Japan Strut

Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
edited August 2015 in Strut Central
There doesn't appear to have been a Japan thread since 2006.

Any thoughts on the must-visit record stores in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, or Sendai? Any not-to-miss nights?

I'm in Japan August 8-22, without too many obligations or too much of a plan, and want to have, you know, the experience.

Any tips will be much appreciated!

I will report and post photos on my return.

  Comments


  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    In case it helps, I want to walk into this music video while in Tokyo:




  • yuichiyuichi Urban sprawl 11,329 Posts
    any thoughts on the must-visit record stores in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, or Sendai?

    Disc Unions consistently have good shit in the Tokyo area. Don't know about the rest of the country. Personally, I had a good time at the Ochanomizu (Chuo-line on the train) station Disc Union. There's like a canal flowing right by the station and has a real nice view as well.

    As for Kyoto, visited there for the first time this year, and I highly recommend a temple called "Nanzenji". Try to go in the late afternoon time where there are fewer tourists. The go-to spots like Kiyomizu temple and Kinkakuji will be overcrowded, and to me weren't as appealing. Here's a few photos of Nanzenji. Place is massive and pics do not do it justice. Really really beautiful place.




    Also, you already know this, but it will be sweltering hot right now. They call this in Japan "Natsubate" which translates to summer fatigue. Temps easily close to 100F or more, with high humidity. Have fun! Post some pictures when you get back!

  • yuichiyuichi Urban sprawl 11,329 Posts
    by the way, if you are traveling from Tokyo to Kyoto/Osaka area by bullet train (it'll run you like $100-130 one way), you'll see some amazing views of the countryside, Mt. Fuji, and some lakes.

  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    Thanks Yuichi! Much appreciated.

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 2,797 Posts
    Revelation Time in Osaka is worth finding (it's hard to locate when you're there on the ground!). Nicely curated collection of strange-ish records, including lots of reggy/dub.

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    Trifecta of spots in Tokyo that will keep you busy for a long time:
    [strong]Shinjuku [/strong] --[Chuo line]--> [strong]Ochanomizu/Jimbocho[/strong] --[hanzomon line]--> [strong]Shibuya[/strong] --[Yamanote line]--> [strong]Shinjuku [/strong]

    Record map book (Japan wide) can be picked up at all DUs and many other places too. All in Japanese however so you may need some help.

    I havnt been to Osaka in years (unfortunately) but top dude over at VG+, MPFlapp has a good write up of spots. Scroll to the bottom to see the most recent updates.

    There are spots in Sendai too but ill have to dig into my notes to find them.

    Time permitting:
    Kobe is really nice for a quick visit if you're already in Osaka/Kyoto. It has records too. Good spots further south in Hiroshima also. Great area and features the amazing and completely gut-wrenching peace museum. You can stop off at Himeji on the way.

    I imagine you've already been told about or looked into the Japan rail pass? It'll cut your transportation bill in half and makes it much easier to roam around to all these places.

    As Yuichi mentioned though, heat and humidity is a serious factor at this time. Department store entrances with air-conditioning are your friend.

    Btw, bringing any trades?
    :bizzo:

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    Wow, forgot about this. Good timing. There's a record fair in Osaka betwen the 12th and 18th of August at the Hankyu department store in Umeda.

  • The day trip up Mt Fuji is good.
    The one we did took in a nice drive up Subaru Line and then some time at Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station.
    then down to Lake Ashi for a trip up the gondola and a ferry ride to Hakone and on to the bullet train back to Tokyo.
    good option if you have limited time in Tokyo.

  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    Trifecta of spots in Tokyo that will keep you busy for a long time:
    [strong]Shinjuku [/strong] --[Chuo line]--> [strong]Ochanomizu/Jimbocho[/strong] --[hanzomon line]--> [strong]Shibuya[/strong] --[Yamanote line]--> [strong]Shinjuku [/strong]

    Record map book (Japan wide) can be picked up at all DUs and many other places too. All in Japanese however so you may need some help.

    I havnt been to Osaka in years (unfortunately) but top dude over at VG+, MPFlapp has a good write up of spots. Scroll to the bottom to see the most recent updates.

    There are spots in Sendai too but ill have to dig into my notes to find them.

    Time permitting:
    Kobe is really nice for a quick visit if you're already in Osaka/Kyoto. It has records too. Good spots further south in Hiroshima also. Great area and features the amazing and completely gut-wrenching peace museum. You can stop off at Himeji on the way.

    I imagine you've already been told about or looked into the Japan rail pass? It'll cut your transportation bill in half and makes it much easier to roam around to all these places.

    As Yuichi mentioned though, heat and humidity is a serious factor at this time. Department store entrances with air-conditioning are your friend.

    Btw, bringing any trades?
    :bizzo:

    I was definitely thinking about bringing some trades. Maybe some Cuban or Canadian jazz. Are you in Japan? If so, any requests? Be happy to connect.

  • OkemOkem 4,617 Posts
    yuichi said:
    Also, you already know this, but it will be sweltering hot right now. They call this in Japan "Natsubate" which translates to summer fatigue. Temps easily close to 100F or more, with high humidity.
    Shit is no joke. "A heat wave in Japan caused the deaths of six people over the weekend, almost 40 Japanese nationals were killed by heatstroke since June." Read more: http://sputniknews.com/asia/20150802/1025329484.html#ixzz3hl8MtjhE

    Do they still not do air-con or central heating in Japan?

  • kicks79kicks79 1,324 Posts
    Most buildings are air conditioned but people have to go outside at some point.
    The heat and humidity June-August is oppressive. As a some what healthy 30 something year old. I could totally understand how the young,old and sick could be adversely effected by prolonged exposure.Its exhausting just walking to get a train !
    My mate is Nagoya and it was 41 degrees the other day. Add a few more on for the humidity.

