I recently rented an apartment near Jimbocho Station. On Sunday I had my first wander around the area in almost a decade. Having moved out of Tokyo seven years ago. Coming back once a month to DJ. But rarely spending any time in the city during daylight hours. When I lived in Tokyo, Jimbocho, Kanda, and Ochanomizu were regular haunts. Packed with secondhand record shops and secondhand book shops. Coffee houses and places to refuel on cheap curry. Places intended for the students at Meiji University.
I used to dig here. So in the name of nostalgia I did a lap of the Disk Unions. There are at least four. Separated by the equivalent of a couple of blocks. Each specialising in a different genre. Heavy Metal, etc. The Rock & Pop one opposite Ochanomizu Station was rammed at 10 AM. I was surprised. But it was nice to see it so. The clientele seemed to be mainly French guys. Who were not together, but shouted and waved greetings as they moved about with their finds. Mint copies of obi`d originals by The Beatles, Stones, and other well-established re-saleable names.
The Jazz Store is the newest, cleanest and swishest of the four. The record buying bug having left me a little – thank goodness – I was content to idle around. Looking at the wall displays of the rarest, most desirable pieces. As if in an art gallery. Wowing at the prices. Wondering how they sounded. Appreciating their design and beauty. And getting in the way of the aficionados as they tutted and rifled though the racks. There`s a particular way to search through the racks of a Tokyo record shop. To fly between titles. It`s like a secret handshake. Or shredding on a guitar. Not using this technique is an instant giveaway of your amateur status. I, without a doubt will have lost my chops, so didn`t even try.
Within the Jazz Store, theres a small room of Soul, Funk and Rare Groove. Where I picked up this free “Most Wanted” list. I only managed 13 out of 101. To be honest I was pretty happy with that.