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Guitar shopping in Tokyo
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iainblack
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Joined: 27 Mar 2002
Posts: 832
Location: Liverpool

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:15 pm    Post subject: Guitar shopping in Tokyo Reply with quote

Guys and galls, firstly and apology. I promised this article last year but life got in the way - wait a minute, guitars are life and life is guitar. Anyway this is my description of the experience of seeking out guitars in Tokyo when I had a week there in May/June 2016.

Here is the link to my Tokai guitars factory tour during the same visit in case you missed it: http://www.tokaiforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=23280&highlight=

Now I probably got to go out on my own 3 times during the trip as we were cramming a lot in to a week, including a day in Kyoto. As you can imagine Tokyo is one of the worlds most populated cities however I never felt 'crowded'. Yes we did the Shubiya crossing and went on the train in rush hour but the Japanese have a culture of respect and I never once worried where my wallet was or felt overwhelmed by the crowd. You felt everyone had your back as a visitor. An alien culture but not alienating.

I recommend that if you are going to do this trip then a lot of google searching on locations and tips and there is lots out there. Get your maps ready as some of these stations are massive and if you go out of the wrong exit you could be miles away walking round to find the shop you want.

You could ask someone and the local Police we very cool too. Another tip, I bought the Michel Thomas learn Japanese CD and played its 8 hours a few times before going - excellent teaching method and a relatively easy language to learn. I wanted to know my please, thank yous and excuse me's as well as how much is that guitar. I didnt need to use it much as many locals we spoke to had perfect english however i felt it was a really good ice breaker to say su mi ma sen (excuse me), bieru ocudasi (please may I have a beer)

OK, that is the introduction, now for the guitars I hear you shout!
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iainblack
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Joined: 27 Mar 2002
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Central Tokyo is really easy to get around. There is an underground and if you have a J rail pass the overground if part of your ticket so I used that to get everywhere except one day when we visited Mickey Mouse and it was pretty cheap anyway, Im sure you can get day or week passes.

I show this map to show the main guitar shopping areas:



The two main areas I visited were Ochanomizu where the famous guitar street is (note these maps are from another forum I read to get tips):



And there are a number of stores around the Shubiya shopping area:


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iainblack
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Location: Liverpool

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most of the stores are multi floor and will have guitars on one and other instruments on others. Some have new guitars on one floor and second hand on another area or floor. There is also another area i read about called 'junk'! I thought the guy in the thread was taking the piss but I will illustrate this is not a joke later on.

The current exchange rate is 1000 yen = approx 6.50 or 100 is 15552 yen to give an idea of some of the price tags. Note you dont pay tax as a Uk visitor so check your local situation if you are not in the UK

Now the floors are arranged by brand areas in the big stores and they have walls of guitars of very high value. You might need a handkerchief to mop up the drool.

In Shubiya one store had a Jackson area and it was nice to see one of my heroes Randy Rhoads still remembered 35 years after his passing:


A wall of RR's (Concord's or Sharfins to some)





A Jackson master builder reflecting the Karl Sandoval polka dot V:


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iainblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Modern Japanese metal and brands like Edwards are also reflected:



Baby metal signature guitar - 7 string with a different colour middle tuning head:



notice it says do not touch and I always asked the shop assistant if it was Ok to take photos

In another shop I spotted a perspex Tokai Talbo (Tokai Aluminium Body, but perspex):



For 1800 quid I like to see my guitar not through it!
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iainblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some more reasonable Talbos and Woodies


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iainblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The next store is in Ikebe Complex I believe and I finally got my wallet out. First there was the wall of strats:



Then a wall of Les Pauls:



and straddling the divide like a collosus is a Jeff Beck tribute including a bottle of Drambie!:



So I decided to shell out and bought a Galaxy of Strats:



Great book for 16!
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Last edited by iainblack on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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iainblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now on to some used / 2nd hand gear and there are some bargins to be had:

The modern classics:



Charvels ( Warren De Martinin)

Some lovely colours:



and the classic copies:



A Burny Les Paul for 173!

A gibson Les Paul for 800 or a Tokai Les Paul for 160?


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iainblack
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A full wall of PRS'



And round the corner



A wall of Zemaitis, one at 6429!

[URL=http://s259.photo bucket.com/user/iainhblack/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsgtpktyca.jpeg.html][/URL]
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brokentoes
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow !!! thanks for the memories !!
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felixcatus
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Joined: 03 Nov 2010
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Location: Antwerp, Belgium

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great thread, thanks for sharing.
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iainblack
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys, I'm about half way through! Just ran out of time
Ast night. Part 2 coming up!
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iainblack
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Location: Liverpool

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok after a break to upload more photos last night, here is part 2.

More modern metal:



Some metal mickey Deans



LTds which I think are ESPs?



Edwards


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iainblack
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another map that was handy:


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iainblack
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Location: Liverpool

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so to guitar street. This is where i found most of the second hand stuff but they also had some top end models and a lot of old models too

One of the shops:



and more metal mickey models:



A range of Fender Japans:



A Mexican splatercaster, remember them?



A wider range



another wall of joy


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iainblack
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

More modern models:



263 is pretty cool for a Steinberger

Kramer vs Kramer (sorry to use this joke again )


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