Recommended retailers in Tokyo Japan?

Shigs

Member
Messages
9
So the dream is to own a vintage Greco guitar. I recently won an eBay auction for an EG-700 for £500 only for the seller to pull out :( Something about a faulty pickup which sounded like total BS.

Anyway, I have a family friend going to Japan next month so this may be my only hope! In the UK we don't get many decent Greco buying options.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a guitar store in Tokyo? Ishibashi is the obvious one but not sure they have a walk-in location. My friend is not a guitar person at all, so I'd probably have to purchase online and they would pick it up on my behalf.

If there are others in other major cities like Osaka etc I'd be also interested to hear about them.

Thanks in advance!
 

scelerat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,062
I like TC Gakki quite a bit, been there a few times. They have lots of old and used Japanese guitars -- including '60s and '70s greco, yamaha, teisco -- on the first floor, and a bunch or higher end, mostly US-made vintage guitars on upper floors. Super easy to get from the Shin Okubo station near Shinjuku.

Also check out various Hard Off locations. They're kind of like a nice Goodwill or Salvation Army store, and many of them have well-curated and cared-for musical instrument sections. My brother in law bought a really cool '60s hollow body Baldwin at the one in Kichijoji a few months ago. That location also had several '60s '70s and '80s Yamaha SG and SA guitars, Teiscos, MIM, MIJ, MIA fenders, all at very reasonable prices. They have a "junk" pile which usually has interesting finds as well. Hard Off is much less of a tourist destination, so google translate is your friend if you need english. In-store most people speak some english, so it's not too big of a problem.
 
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pinkfuzz65

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,042
Nico Nico Guitar’s near shibuya station. best guitar shop. They are friendly and have lots of high end used stuff.

There is an Ishibashi in shibuya too as well as another store. you can order to ishibashi there, just email them with the guitar from the website and your friend can pick it up.
 

yoshiii

Member
Messages
743
So the dream is to own a vintage Greco guitar. I recently won an eBay auction for an EG-700 for £500 only for the seller to pull out :( Something about a faulty pickup which sounded like total BS.

Anyway, I have a family friend going to Japan next month so this may be my only hope! In the UK we don't get many decent Greco buying options.

Does anyone have a good recommendation for a guitar store in Tokyo? Ishibashi is the obvious one but not sure they have a walk-in location. My friend is not a guitar person at all, so I'd probably have to purchase online and they would pick it up on my behalf.

If there are others in other major cities like Osaka etc I'd be also interested to hear about them.

Thanks in advance!
I lived/live in Japan, go to area called Ocha no Mizu. Its close to the baseball stadium, blocks of guitar shops. Lots of them.

Or look for Ishiibashi music stores. Japanese biggest music store retailer.
 

scelerat

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,062
Nico Nico Guitar’s near shibuya station. best guitar shop. They are friendly and have lots of high end used stuff.

There is an Ishibashi in shibuya too as well as another store. you can order to ishibashi there, just email them with the guitar from the website and your friend can pick it up.
I went to Nico Nico in September looking for some of the kinds of things OP is looking for. They don't really have old Japanese guitars. Lots of great high-end American guitars, though. Fender Custom shop, Rics, Gibson, etc. Worth calling or emailing ahead to any place for sure.
 

AltecGreen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,282
Japan is my favorite place to go guitar shopping.

For the OP, he's looking for a specific kind of guitar. I don't do vintage so my favorite stores would not work for the OP. Here are some obvious ones for the type of guitars the OP is interested in. These have an online presence and some form of English communications.

Shimokura (Ochanomizu)
TC Gagkki (Shinjuku)
Ishibashi (Shibuya and Ochannomizu)
Ikebe Gakki (Lots of specialty stores under different names. Try Heartman Vintage guitar in Shibuya)
Guitar Planet (Ochanomizu)


There are stores like Yamano Music, Kurosawa Gakki, ESP's BigBoss, etc. These may have a vintage guitar but are better for new and new Japanese domestic brands. These are more in my wheelhouse. In Tokyo, I like Miyaji Music in Kanda and Musicland Key in Shibuya. These don't really carry the guitars the OP is looking for.

