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Is this the best record store in Tokyo?
Price: 1500 yen
I bet this place rejoiced at the down fall of HMV (I didn't), as it must now be the No.1 record store in Tokyo. Well, at least in terms of size.
This huge operation covers 9 floors in all, and stocks pretty much every genre of music you could want.
The ground floor and main entrance is noisy. There is usually some kind of campaign going on, with lots of shouting, and loud announcements. For a bit of peace and quite(ish), head to the second floor where you'll find the Tower Records Cafe (nice, worth a look, but usually busy) and the book store. The book store used to be on one of the higher floors, and used to be much better, if truth be told. Now, the number of books have been reduced significantly, and it seems to be more in favor of stocking stuck-up arty coffee table books which are really expensive, and really no use to anyone. Still, there remains a half decent collection of novels here, and quite a good stock of magazine. You can also find some free English-language listing type publications on the counter.
The Shibuya branch of Tower Records is pretty easy to negotiate and find the CDs that you're looking for. It also has a load of listening stations where you can loiter (and listen) to your heart's content.
Sometimes there will be live performances here, although they are usually by local artists that I've never heard of.
Overall, despite the regrettable changes to the book store, the Shibuya Tower Records remains a vital resource for those who want to browse and buy CDs. It's also a good people watching spot being only 5 mins from Shibuya Station. Let's just hope it doesn't go the way of HMV!