You’ll need to climb up to the fourth floor of a nondescript Shimokitazawa building to find it, but this café and record shop, owned by musician Keiichi Sokabe, is worth seeking out. Stepping through the door, you’re welcomed by shelf after shelf packed with great music, from rock, acid folk and rare groove to house and ambient. Every record comes with a small hand-written note describing it, and you’re free to listen to any recording before buying. After a bout of shopping, sit down by the bar for a bottle of beer or a cocktail, plus a serving of CCC’s famous pasta.
Subscription-based online streaming services such as Spotify are quickly gaining ground in Japan. However, many serious music listeners find it hard to resist the charm and character of analogue records. While vinyl has enjoyed a boom in recent years, it never really went away in Tokyo, which has long had a reputation for its excellent record store scene.
One current trend is to make shopping for vinyl a social occasion, which quite naturally brings booze into the equation. And since drinking and digging for choice cuts are best combined at a record store that also functions as a bar, we’ve lined up five of the best of these hybrids for your convenience.
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