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!




BIC Camera is strictly for kids who want cheap, digital, and portable, based on my tour of the store in May. But maybe I missed something. Anyway, as a serious audiophile, I wouldn’t waste my time there.

rushfan et al, Lyra cartridges are not sold up front in any store I’ve ever been in over the course of 15 years since our son took up residence in Tokyo. Maybe if you know the right person (and can speak Japanese) you might purchase Lyra there.

@lewm I think it depends on the store, since they have several, but the one I visited had a strong game with HiFi and prices were 50% lower than US, obviously mostly Japanese brands for example Luxman, which I don’t think its for kids since prices can go up to 20K here. 

@sammyshaps there are a couple of stores on Akihabara neighborhood that also have a strong game on HiFi, Dynamic Audio is one of them, watch out because they have 7 floors if they do not have what you are looking for they can guide you 


That was my experience in Japan in July 20023, I was able to buy some of the best cables at 50% less price than USA but you have to look for things 


Look for DS Audio optical cartridges. I have the entry level DS E1. FANTASTIC.

dave, I went into the BIC that is near Yodibashi in Akihabara.  I made a quick tour of every floor, but the emphasis is on "quick"; I might have missed something, but I saw no evidence that they were selling the TOTL gear of any well known manufacturer.  Which is to say they might have been selling Luxman products, but not the TOTL ones.  Whereas, you can walk into Yodi and buy a TOTL Luxman preamplifier right off the shelf.  I was specifically looking for a Viv Float tonearm; Yodi sells Viv, but they were out of stock and did not expect any product for two months.  I never visited any other BIC store, and I certainly yield to your personal experience if yours differs from mine.  Good to know Dynamic Audio still exists.  Ten years ago, I bought a Koetsu Urushi from Sound110; they seem to be kaput as of May.  They were alive and well prior to the pandemic.  I am fearful that the Japanese high end businesses are having a bit of a struggle, just as many of our brick and mortar stores had 10-20 years ago, before going under.