There are a lot of smaller and more niche stores in districts that are more stand alone (i.e. not clustered together). Most like Bottom's Up or Dolphin cater to the high end Japanese stuff I like. There are quirky stores like Bridge Guitars in Suginami City (West of Shinjuku). These tend to be a bit further from the center of Tokyo.


Ishibashi has a Greco EG-700 right now as does Guitar Planet and TC Gakki.

Osaka is also really good. There is a district just south of Shinsaibashi and north of Dontonbori with a cluster of stores. Miki Gakki (incredible selection of high end guitars), an Ikebe, Ishibashi, and a Musicland Key.

For the OP, I recommend looking at the stores above and checking Digimart.net. Find a guitar and then figure which stores is listing it. You can then contact the store to see if you can pay and have your friend pick it up.


Here's my report from my Japan trip that has some pictures of the above.
Japan Travelougue
 

yoshiii

Member
Messages
743
Go to Ocha no Mizu. The biggest Ishiibashi is there. lots of guitars. There are shops scattered everywhere in Tokyo. So unless you have lots of time to go around everywhere, I suggest going to Ocha no Mizu and start there. Ocha no Mizu is the area name. After than I would go to Shinjuku, then Shibuya.
The places other people have suggested are good places too. Its just so many places. Ishiibashi is online too an sells to the states
 

AltecGreen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,282
Go to Ocha no Mizu. The biggest Ishiibashi is there. lots of guitars. There are shops scattered everywhere in Tokyo. So unless you have lots of time to go around everywhere, I suggest going to Ocha no Mizu and start there. Ocha no Mizu is the area name. After than I would go to Shinjuku, then Shibuya.
The places other people have suggested are good places too. Its just so many places. Ishiibashi is online too an sells to the states

Is the Ishibashi in Ochnomizu bigger than the one in Shibuya?
 

Robotechnology

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,440
I’d definitely go to shibuya and ochanomizu but, you’d probably be just fine checking all the Shibuya stores out at least at first. Loved Ishibashi and Ikebe in Shibuya! My mind became numb after a while because when I tried to hit every store in Ochanomizu (I did hit 95% of them). Definite NO to take significant other there unless they’re a musician as well.
 

Desmosedici

Member
Messages
406
Since you're not going there yourself, you'll need an easy location for your friend to find.
Shibuya is easy and fun, so no one need be bored or 'put out' while he shops for you.
However...
Have a look at this site, and work out if anything here suits.

https://www.digimart.net/search?category12Id=359&keywordAnd=Greco&x=0&y=0

An in-store pickup sounds like what you need.
You can arrange store transfer if it's not in the Tokyo area and they have a Tokyo branch.
Some are from obscure shops tho, but give it a look.
 

Falsecrack

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
445
OP, If your friend is “not a guitar person”, and you’re going to buy it online (and have your friend bring it back), are you just trying to save money on shipping? I’m not quite understanding.

None the less, you and I have a common goal as of late;—we’re both in the market for a nice vintage Greco. So I can totally relate to your enthusiasm.

And given my location, it is a 100% probability, that I will not be playing any guitar before buying.
 
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Sensates

Member
Messages
814
I like TC Gakki quite a bit, been there a few times. They have lots of old and used Japanese guitars -- including '60s and '70s greco, yamaha, teisco -- on the first floor, and a bunch or higher end, mostly US-made vintage guitars on upper floors. Super easy to get from the Shin Okubo station near Shinjuku.

Also check out various Hard Off locations. They're kind of like a nice Goodwill or Salvation Army store, and many of them have well-curated and cared-for musical instrument sections. My brother in law bought a really cool '60s hollow body Baldwin at the one in Kichijoji a few months ago. That location also had several '60s '70s and '80s Yamaha SG and SA guitars, Teiscos, MIM, MIJ, MIA fenders, all at very reasonable prices. They have a "junk" pile which usually has interesting finds as well. Hard Off is much less of a tourist destination, so google translate is your friend if you need english. In-store most people speak some english, so it's not too big of a problem.
These are the places I will check out if you're looking for good old Japanese Guitars for cheap.
 

pinkfuzz65

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,042
Japan is my favorite place to go guitar shopping.

