and noted that my longest trip - 16 days - was just too long. This trip this year will be a total of 21 shopping days, which is 8 more than I'll probably want or need. Thus, I'm looking at adding Osaka and Kyoto to the itinerary.

    There's been some discussion of both Osaka & Kyoto previously in this thread, I'll have to dig back through to glean the nuggets and make plans. Are there any other metropoli that I should consider visiting for vinyl records? Any hotel recommendations in Osaka? I'm thinking of using Osaka as a base for both cities as it is less than an hour via Shinkansen. It also sounds like buying the JR pass as a foreigner is the way to go for Shinkansen trips, currently ¥44,810 for a 7-day Green pass (first class reserved accommodations) although you cannot take the 2 fastest Shinkansen, but the slower ones only take roughly 30:00 longer Tokyo to Osaka.
     
  11. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    Location:
    France, Paris area
    You should use your "freetime " to visit the country , Japan in the autumn is stunning
     
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  12. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

  13. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    thanks, yes! I usually mix in tourist activities amongst the vinyl foraging, and will have even more time than usual to do that this trip.

    I also have another trip booked in March to take my sister and nieces for a week to show them around Tokyo and then set them loose on Tokyo Disneyland as they are Disney fanatics. It’s too bad they couldn’t come this trip, as Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea are INCREDIBLE in October. I couldn’t tell the cast members from the guests as it seemed like a quarter of the visitors were bedecked in amazingly detailed Disney costumes.
     
  14. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Disc Union has nice jazz sections in all of their stores other than their specialty shops. They also have a specialty jazz-only store, it’s listed on their website. You’ll be in jazz heaven!
     
  15. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    Have Disk Unions always opened at 12 and closed at 8?
    Was checking a few stores pages and noticed this.
    I kinda remembered they opened sooner (10? 11?) and closed at 9 during the week and at 8 on sunday.
    Did I dream this or what?
     
  16. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yep, you are correct. I just looked up one of my old D.U. maps and it shows the hours as “11 to 21 / 11 to 20 Sundays and holidays”. In the US there are tons of stores that are now only open a few days a week instead of seven days a week and even then they have restricted hours. At least the disc union website seems to show they’re open every day. It appears they’re saying “12 to 20 weekdays, Saturday Sunday and holidays 11 to 20 (for now)”.

    That seems odd, as you think they would still close earlier on Sundays and holidays but can anyone confirm? I was having a hard time getting the translation program to work on the block of text that they show on the website
     
  17. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    Also, does anybody have any suggestions or recommendations when it comes to guided tours in Tokyo? When my sister nieces and grand-niece join me in March, I was going to show them around Tokyo for two or three days but I am quickly realizing that I really don’t know **** about the city, all I know is where good record stores are and a few cool things I’ve noticed along the way to them. So, I’m thinking that hiring a guide might be fun for me and a lot more fun for them. Anyone have any experience with specific tour companies, or specific guides, or even any suggested itineraries as far as what kinds of tours to look into? Ie: Tokyo shopping, or art, or history, or just areas like Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc?
     
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  18. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    Never used their services
    TOKYO FREE GUIDE - Volunteer Tour Guide Service in Tokyo
     
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  19. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    I had read about Recofan reopening in Akihabara but missed their new shop in Musashi Koganei
    店舗情報 (MAP) - レコファン
    A bit out of the way but right on the JR Line to the Tachikawa Disk Union shop.
     
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  20. Johnny Ryall

    Johnny Ryall Forum Resident

    Decent census of all the bigger shops in the Tokyo area
    Record Store - Music Lab Japan
    Not very detailed in the singles shops pages but reminded me of a a few long fogotten shops
     
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  21. mfidelity

    mfidelity Senior Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    A Recofan in a Mega Don Q store. Two of my favorite stores in one.
     
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  22. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    What a great resource, thank you! Love the fact that it gives you the right exit to take from the station as that’s usually half the battle
     
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  23. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    One bit of advice, as you’re getting off your plane turn your cell phone on and find the free airport Wi-Fi and get it up and running, then open the My SOS application. They will need you to do that before you get to immigration. Once you’re on the Wi-Fi and have the app open, they’ll ask you to click the lower left square on the app which will then show them the info needed to allow you to proceed to immigration. otherwise you’ll end up shunted to the side as you try to find an open port on the free airport Wi-Fi
     
  24. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    I keep seeing signs that disk union is having a sale this weekend but I can’t seem to find a translation…..?
     
  25. MightyVinyl

    MightyVinyl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle
    The Discogs sale? Turns out its their blue tag, green tag, orange tag, yellow tag sale, varying from 10 -15-20- 30% discount. Today thru Sunday. Combine a yellow tag with the current 33% dollar to yen discount and that’s a 63% discount!

    I found(actually stumbled upon) a really cool little shop today, call Shinjuku Records but its in Shimokitazawa. Literally just steps and within sight of the Odakyu East Gate exit. Run by a musician named Jeff Sato, he was also in A&R for one of the labels, and has published a book on Rolling Stones releases.

    He has a HUGE selection of Eric Clapton and Rolling Stones, as well as UK & USA Prog, metal, hard rock, new wave & punk artists. He specializes in Japanese pressings with obi’s; a large percentage are mint or near mint Japanese promo pressings.

    I picked up some of my “holy grail” items. NM Japanese promos (most with obi) of Scary Monsters, Eagles Desperado, Kate Bush Kick Inside & Lionheart, Roxy Music Flesh + Blood, ELO Eldorado, and Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight. Also got a bunch of NM promos of Rush, Rainbow, King Crimson, Beatles, Supertramp, etc.

    His prices are not bargains but are reasonable considering the condition and rarity. Average was ¥3000 - ¥6ooo and a couple were as much as ¥9000. Then factor in the 30% yen discount though.

    Its a small shop but I don’t remember ever seeing such a concentration of NM Japanese promo pressings and/or stock pressings, with obi, in one place.
     
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