I get quite a few emails asking for tips about Tokyo / Japan. I’m getting tired of answering them, so I’m just going to write this post and ignore any more emails I receive. Please note this is not supposed to be in any way comprehensive. This is just the basics and something to get you started. If you want to find out more, then go digging.
Clubs / parties
If you are interested in checking out Dommune, they run Monday – Thursday nights, with music from 9pm – midnight. They normally announce their schedule for the upcoming week on Twitter at some point on Sunday. You need to register in advance if you want to attend. For full info and directions about Dommune in English, please check here: http://www.dommune.com/about/en/
Resident Advisor has a pretty comprehensive list of upcoming parties, and this is the best place to check if you want to find out what’s going on. You can also have a look at the events page on Clubberia.
Also keep an eye on the MNML SSGS Twitter, I will tweet about parties that I think look good or that I’m playing at.
Shibuya is the easiest place to go record shopping. There are a number of main stores all pretty close to each other:
Technique Records: Up to date range of techno and house, plus a very strong and well priced second hand collection.
Disk Union Shibuya: Unfortunately it is not as strong as it used to be, but still a good selection of new and second hand techno and house. You can sometimes find some real gems here at reasonable prices.
Lighthouse Records: Mainly new stuff, focus is primarily house music.
And if you are looking for gear, or want to look at gear, then you need to check out FiveG in Harajuku. From what I’ve been told, some of the stuff there is a bit expensive, but they have an amazing selection of stuff to check.
General tourist stuff
If you are planning on traveling around Japan at all, then it is probably worth investing in a JR rail pass. These are excellent value if you want to ride the bullet train.
Tokyo is an impressive city, and definitely worth checking and experiencing, but I would also suggest making sure you try to check out other parts of the country. Japan is a beautiful and amazing place, and Tokyo is just one side of it.
For everything else, buy a guide book.