For the OP, he's looking for a specific kind of guitar. I don't do vintage so my favorite stores would not work for the OP. Here are some obvious ones for the type of guitars the OP is interested in. These have an online presence and some form of English communications.

Shimokura (Ochanomizu)
TC Gagkki (Shinjuku)
Ishibashi (Shibuya and Ochannomizu)
Ikebe Gakki (Lots of specialty stores under different names. Try Heartman Vintage guitar in Shibuya)
Guitar Planet (Ochanomizu)


There are stores like Yamano Music, Kurosawa Gakki, ESP's BigBoss, etc. These may have a vintage guitar but are better for new and new Japanese domestic brands. These are more in my wheelhouse. In Tokyo, I like Miyaji Music in Kanda and Musicland Key in Shibuya. These don't really carry the guitars the OP is looking for.

There are a lot of smaller and more niche stores in districts that are more stand alone (i.e. not clustered together). Most like Bottom's Up or Dolphin cater to the high end Japanese stuff I like. There are quirky stores like Bridge Guitars in Suginami City (West of Shinjuku). These tend to be a bit further from the center of Tokyo.


Ishibashi has a Greco EG-700 right now as does Guitar Planet and TC Gakki.

Osaka is also really good. There is a district just south of Shinsaibashi and north of Dontonbori with a cluster of stores. Miki Gakki (incredible selection of high end guitars), an Ikebe, Ishibashi, and a Musicland Key.

For the OP, I recommend looking at the stores above and checking Digimart.net. Find a guitar and then figure which stores is listing it. You can then contact the store to see if you can pay and have your friend pick it up.


Here's my report from my Japan trip that has some pictures of the above.
Japan Travelougue
this. Osaka is my favorite too. The Ishibashi and mikki Gakki there is awesome. I got my Les paul Classic there. There’s also the Ishibashi in umeda, got my 335 there. They have the cream of the crop in terms of Gibson there.
Worth mentioning that these guys are super helpful and are willing to ship anywhere if you message them ahead of time.

I think if your friend is picking it up then definitely email ahead of time. Ultimately Ochanomizu in Tokyo has everything. I wish I’d bought the purple sparkle J Masscis I saw there when I went. Can’t wait to go there again.


And thanks, Shimokura was the other shop I couldn’t remember in both shibuya and in ochanomizu.

Back to what the OP wants, I think you’ll need to check the used inventory of each other the shops and see who has the guitar you want.
 
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AltecGreen

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,282
Ultimately Ochanomizu in Tokyo has everything.
I don't think it has everything. It's pretty light on high-end domestic Japanese brands. (G-Life, Bizen, Dragonfly, Saito, Kino, Altero, Nishgaki, etc.) I go to Ochanimizu mainly for the BigBoss store and that is usually for Verocity pedals.
 

Shigs

Member
Messages
9
this. Osaka is my favorite too. The Ishibashi and mikki Gakki there is awesome. I got my Les paul Classic there. There’s also the Ishibashi in umeda, got my 335 there. They have the cream of the crop in terms of Gibson there.
Worth mentioning that these guys are super helpful and are willing to ship anywhere if you message them ahead of time.

I think if your friend is picking it up then definitely email ahead of time. Ultimately Ochanomizu in Tokyo has everything. I wish I’d bought the purple sparkle J Masscis I saw there when I went. Can’t wait to go there again.


And thanks, Shimokura was the other shop I couldn’t remember in both shibuya and in ochanomizu.

Back to what the OP wants, I think you’ll need to check the used inventory of each other the shops and see who has the guitar you want.
Hi,

I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind responses. Obviously the the pandemic has changed matters somewhat. At times like these there's certainly more important things.

While staying at home I've been checking out those recommended websites and retailers. The way the Greco serials work is pretty cool! I'm now looking for one for one from the month of my birth, which is E 84 xxx

I've also read that the early 80's is a great era for Greco guitars. The Super Real's moved to Mint's.

Does anyone have a Mint? I'd be keen to learn of the model and how she plays?

Cheers
 




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