Going To Visit Guitar Stores In Ochanomizu, Tokyo, Japan!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Tenderfoot, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Meister

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    I will be visiting Ochanomizu, Tokyo in April to visit all the guitar stores in that part of Tokyo. If there are any TDPRI members living in Japan and able to meet up with me that would be great. If any TDPRI member has been to the guitars stores in Ochanomizu, I would appreciate any advice you might have about which stores to visit and how to get discounts (if that's possible).

    I would also like recommendations on where to stay for 2 nights from anyone who has visited Tokyo. Right now I plan on staying at a hotel near the airport and taking a train to Ochanomizu, Tokyo.

    Regards,

    Tenderfoot
     
  2. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

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    Ochanomizu takes a while to get through and I can't help you with the store's names. I spent two afternoons wandering the precinct, lots of nice instruments but I was window shopping so I can't give you the drop on haggling. The Japanese are unfailingly polite but that doesn't always extend to discounting. I had half a mind to buy, on a whim, a CIJ Tele if I could find the one that talked to me- didn't happen. Chiefly, I think because there wasn't enough time. I reckon a couple of weeks or a month to gauge the stock turnover, what hangs around, what sells, that'd be the go; then you could pick up something for a good price. Buying as a FIFO tourist has got to be a risk. Japan's a wonderful place just for it's difference, have a great time TF, I'll be back there as soon as my lazy schedule permits.
     
  3. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Not a good idea,you will miss all the fun of central Tokyo.Try a business hotel in Sinjuku (my favorite part of the city).KADOYA hotel is the one I usually stay and it is affordable.
     
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  4. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 Nick. The airport is a long way from the fun areas of Tokyo. There is a big central train loop - the JR Yamanote line which goes through a lot of interesting areas. Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc. To get to Ochanomizu you take another line a couple of stops from Tokyo or Shinjuku station. (I walked it from Akihabara once). I've bought 3 guitars in Japan, 2 new and 1 used, all cheap. I've never been able to haggle or get a discount but I don't know if that's me or a tourist thing or a Japan thing. Have fun and post pics when you get back! :)

    * Edit to correct incorrect train info.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2016
  5. Tenderfoot

    Tenderfoot Tele-Meister

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    Thanks Henry, Nick and Steve for the input. Further to my original post, do the stores allow for trying out the guitars? What about amps? From all the pictures I have seen there are tons of guitars, many effects but very few amps; and the ones I have seen are small PRRI size.

    I have decided to stay downtown as (all of you) suggested. My son ( I Own A Tele on TDPRI) is going with me and asked what did we do if we bought a guitar, take it back to airport hotel and then go back into town? Good point!

    Best Regards,

    Tenderfoot
     
  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    +2 on Shinjuku. The airport is so far away, you will need to allow plenty of time traveling from and to the airport. And I mean lots of time getting back to the airport.

    I'm so jealous. Tokyo is my favorite big city in the world. Have fun. I imported the best built guitar that I own from Japan.

    Did I mention lots of time to get back to the airport?

    BTW, even if you don't sing, you will be an instant star at any karaoke bar. Trust me, just do it.
     
  7. Sleepyscholar

    Sleepyscholar Tele-Meister

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    Shame my timing's out: I'm visiting Tokyo on the 29th-30th March. I'll be staying in Tsukiji (famous for sushi and fish markets), but those who advise a capsule or business hotel are on the money. Bear in mind that upmarket or convenient areas of Tokyo are pretty expensive to stay in and are very likely to be booked up well in advance.

    Japan is basically not a serious haggling country. So if the guy in the shop isn't prepared to give you a discount, it's not that he doesn't like you, it's just that's the way things are done here. It's not like Hong Kong where if you don't get them down to half-price you're a mug. Having said that, it is possible to get a discount if you work at it a bit. You might also see about the possibility of getting your consumption tax refunded (duty-free shopping: I can't speak from experience, but I'd imagine Tokyo shops ought to be able to do it).

    Sadly I almost never go to Tokyo (this will be my 3rd time in 25 years) so I can tell you nothing useful about the shops in Ochanomizu.
     
  8. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't think you'll have any issues trying out guitars. I can't remember about amps other than that I was there when the Mesa mini rec was released and I was chatting to a salesman about it. He encouraged me to try it out even though I couldn't buy it due to the different power supply. This was in Yokohama however. Generally Japanese are very friendly and helpful.
     
  9. Terriblecj

    Terriblecj Tele-Meister

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    I was amazed at the Gibson signature models that I had never seen or heard of. Shibuya/Osaka was packed with them. Plus, the ESP custom shop has everything under the sun and probably built better than the originals. I was there when the big earthquake hit. You think getting to/from the airport is normally bad..........
     
  10. I own a Tele

    I own a Tele Tele-Meister

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    I'm going along with my dad (Tenderfoot) to tokyo!


    I really want to get a Jerry Donahue mij tele, is it possible for 500? Seems like alot of mij have disappeared from eBay.
     
  11. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Tele-Holic

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    If you're buying, show your passport so they don't charge you the 10% tax (iirc). The store will affix the sales docs to your passport, and immigration will take them off your passport before you board your flight out.
     
  12. vegetablejoe

    vegetablejoe Tele-Holic

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    May I ask where in Osaka you saw those guitars? Didn't find but one small Ishibashi branch near the Osaka Central Station...
     
  13. Uncle Joe

    Uncle Joe Friend of Leo's

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    Cool. Good luck in your adventure quest.

    I purchased my CIJ 62/65 Telecaster used in Ochanomizu about five years back or more. Tokyo is a big place and you'll need to map out your train travel intelligently to get to Ochanomizu-Bashi on the first try without backtracking.

    In my experience the Japanese guitar shop guys will not discount used instruments at all. It's not Shanghai or Shenzhen where failure to negotiate is deemed a weakness. When I purchased my used CIJ I was with my Hong Kong distributor. I needed to make an effort at a discount in order to not appear weak to him. The kid at the guitar shop did not budge. I refused to pay tax. He didn't move. I wanted the guitar so I went to the register. The tax was included within the price tag hanging from the guitar. Okay. Not bad. $500 USD with soft case. I got lucky and, even though I was steerage/economy on the flight home, the flight attendant placed the guitar in the closet in business class. Nice.

    Here's a picture from the day I bought it...

    [​IMG]
     
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