    In happier news Disk Union is on sale.

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    kicks79 said:
    In happier news Disk Union is on sale.
    Say what?

  • kicks79kicks79 1,324 Posts
    Yup, well it was last week.
    They also had this deal where once you had spent over 10k all further sale stuff was half price.
    I went a bit crazy and shipped a crate home.

  • There is always a Disk Union somewhere having some kind of sale.
    Matt's post upthread is bang on the money.

    Heat is ridiculous in Tokyo. I lived in Nagoya before and thought that was bad, but this past week has been next-level. Stay hydrated and bring/pick up a hat.

    Other record info on the OBRF site.

  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    kicks79 said:
    Yup, well it was last week.
    They also had this deal where once you had spent over 10k all further sale stuff was half price.
    I went a bit crazy and shipped a crate home.
    Heh sounded like you were saying the store itself was being sold!

    Yeah they have sales pretty frequently.

  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    When you say spend 10k and everything else on sale is half off, we're talking yen right? That would be one sweet deal. I'm bringing heat for trades! I figure if I'm going to get good value for my Valley High School Time LP, it's gonna be Tokyo.

    I was going to post a link to the a youtube video, but look at that, something that has yet to make it online. I didn't think that existed anymore.


    Too expensive school band funk

  • Danno3000Danno3000 2,846 Posts
    Also, what nights should I be checking out in Tokyo? I'd love to hear some rare groove, jazz, or disco played-out Japanese style.

  • kicks79kicks79 1,324 Posts
    Danno3000 said:
    Also, what nights should I be checking out in Tokyo? I'd love to hear some rare groove, jazz, or disco played-out Japanese style.

    Yes Yen! so around $100 US. Such a good deal.
    Check out JBS bar. A must if your in Tokyo.
    Soul Bar in Ginza is meant to play good stuff as well.
    A quick search on Tokyo Time Out is good place to start looking for music themed bars in Tokyo.

  • kicks79kicks79 1,324 Posts
    mattB said:
    kicks79 said:
    Yup, well it was last week.
    They also had this deal where once you had spent over 10k all further sale stuff was half price.
    I went a bit crazy and shipped a crate home.
    Heh sounded like you were saying the store itself was being sold!

    Yeah they have sales pretty frequently.

    Ha ha. No Disk Union is still there thank goodness.
    I didn't have much time otherwise I would have tried to come up Yokahama way.

    Also an instesting interview with some of the owners of Disk Union and Jet Set ect about the state of vinyl sales.

    http://www.residentadvisor.net/feature.aspx?2436&fb_ref=Default

  • SooksSooks 710 Posts
    Non-record Tokyo recommendations:

    Coffee-strut: Bear Pond (it's in a cool neighbourhood that you might not otherwise visit)
    Menswear-strut: Isetan mens department store - Outrageous selection, many very expensive items
    Discount-menswear-strut: Ragtag vintage (many) - very good selection, much cheaper

  • You just missed Maurice Fulton at Unit.

    I'm screening Wet Hot American Summer (the 2001 original) at a restaurant/music venue in Shibuya around noon on Sunday the 16th.

    Mikkeller (Scando beer wizards) are opening their own tap room in Shibuya very soon.
    Best burger in Tokyo is Golden Brown in Nakameguro.

    Visit Tocho (Metropolitan Govt. Building near the Lost in Translation bar (Park Hyatt) for a great FREE 45th story view of the city.

    If you like kitchen/cooking stuff check out Kappabashi area during the day and walk to Asakusa's big red lantern "Kaminarimon" area to at least have a look at it. That area is kind of a tourist-trap and full of junky souvenirs, but good to walk by and have a peek. You can take a rickshaw ride around too for $40.

    BUT from there take the "water taxi" bus to Hamarikkyu gardens and disembark at this great massive manicured garden place. Stroll through there for a while and take a cab to the new "Toranomon Hills" Andaz Hotel area to find dinner/drinks. Or better Craft Beer Market Toranomon--the food is actually good and it's a bargain. That's a good lunch to evening day-plan for Tokyo.

    For record bars:
    If by any chance you're staying in Shibuya check out "Bar-Q" for late night drinks and Susumu san plays 45s on top of the bar. "JBS" is a cool little log-cabin vibe with about 10,000 records in the walls and good sound. BUT, "Little Soul Cafe" in Shimokitazawa is the greatest place on earth.

  • City Country City in Shimokita, have a beer and browse their reasonably priced selection. Then head to Little Soul Cafe at like 9:00... if you go any later you'll regret not having enough time there. Although it's a late-night spot.
    http://city-country-city.com/records/

    Flash Disc Ranch is just around the corner from CCC, but it's not like a great record store. Just volume of 800 yen records. I've found a few cool things over the years. https://goo.gl/mfGuE3

    Koenji still has some shops of value left. I like EAD for disco/italo/cosmicy types:
    http://www.eadrecord.com/


  • mattBmattB (FTB) Anywhere 673 Posts
    NachoManCandySandwich said:
    I'm screening Wet Hot American Summer (the 2001 original) at a restaurant/music venue in Shibuya around noon on Sunday the 16th.
    Nachoman!... where are you playing this?

    Nice recommendations. Except for Flash.
    :talib:


  • Matt,
    Shit--sorry I missed this. I would have told you:
    7th Floor in Shibuya. That same building as O-Nest and near by O-East and all those (that Tsutaya now owns).

    Yeah, I haven't been to Flash Disc Ranch in ages, really.
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