Japan Trip: Quick guitar observations etc

Hey guys,

I'm back from Japan. With my rushed itinerary I didn't get that much of a chance to drop in on many music stores, but the ones I did were very, very nice.

Forgetting guitars for a moment, access to products from the likes of Yamaha is easy, with some big show rooms in central city locations. Especially for DJ equip.

There was also a great range of drum kits in many stores, including a drum museum in Tokyo.

As for guitars, I suggest anyone visiting be prepared to buy. Take the time to research shipping costs or air travel costs (something I did not) as chances are you will want to pick something up.

Obviously there is a nice selection of Japanese Fenders, but better yet, Gibson prices were really damn low. I say that coming from an Aussies perspective though. We have to put up with higher prices for everything and any poms and Americans may not appreciate that huge cost saving difference of at least 500 - 1000 AUD that I saw.

It's clearly the place to buy a Jap fender though. Price and selection would make it hard for even a hardcore Gibsonite to resist a strat.

Plenty of acoustics to look at as well... I can't recall model names atm though.

I really only touched the surface of what's available. If you had the time, many of you could devote 3 or 4 days alone to just guitar browsing and testing.

Apart from that though, Japan is a beautiful country with the politest people I have ever met. I'm still coming terms with just how nice the Japanese were to us. I've never received such kindess back home.

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And on a related note anyone wanting a guide to classic Japanese rock music would do well to purchase Japrocksampler by the mighty Julian Cope - see http://www.headheritage.com/merchandiser/#978-0-7475-8945-7 and http://www.japrocksampler.com/. I've just finished reading it and am totally impressed with the man's depth of knowledge. It's a very interesting read, the only problem I had was confusion with all the Japanese names.

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