TRAVELING TO JAPAN! Recommendations for shops for cartridges?

Hi all,


I'll be traveling somewhat unexpectedly to Japan this week. I will be spending a couple days in both Kyoto and Tokyo. 


I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for shops I should stop into? Record Stores? 

Specifically i'm seeking a new cartridge under $1500 along with records and cds.

I'm good with both new and vintage cartridges that would pair with with a VPI Prime Scout. 

As for what kind of sound I'm looking for from my cart, I've only ever run the Ortofon 2m Bronze and Black on the VPI, both of which I've liked. Between them I prefer the detail, space and speed from the black over the warmer rounded edges of the bronze...but it could be fun to get two carts with different sound signatures. I'm all ears!

Thank in advance!




But the vast majority of all cartridges are made in Japan or elsewhere in Asia.  In fact, Grado is the only exception I can think of, even assuming Grado cartridges are made in USA, which may not be the case. Along the lines of what you say, best-groove, I notice repeatedly that Japanese re-issues of LPs originally pressed in the USA or Europe are far cheaper in Disc Union than are the original pressings.  This is no bad thing as Japanese pressings are typically superb in quality.  Also, I buy "pre-owned" LPs in Disc Union, without trepidation, because the Japanese appear to take meticulous care of their LPs.  DU uses a rating system of A, B, C, etc. for used LPs.  Any LP rated "A" can be bought sight unseen; it will be like new mint. "B" rated LPs are usually just as good but may have a blemish on the jacket.

Disc Union has great inner sleeves on the Craftman reissues of Three Blind Mice stuff. Some of the great ones, e.g. Black Orpheus, have not been reissued out of Japan.

To me, I’d love to visit Japan with someone who is connected. I know one such person. To get into some of the privately owned systems in standalone "temples" to hear esoterica that we don’t get in the States; the horn/low powered SET thing did take hold as a fringe element here at one point, but the Japanese have this ethos of perfection (which may be a myth but it is a cool objective). The jazz listening rooms for the salarymen would also be something I’d hit.