Japan digging 2024

akoako https://soundcloud.com/a-ko 3,413 Posts
Hey all, been a VERY, very long time...

Going to Tokyo in March, was just gonna see if anybody had any must-see shop suggestions or anything. Went back through the forum search and I kinda doubt information from a 2005 thread is still relevant. Gonna be mostly in the Tokyo area but may be able to travel a little if something is essential. Any other Japan advice is appreciated as well. 

First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.


  Comments


  • billbradleybillbradley You want BBQ sauce? Get the fuck out of my house. 2,889 Posts
    @NateBizzo put together Japan Record Stores Google Map recently

    https://maps.app.goo.gl/mmmT1RnGUeXUwRSP9?g_st=i
    akoJimster

  • ElectrodeElectrode Los Angeles 3,083 Posts
    ako said:
    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.

    Welcome back! Better late than never. My first time was at 38.

    ako

  • akoako https://soundcloud.com/a-ko 3,413 Posts
    Electrode said:
    ako said:
    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.

    Welcome back! Better late than never. My first time was at 38.


    bittersweet coming back to the forum and seeing Raj's announcement...but the muscle memory to type in "soulstrut" super fast has not left me somehow.

    dizzybull

  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,097 Posts
    Ooh, have a great trip -  no digging advice, but try to reach Kyoto and Nara.  They are really special!

    Also, install the Google Translate app on your phone so you can use camera mode - there's not a lot of, um, support for English speakers in some places.  I still remember ending up in a quiet part of Osaka one night looking for food and none of the restaurants had (a) English menus or (b) people who speak English working.  It's was a bizarre situation (for me)!

  • kicks79kicks79 1,334 Posts
     If you don't have much time in Tokyo, I'd hit Disk Union, Shibuya Shinjuku and Shimokitazwa, HMV Shibuya, and Face Records—Coco Island Music Mart for reggae. There are tons of other spots, but I haven't been back since 2018 so not sure what's still open. I would avoid Jazzy Sport, they are not that friendly to Westerners. 

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,783 Posts
    Electrode said:
    ako said:
    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.

    Welcome back! Better late than never. My first time was at 38.

     


  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,887 Posts
    ketan said:
    Ooh, have a great trip -  no digging advice, but try to reach Kyoto and Nara.  They are really special!

    Also, install the Google Translate app on your phone so you can use camera mode - there's not a lot of, um, support for English speakers in some places.  I still remember ending up in a quiet part of Osaka one night looking for food and none of the restaurants had (a) English menus or (b) people who speak English working.  It's was a bizarre situation (for me)!

    Friend of mine is there often, deffo check Disk Union.  Also, take photos before you go of stuff you might need (toothpaste, toilet, ticket, water etc) and you can show this where language is a problem.

    I missed out on working there in the 90s but dude they did send said I was lucky because he wasn't allowed to leave the office until his boss had left, and the boss couldn't leave until his boss had left etc... He spent 12 hours a day the the office and the rest commuting.


  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,887 Posts
    He also says "Disk Union, Jazzy Sport, Face Records, there are still a few others but I can’t always remember their names!  Also HMV Shibuya has an unreal 2nd hand section and a friend who works for HMV tells me that Tower Records have just bought 50,000 2nd hand records to compete with HMV! I’ve seen records in HMV that I’ve never seen in a brick and mortar shop before"

    HTH

  • ElectrodeElectrode Los Angeles 3,083 Posts
    Electrode said:
    ako said:
    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.

    Welcome back! Better late than never. My first time was at 38.

     

    Yeah, I know.


  • dizzybulldizzybull Eerie Dicks 328 Posts
    What’s up AKO! I go to Japan a few times a year but I don’t ever really go record shopping. I’m always there for work. I have been into disk union and it is massive. 

    Japan is awesome. I’m sure you will have a great time. 
    RAJ

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,783 Posts
    Electrode said:
    Electrode said:
    ako said:
    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.

    Welcome back! Better late than never. My first time was at 38.

     

    Yeah, I know.

    Florida doesn’t count!



    ;) just kidding.

    Electrode

  • yuichiyuichi Urban sprawl 11,331 Posts
    ako said:
    Hey all, been a VERY, very long time...

    Going to Tokyo in March, was just gonna see if anybody had any must-see shop suggestions or anything. Went back through the forum search and I kinda doubt information from a 2005 thread is still relevant. Gonna be mostly in the Tokyo area but may be able to travel a little if something is essential. Any other Japan advice is appreciated as well. 

    First time ever leaving the country and I'm 36...Exciting shit.


    Just sent a message.

    In Shibuya, there's Face records, Disc Union (rare groove and jazz), and HMV.  I don't have the space to stack records but like an old fiend, I'll stick my head in stores and browse from time to time.  Last I checked, Ochanomizu Disc Union had crazy soul/funk/rare groove heat.  Of course, it ain't cheap, but the sheer volume of raers was incredible.


  • NateBizzoNateBizzo 2,328 Posts
    @NateBizzo put together Japan Record Stores Google Map recently

    https://maps.app.goo.gl/mmmT1RnGUeXUwRSP9?g_st=i

    I go to Japan about 3 times a year. Was there last month. That map is pretty thorough but make sure to open the link on your mobile device then follow it. It renders weird on desk top. 


