THE ALLURE OF JAPANESE VINYL
Japan’s an extraordinary place to visit. I’ve been a few times now, to Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. As well as the food, the architecture, the occasional weirdness of it all, Japan is also a great place to hunt for vinyl. Record shops in the cities seem to be thriving, certainly the ones I visited were doing a lively trade.
For Western collectors, Japanese vinyl imports have long been sought after. Often sporting a customised Obi strip, the paper slipover that gives additional information about the release in Japanese, Japan is also well known for the quality of it’s pressings and Japanese editions of vinyl often goes for more than it’s Western equivalent.
I remember my first ever Japanese record purchase, a prized pressing of New Order’s Blue Monday, bought in 1983. I don’t think I’ve ever played it, I just like having it there in my collection, and it’s yellow and black Obi sleeve seems to complement Peter Saville’s famous sleeve design perfectly.
Being Japan, known for it’s orderliness, most of the shops I visited had racks of meticulously catalogued and well presented vinyl, and the quality of second hand stock, even the older stuff, is usually excellent.
VIDEO: The Record Stores of Kyoto and Osaka
In our latest trip, we visited Kyoto and Osaka, there are hundred’s of record stores, catering to all genres. I only had time to check out four of them featured in this video, but if you’re a vinyl crate hunter, try and make time for more, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
- The four I visited were: Happy Jacks – https://www.facebook.com/happyjackkyoto/
- Poco a Poco – http://pocoapocokyoto.com/
- Workshop Records – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Worksh…
- Records Forever – http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~forever/
- …more on these, and maps in the video.
If you’re travelling that way, pick up a handy Technics sponsored guide ‘At The Record Shop’ which lists most of the independent stores. In this video I’ve listed the prices I paid. Here are some more links to research more before you go – http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/201… https://www.odigo.jp/articles/164-osa… http://www.electronicbeats.net/city-g… Happy hunting!
Please check out the linked video for more on OSAKA AND KYOTO record shops