Going guitar hunting in Japan! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2005, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Well, I'm going to Kyoto, Japan here in the near future, and I'm planning on doing a little shopping. My question for you all is, are there any decent music stores in Kyoto, or will I need to look into jumping on a train to get to Tokyo for some serious shopping? I'm thinking J-Custom here, but any REALLY interesting Ibanez I run across will receive consideration. I've hit a couple of other websites, and several people have mentioned the Ochanomizu area in Tokyo (I think) as being a VERY target rich environment for guitar shops. Obviously Ishibashi carries J-Customs, but I don't think they've got a Kyoto branch. I'd love to make it to Tokyo, but don't know for sure if I'll be able to make it, so any suggestions specifically for Kyoto would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Andy
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-01-2005, 10:41 PM
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

If my Japanese isn't completely off, this should be a list of stores or dealers in the Kyoto area.

http://www.ibanez.co.jp/japan/dealer...ges/kyoto.html
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-03-2005, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Anyone been to Osaka? It's closer to Kyoto than Tokyo, certainly, and at least they've got an Ishibashi branch. Any other shops or music districts nearby?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-03-2005, 11:03 PM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Congrats, man! I used to live in Atsugi, Japan in the 80's. Japan is awesome. I miss it. Have fun!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Don't forget to check out some Japanese girls... *wink* *wink*

Man... I need to take a vacation to Japan sometime, but my wife would hate me for it since she knows that if we went, I'd spend my entire time checking out guitar shops and trying to spy on the Japanese luthiers/repair guys.
(Wish I spoke Japanese and had the money to goto the ESP Guitar Craft Academy, they do really interesting things there)
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 01:31 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

awesome dude, i'm gonna be heading over there hopefully by the end of next year, just got my international english teaching license
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 11:25 PM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

No ishibashi in Kyoto, but there certainly is an Ishibashi in Osaka (2 in fact). Just get onto their website (it's in Japanese sadly). Either way youre 30 mins by train from Osaka and i strongly recommend you take time out to go there. It's an awesome place.
Ought to add, there is probably no need to go to Tokyo JUST to buy guitars, but again, go anyway. I love Tokyo and i can honestly say it is the coolest city i have ever been to and i guarantee you'll have a great time.
This link gives you all the stores in Japan. It's in japanese but each shop site has a map and if you print it off somebody will be able to help you out finding the places.

www.ishibashi.co.jp/store/index.htm

Flobanez, you lived in Atsugi?
I live just over in Machida. I'd imagine i'ts changed a hell of a lot since you were here mind. Certainly is a friggin awesome place. I'm in no hurry to leave (though the wife is japanese, and hot as, so my arm has been twisted a tad.)

Last edited by leppermessiah; 11-04-2005 at 11:32 PM.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-04-2005, 11:53 PM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leppermessiah

Flobanez, you lived in Atsugi?
I live just over in Machida. I'd imagine i'ts changed a hell of a lot since you were here mind. Certainly is a friggin awesome place. I'm in no hurry to leave (though the wife is japanese, and hot as, so my arm has been twisted a tad.)
I love Machida. Used to go every weekend. It is probably my favorite city, well, back then. Tokyo was nice too, especially Shinjuku.

I lived on Atsugi base (Navy base). It's so spread out in that area.
I have fond memories of Machida though. What a great city with so much to do!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-05-2005, 03:50 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by buddroyce
Don't forget to check out some Japanese girls... *wink* *wink*
That's the real reason why he's making this trip .

Regards

André



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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-05-2005, 05:33 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Theres a Music Land Key in Kyoto, which should have some newer Ibanez's instock, and porbaly some J-Custom's. I got a Fender Strat there and they were really nice. But Tokyo would be better, as theres a lots of guitar shops including Kurosawa and Ikebe, who have their own original J-Customs.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Leppermessiah,

Any "can't miss" sights/activities I should check out while I'm there? Other than the guitar stores, obviously.

Also, how's the weather?

Andy
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Wow, where to start (and end)?

Since you are gonna be in Kyoto, there is a ton of cool stuff there. Obviously there are the shrines and temples and i dont really think i need to go into any great detail here, any decent guide book could help you out there. The main ones are Kyou mizu dera, which is awesome but swamped by tourists, especially at this time of year as it is one of the most spectacular times to go. kinkaku ji is impressive on a nice day, but i actually preferred ginkaku ji. I really liked Nijo-jo. I has cool squeaky floors to catch out ninja. Chion in is very impressive with its enormous wooden gate followed by a hike up a load of steps. It is a fully functioning buddhist temple and is often in use which really gives it an atmosphere unlike any other temple in Kyoto. Though the best temples were tucked away off the beaten track, and i wouldn't be able to begin to tell you where they were. Arashiyama threw up a couple of nice surprises. Kyoto is just a great place, many people will tell you it's their favourite city in Japan for numerous reasons. It's also in Kansai which lends it a far more relaxed atmosphere than Tokyo. You'll see what i mean when you get here. It would also be well worth taking a day (or even just an afternoon) exploring Nara, which is very close to Kyoto and has some beautiful sites of it's own.