    I find that HMV (Shinjuku & Shibuya)  and Tower (Shibuya) have been more concentrated that Disk Union. Which is great but you have to go to like 10 disk unions to feel the density. 


    I also have two separate maps that have food and another for just hi-fi bars. Happy to give you more nuance offline on how I would approach the trip. Yen is so weak right now it's definitely a buyer market. 


  • kalakala 3,361 Posts
    i am going in june to osaka and kyoto for the first time
    I've done tokyo a few times and it's always a blast
    seems there's plenty of shops to hit and many are specialized....


  • ketanketan Warmly booming riffs 3,097 Posts
    these are from kobe/kyoto/osaka in 2014










    Electrodemistermayo

  • NateBizzoNateBizzo 2,328 Posts
    kala said:
    i am going in june to osaka and kyoto for the first time
    I've done tokyo a few times and it's always a blast
    seems there's plenty of shops to hit and many are specialized....

    I found that Bootsy's (cash only but amazing selection), Hitozuku (great jazz), and Workshop (Amazing japan jazz and ambient used) were the best shops in Kyoto. Meditations is rad as a place that is completely committed to a specific niche theme (new ambient records). But if you hit those three spots and then go to Jazz Spot Yamatoya (possibly my favorite Hi-Fi bar in Japan) you've fully covered Kyoto records. 


    Have never been to Osaka. Lot of people call Osaka the Chicago / Philly of Japan. Have heard there are great shop there though. 

    kala

  • Osaka is great. I'd say it actually competed with Tokyo, in my individual experience with records, though maybe that's just me. It was a while back now though so I can't drop any particulars. I think King Kong Records was good? I dunno, there were several and all pretty accessible from each other. And Osaka itself is really fun for non-record stuff.

    Kyoto had only a few shops but I had a good time at Jet Set.
    kala

  • dizzybulldizzybull Eerie Dicks 328 Posts
    NateBizzo said:
    @NateBizzo put together Japan Record Stores Google Map recently

    https://maps.app.goo.gl/mmmT1RnGUeXUwRSP9?g_st=i

    I go to Japan about 3 times a year. Was there last month. That map is pretty thorough but make sure to open the link on your mobile device then follow it. It renders weird on desk top. 


    I find that HMV (Shinjuku & Shibuya)  and Tower (Shibuya) have been more concentrated that Disk Union. Which is great but you have to go to like 10 disk unions to feel the density. 


    I also have two separate maps that have food and another for just hi-fi bars. Happy to give you more nuance offline on how I would approach the trip. Yen is so weak right now it's definitely a buyer market. 

    I’ll be damned. I was there in January. I go two or three times a year myself for work. One time I was in a meeting with a guy who happened to be old friends with Herm and now we are friends as well. Actually herm went I January too but we missed each other by a week. 

    The dollar is super strong right now. And maybe that’s why there are foreigners everywhere. Or at least in the main areas. Feels like Tokyo has been overrun. 

    Anyways if you ever need help just go to roppongi or shinjuku where there are Nigerian tour guides standing by to help. They’ll take you where you need to go. 


  • kalakala 3,361 Posts
    dj sheep had Japan digging on lock back in the day
    he was my entre' to facebook back when you needed an invite from someone and he had posted literally 10,000 pics of his most recent trip.
    he was going out into the burbs and hitting smaller mom and pops and killing it!
    this must've been close to 18 years ago if i recall correctly.
    as a gearhead i am always looking for synths/pedals/drum machines etc and japan is always cheaper for korg/roland-BOSS/yamaha/esp/ibanez etc for obvious reasons.
    the second hand shops are also off da hook cheap with dope gear but they are often hidden in buildings off the street level and you gotta do research.


  • JimsterJimster Cruffiton.etsy.com 6,887 Posts
    Kyoto had only a few shops but I had a good time at Jet Set.

    I once bought a car from Japan because it had a Jet Set Records Tokyo sticker in the window.


    klezmer electro-thug beats

  • That rules... but I get it, they have a great logo

  • MondeyanoMondeyano Reykjavik 863 Posts
    I usually hit the Disk Unions the most, specifically the Shimokitazawa, Shibuya and Shinjuku branches. You can also get lucky in the ones that are a little less visited, like Kichijoji, Ikebukuro or Kita-Urawa but they sometimes are not worth the trek.

    It so depends on what you are after though, and at what price point. Universounds is always great, as well as East Record in Jinbocho. Coconuts Disk in Ikebukuro and Ekoda can be good for a quick dig although I haven't been lucky the last few times I went. When in doubt, put レコード into Google Maps.
    billbradley

  • kalakala 3,361 Posts
    NateBizzo said:
    kala said:
    i am going in june to osaka and kyoto for the first time
    I've done tokyo a few times and it's always a blast
    seems there's plenty of shops to hit and many are specialized....

    I found that Bootsy's (cash only but amazing selection), Hitozuku (great jazz), and Workshop (Amazing japan jazz and ambient used) were the best shops in Kyoto. Meditations is rad as a place that is completely committed to a specific niche theme (new ambient records). But if you hit those three spots and then go to Jazz Spot Yamatoya (possibly my favorite Hi-Fi bar in Japan) you've fully covered Kyoto records. 


    Have never been to Osaka. Lot of people call Osaka the Chicago / Philly of Japan. Have heard there are great shop there though. 

    thanks for the heads up

    did you spend any time doing tourist stuff in kyoto?

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