Guitar shopping in Tokyo

Discussion area for other MIJ Guitars

Moderator: ned

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Guitar shopping in Tokyo

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:15 pm

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 ... 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!
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:25 pm

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:

Image

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):

Image

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

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:42 pm

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:
Image

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

Image

Image

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

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:50 pm

Modern Japanese metal and brands like Edwards are also reflected:

Image

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

Image

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):

Image

For £1800 quid I like to see my guitar not through it!
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:53 pm

Some more reasonable Talbos and Woodies

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:59 pm

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

Image

Then a wall of Les Pauls:

Image

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

Image

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

Image

Great book for £16!
Last edited by iainblack on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:06 pm

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

The modern classics:

Image

Charvels ( Warren De Martinin)

Some lovely colours:

Image

and the classic copies:

Image

A Burny Les Paul for £173!

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

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:18 pm

A full wall of PRS'

Image

And round the corner

Image

A wall of Zemaitis, one at £6429!

[URL=http://s259.photo bucket.com/user/iainhblack/media/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsgtpktyca.jpeg.html]Image[/URL]
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

brokentoes
Guitar God
Posts: 1697
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 9:20 pm
Location: Canada

Post by brokentoes » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:56 pm

Wow !!! thanks for the memories !!

felixcatus
Guitar God
Posts: 1345
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:58 am
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Post by felixcatus » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:38 am

8) 8) 8) great thread, thanks for sharing. 8) 8) 8)

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:58 am

Thanks guys, I'm about half way through! Just ran out of time
Ast night. Part 2 coming up!
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:09 am

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

More modern metal:

Image

Some metal mickey Deans

Image

LTds which I think are ESPs?

Image

Edwards

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:15 am

Another map that was handy:

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:28 am

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:

Image

and more metal mickey models:

Image

A range of Fender Japans:

Image

A Mexican splatercaster, remember them?

Image

A wider range

Image

another wall of joy

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

iainblack
Guitar God
Posts: 846
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2002 6:00 pm
Location: Liverpool
Contact:

Post by iainblack » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:35 am

More modern models:

Image

£263 is pretty cool for a Steinberger

Kramer vs Kramer (sorry to use this joke again :-) )

Image
Please check out my Tokai Strat Book: http://www.blurb.co.uk/my/book/detail/2060524 Image

Post Reply