As for Tokyo, if you get the chance to spend a few days here you will not regret it. Its difficult to talk about must sees in Tokyo, it's more a place to experience than a sightseeing city like paris or london. As you'll discover when you get to Japan, the best things about Japan are the ones you stumble on. Here are a list of places you should check out though.

Shinjuku - My favourite place in the world. It is such an awesome, frenetic place and it literally goes on 24-7. The first thing you'll encounter is Shinjuku station which is just incredible. I swear the entire poulation of Tokyo must pass through this place at rush hour. You'll wanna avoid the skyscraper district unless you wanna go up the government building for the view. Instead head ithe other way. At night this place is just neon, noise and people (and man are the girls hot). During the daytime it's just noise and people. The cover of the G3 DVD does not do this place justice. This is what everybody imagines when they think Tokyo. Depending on what you want i would suggest a trek into Kabuki-cho. It's quite notorious in Japan as it's where all the yakuza hang out and its full of sex shops and hostess bars. As a foreigner though, you won't understand why the japanese are so fearful (the yakuza are not nearly as frightening as many would have you believe), so just wander round, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the sights. The place is full of small bars and restaurants, and there is something quite uniquely Japanese about the place.

Shibuya - kind of like shinjuku; on speed. The place is mental. It is full of kids sporting the latest in wierd and wonderful fashion (which in Japan dates at an unbelievably quickly), and when i say full, the place is rammed. You literally have trouble moving around on the weekends due to the crush of people. That said there are a few cool bars (the clubs suck though) and some decent live houses where you can catch some of the local musical talent. i use the word talent in the loosest sense of the word. Some of the bands are great but a lot of them seem unsure even how to plug their guitars in (the sad thing is, someone appears to have told them).

Harajuku - I like it here, a lot more relaxed than the above, but has some cool little streets where you can stroll and check out the shops selling all sorts of wierd and wonderful stuff. Whilst youre her, you can check out Meiji Jingu, a shrine tucked away in fairly spacious wooded grounds. You'll forget for a second in youre in the heart of perhaps the noisiest city on earth. Well worth a visit.

Asakusa - A nice little town, but the main reason to come here would be Sensou-ji. It has a KYoto-ish air to it, but is a really cool temple.

Akihabara - THE place to come for electronics of ANY kind. It is actually called "Electric town". It is a fascinating place. This is where all the Otaku (maniacal followers of something or other, usually animation and manga) hang out and one of the most interesting things to do here, is to go to one of the many cafes dotted about that pander to the Otaku fantasies. Kind of theme cafes where the girls dress up in all sorts of uniforms and call the customers master. It is a little wierd, but this is one of the things that makes Tokyo so cool.

Roppongi - I would not list this as a must see, except as a case study of the human animal in action. It is just wall to wall nightlife, and it has a mildly sleazy atmosphere. Still, worth a visit if you have an evening free and fancy a night on the town. And the girls here really ARE stunning.


I think that will do. sorry its so long. This is just what i like about Tokyo and Kyoto. There are loads more things to do and see here so do your research and get hold of a decent guide book (the lonely planet book is pretty thorough though a bit pricey). Most important thing though is to make the most of your trip. I dunno how long you're gonna be here but it will almost certainly be too short. Take the time to get to know the people and you will reap the rewards. And if you can learn a little japanese (just the basics) you will blow them away and it will be greatly appreciated, as well as making your life a little easier. I've been here 4 years and people are still amazed when i say anything in Japanese. Have a really great time, it will certainly be a trip you'll remember forever. If there is anything else you wanna know, feel free to PM me and i'll sort you out with any info you might need.

Last edited by leppermessiah; 11-06-2005 at 02:00 AM.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 01:53 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Oh yeah, and the weather is pretty good at the moment. Temps around 18c and clear skies generally. Though prob gonna rain later, which is a bummer as i'm off drinking in Machida tonight.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 02:42 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

hahha ha
Akihabara maid cafes "a little weird"
that is the most outrageous understatement ever!!

they bring weird to a whole new level..

Interestingly enough when i visited akihabara last May one of the stores had a salesman outside with a squier strat ripping his way through what sounded like
a Ywngie cover. he was pretty damn good, but hardly drew a crowd..
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 04:56 AM
 
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Re: Going guitar hunting in Japan!

Interesting reading leppermessiah, thanks! By the way you might wanna check the dogs eyes at some point .

Regards

André



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