6-17-09 Vinyl Time – Travel (
I was encouraged to go to
Taking a train to somewhere out west, on the JR Chuo line – I spotted a billboard on a train platform that had the cover of Fleetwood Mac “English Rose” – and I thought it was for a record store, making a mental note of which station it was at. We did later return to Nakano, and we found the wonderful “Rare” chain of shops, but I was told years later that the Fleetwood Mac LP cover was an advertisement for a bar!
In 1994, I hadn’t fully transformed back into vinyl man yet – it was CD time, mostly. Yes, there were records in used record stores, but my focus of the first trip was primarily on Japanese domestic compact discs. By 2000, I was definitely hunting down vinyl again, when visiting
In some places in ’94, there was evidence of super inexpensive vinyl that was still being ditched from the first wave of people selling off vinyl to buy CD’s. I crouched and looked at a few crates outside of a big electronics store in Akihabara – records were cheap, most of them still had their obi’s (the paper band around the cover) – but it was obvious that these bins had been looked through a LOT over a few years. Not a lot of ‘good stuff’ in there. By sharp contrast, I could go into nearby used CD stores and turn up really interesting CD’s for a low price.
There was indeed a language barrier. For some restaurant experiences, I relied on my friend Ken to order the food. But all the train station signs were in English; we had an English-language map that we used a lot. I found that if you acted like you knew what you’re doing, and where you were going – results were mostly OK.
I brought to Japan my experience of looking for records all over the western