Synth shopping in Japan

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dswo
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Synth shopping in Japan

Post by dswo » Fri May 23, 2014 11:01 am

I'm hoping to visit Kyoto sometime in the next year.

1. Are there any synth shops I should peek into?

2. I'm not looking for anything in particular. I know I can't take back a full-size keyboard. Is there anything I should look for that will fit in a carry-on bag? (I realize that's a broad question.)
David Wilson-Okamura

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joeboy
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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by joeboy » Fri May 23, 2014 11:38 am

I live on the southernmost island of Japan: nowhere near Kyoto, but I've had decent luck with the chain Hard Off. Since it's a general used goods store rather than a specialty shop, most of their synths and effects are priced significantly lower than what they usually sell for on ebay. But it really depends. Yamaha stuff doesn't seem to be discounted that much, while I've seen MS-20 minis for the equivalent of about 300 bucks. Analog definitely isn't as chic here.

I'm sure there are Hard Offs in Kyoto. I'd recommend scouring other "recycle shops" too. The Japanese love getting rid of amazing electronics, furniture, and clothes.

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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by dswo » Fri May 23, 2014 12:01 pm

Thank you, joeboy. I would never have thought of this on my own.
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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by Bitexion » Fri May 23, 2014 2:45 pm

And they have such adorably strange names...Hard Off..

In Tokyo some store owners are kind of "racist" towards foreigners though, 3 friends of mine were doing a trip through Japan over 3 weeks. They went to a music store in which the personnel refused to give them service or even talk to them. They just waved their hands and said NO GAIJIN..weird.

It also seemed like the employees were more sceptical when all 3 went in a store as a group, rather than walk in separately.

And school girls would keep snickering and whispering all the time, they felt like a walking freak show sometimes.

They also said most stores were tiny, so you couldn't browse or stand around much you kind of had to go with the flow or get pushed around alot.

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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by joeboy » Fri May 23, 2014 3:43 pm

Tokyo is the most foreigner friendly city in that you can get by with English, but the residents themselves aren't always nice. Being exposed to non-Japanese has made them more xenophobic if anything. The bad attitude could also be attributed to living in such an enormous, crowded maze. I enjoyed my time there, but life on Kyushu is by far more pleasant.

And school kids are silly no matter where you go. When girls giggle behind my back thinking I don't understand, they're usually saying something innocuous like "I'm jealous. I want long legs like that."

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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by SKINNYPIG » Fri May 23, 2014 3:56 pm

the big recycle shop chain is called '2nd Street' http://www.2ndstreet.jp/
Back in 2009 I stupidly passed up on a mint Rolland RE301 for £150 in one of their shops in Sapporo :oops:

I was back there in February but didn't see anything of note this time

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Re: Synth shopping in Japan

Post by dswo » Fri May 23, 2014 4:30 pm

I lived in Nara about twenty years ago, and didn't realize how lucky I was until much later (or how much slack the locals were really cutting me). Even then I didn't mind the giggles on the train platform: it was rural, I was different, and they weren't sneering. I look forward to going back, even for a short visit. If I find some interesting music gear, that will be nice too.
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