TOKYO, CAN YOU DIG IT?
Whilst record digging habits may have been mainly resigned to online purchases this year, good times are around the corner and if you’re in Tokyo so are some of the world’s best record shops. As with fashion, food and a million other amazing things, Tokyo is a dream come true for record collectors with shops that cater for every genre and niche, from ambient pop to ZZ Top. Perhaps due to the fact that physical music sales still far outsell streaming and downloads in the land of the rising sun. Given this overwhelming choice of shops and just how big Tokyo is we enlisted the help of Rumi and Fuji from Manastash HQ to point us in the right direction for some serious crate digging in this vinyl lovers paradise.
You can find Disk Union stores in all the major cities of Japan though in Shinjuku where the Manastash offices are based there are no less than four of them. All situated with one or two blocks of each other the different stores dedicate each floor to a specific genre such as Classical, Jazz, Progressive Rock, Heavy Metal, Hardcore Punk, Hip Hop, Soul & Dance, and J-Pop. Selling both new and second hand records (and CDs) if you’re a music lover you can spend an entire day there. The Shibuya store is also well worth a visit too.
This is another one that’s situated on Manastash home turf in Shinjuku though Vinyl Japan are on a more old school small scale but with a great selection of second hand classic punk rock records.
Another vinyl hot spot in Shinjuku that’s got a serious rep for stocking Punk and Hard Core is Nat Records. Run by one of Japan’s leading experts on underground punk from the ’70s Masanobu Itagaki, Nat also release their own compilations from time to time too.
Coconuts Disk Ekoda
If you’re on the look out for some homegrown talent then brilliantly named Coconuts Disk Ekoda is the place for you. Famous for their selection of Japanese music from all manner of different genres the store boasts a wide variety of records that covers everything from idol pop to new age and even Anime.There’s something here for everyone though their 60s and 70s Japanese rock selection is particularly impressive.
No prizes for guessing which part of Tokyo this vinyl shop resides in and going by the rest of its name you might not be surprised to hear that this is the place to hit if you’re a lover of techno. Popular with local DJs Technique covers a lot of other dance music bases and also provides a selection of listening decks so you can give them a spin before buying. Though to avoid embarrassment please ask before you attempt to do any spin-backs or scratching.
Last but by no means least and staying on a dance tip is Next Records.Also popular with DJs this place specialises in Hip Hop, R&B and Dance music twelve inches. Being one of the largest dealers of rare & collectible singles in Japan it’s possible that the elusive tune you’ve been looking for all your life could well be hiding in the racks here.