During my stay in Tokyo’s Shibuya a few days ago, I made a walk in the area around the Cerulean Tower looking for interesting spots. I knew this area already, but never checked it out. This time I could manage and found six shops of interest: Two huge shops with wide range of music equipment, one with used instruments only, two with guitars and a special tiny one :-) I took pictures of the shops only and have no names or webpages (sorry for that). So this quick review is recommended for guys who are going to visit Shibuya and do not have much time (I made my walk within 1.5h). Tokyo has hundreds of such nice spots full of music stuff such as the one in Harajuku called Floor G, but I did not find an area like that one before. Here you get such a range of shops in the surroundings. If I am wrong – let me know.
I started with a cup of Sunday Coffee’s black coffee (just in case you love coffee: Japan is not famous for coffee, so you have to search for tasty coffee spots). Sunday Coffee is nearby spot no.1: Hoockie’s Musician Farm is your dealer No.1 if you go for guitars. A small shop in the basement. Friendly stuff (nerds) as usual. Ask them, they get it for you done.
Having a nice walk away from the main road I arrived at spot no. 2, a store with seven levels. You get everything thee! Honestly. This is definitely the shop of my choice. Synths, recording equipment, DJ equipment, drums, guitars, pedals etc. and even a small recording studio. The prices are a little bit cheaper compared to Music Land Key (spot no. 3). Music Land Key is the biggest shop/store I have seen so far. So what to say, just check them out and get amazed.
Alright, if you do not have enough of all these impressions by now just follow the street and find a tiny shop (sorry, no picture) full of stuff you do not find in stores anymore, because you do not need them at all. Ha! I found there blank audio cassettes. 5min, 10min, 20min, 30min etc. Very cheap. If you are running a record company or are a sound artist using analog equipment and need audio cassettes per chance? – Do not forget to bring a huge bag with you! Spot no. 5 is the place to be for buying an acoustic guitar. Two floors. Did not check the basement (third floor). Amazing. And finally the last shop no. 6 with a huge advertisement on the front of the building. All used instruments: guitars, bass guitars, brass etc.
Wow, now had to leave. I had to return to the hotel or staying there would mean a heart attack for me. Far too many impressions. I could buy so many things… The result of my Shibuya walk: I bought new strings for my old ukulele at Music Land Key and three blank audio cassettes at the tiny shop. Shibuya seems to me as a kind of Mecca for music equipment lovers, musicians, street artists and and and. You pass recording studios, record companies, Jazz bars, nice restaurants… A great area away from the mainstream on the other side of Shibuya station. If you consider to buy equipment in Japan and do not have much time at all – do it there. Highly recommended!