Guitar Shops in Tokyo – A Guide for Visitors

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If you’re also a guitar nut like me, you might have heard mystical stories about guitar shops in Tokyo as well. First of all, Japan is one of the countries with a huge tradition of building guitars. Do companies like Ibanez or ESP ring a bell? The interesting thing is that Japanese manufacturers started out copying the designs of Western guitars, like Gibson Les Pauls or Fender Stratocasters. Even Ibanez started out that way: you can still find many Les Paul copies made in the 1970s by Ibanez on eBay or similar. By the time people figured out how awesome these Japanese guitars actually are, Japanese manufacturers started to design their own product lines. Today, some of the best guitars in the world come out of Japan, and some of the best Western guitars in the world are delivered to Japan. Especially some guitar shops in Tokyo are well-known for having some of the finest Gibson Les Pauls that are produced today. All this taken together makes Tokyo an awesome stop for guitar lovers, as these guitar shops in Tokyo are some of the best in the world!

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Ishibashi – One of the best Guitar Shops in Tokyo

The list: Guitar Shops in Tokyo

1. Ochanomizu Guitar Shops

If there is one “guitar district” with most guitar shops in Tokyo, it certainly has to be the area around Ochanomizu! When I went to Tokyo last October, I stayed in that area for that reason (by the way: if you need a nice little affordable hotel with extremeley friendly staff, I recommend the Ochanomizu Hotel Shoryukan). Seriously, it’s like a whole street with around 10 guitar stores on each side – so you’ll have an awesome choice! There’s even a nice little ESP Store I visited back then. You just need to get to Ochanomizu subway station (take the red line) and proceed south to Meidai Dori Street, and there you are! Plan at least two hours to check out all the stores though, as the selection is just huge.


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2. Ishibashi Guitar Shop in Tokyo

Ishibashi basically is a chain of music stores in Japan. The one you can find in Shibuya is actually one of my favorite guitar shops in Tokyo as it has a huge selection of Gibson, Fender and PRS guitars – even a Ken Lawrence Double Explorer can be found there! To get there, just take one of the many trains to Shibuya Station. Exit the station (check out the awesome Shibuya Crossing first) and proceed to the Northwest. It’s a little bit tricky to find as it’s inside a small shopping complex, but the sheer size of the store makes up for it!

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3. ESP Guitar Factory in Shibuya

Located next to Ishibashi you will find one of the actual ESP Guitar Factories in Japan. There they actually build some of the guitars upstairs with all the woodwork and so on. They also have a store that sells some of the finest ESP guitars. For me as an ESP player this made it one of my favorite guitar shops in Tokyo by far. They have awesome, friendly staff there that does its best to talk about great guitars in English – definitely an awesome place to check out!

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4. TC Gakki, Shinjuku-Ku

If you’re out to buy a vintage guitars of all the major brands you can wish for, TC Gakki at Shinjuku-Ku is one of the guitar shops in Tokyo you definitely need to check out! As the other stores mainly focus on new gear of the known brands, this is quite a nice change. They also feature effects pedals, old amplifiers and more! To get there, you just need to take the Yamanoto line to Shin-Okubo station. From there, it’s just a very short walk!

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5. Nico-Nico Guitars, Shibuya

Looking for awesome vintage guitars, as well as a beautiful selection of new Gibsons and Fenders? Then Nico Nico Guitars is a great place for you! Especially the collection of Gibson Les Pauls is noteworthy, but they also feature some great PRS guitars. Additionally, their used section has quite some great bargains for you. If you want to get to one of the best guitar shops in Tokyo, just head to Shibuya’s famous Tower Record building and you’ll find it nearby.

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Conclusion

No matter which of the guitar shops in Tokyo you visit, you will definitely have a great time! Besides all the guitar shopping please don’t forget to do as much sightseeing in this great city as possible. Check out my Tokyo Photos if you need some inspiration!

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Guitar Shops in Tokyo: The ESP Craft House

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