Isha’s Adventures in Japan – Tower Records, Shibuya

Though I made the very lofty promise before I left to blog while I was in Japan, I have still returned home with only one post to show for myself. In my sorry defense, I was usually totally wiped out by 7:30-ish pm JT (Japan Time) and could barely keep my eyes open, much less type.

So, to make it up to my lovely readers, I am going to do a series of posts called Isha’s Adventures in Japan. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did partaking in them.

This first one is about Tower Records in Shibuya. Usually one store is not enough to get a post out of me but this Tower Records was incredible.

The walk there was approximately 10 minutes from my hotel, but it felt more like 25 minutes in the Japan summer heat. It was in the 90’s the entire time I was there, except for one day. 0 _ 0

The store is massive! I could actually see the Tower Records sign on the top of their building from my hotel room in the day and at night.

While waiting to cross the street to get to the main entrance, there is a huge screen at almost ground level that was showing all of the latest artist and group promotions, including One Ok Rock’s new song The Beginning featured in the new movie Rurouni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno, both of which were released while I was in Tokyo.

Yes, I bought a copy of their cd and yes, I saw the movie. Both were bad ass. Kekeke. Check out the movie trailer here with English subs and One Ok Rock’s official MV for The Beginning here.

There are approximately 8 floors total. I say approximately because I spent the most time on the K pop floor droolzing at all the cute boys and in the Rilakkuma x Tower Records Cafe stuffing my face.

For those of you who do not know about the cuteness that is Rilakkuma, check out the pics below. When a store in Japan says that they are doing a theme, they do a dam THEME. Rilakkuma was EVERYWHERE. Not just as wall posters but the food, drink coasters, glasses, EVERYTHING was  Rilakkuma. Plus there were Rilakkuma plushies all over the cafe. At each table, on the counters and there was a enormous life sized fat one by the cafe entrance. When you are near the exit of the cafe where you have to pay, there is a Rilakkuma shop, just in case you still wanted something else Rilakkuma to take home. I bought the coffee mug…..

There is an indoors smoking room in Tower Records on the 2nd floor outside of the Cafe, that is complete with sliding glass doors that open up like the space shuttle with one touch of your finger tip, AC, super shiny hardwood floors and high power ceiling vents to suck out the smoke. It was so clean, I would’n’t have even known it was a smoking room if it weren’t for the English sign on the glass. When you leave the room, the smoke does not leave with you. For someone like me who smokes, this was a total hidden gem inside the  treasure chest that is Tower Records. Especially since you cannot just light up a cig any where you want in Japan. We’ll talk about that another time.

The basement level of Tower Records Shibuya is reserved for their Super promotions. This area is usually blocked off to the public unless one of those promotions is ongoing. I’d just missed the BTS – Bangtan Boys promo by a few days, which I was totally bummed about, but saw all of the pictures online and it was something else. Pictures (big and small), cut outs for fan selcas, a monitor for video play back of BTS videos, more pictures, even more pictures….I could see why they block it off because it probably took forever to set it all up then take it back down.

In between each floor there are also more life sized cut outs of various artists, usually autographed. On the K pop floor, I took a picture with the group Vixx. More for my friend back home to see them than for me. I also bought some music magazines, which were top notch in terms of quality and size. Most of the magazines I’ve seen in Japan are an inch or more wider or longer than American magazines. They also usually have something extra in them. Like a poster, hand fan, stickers, face cloth etc that are based on the featured artist, actor or group in that edition.

There is also a t shirt vending machine, gachapon machines and a lot of other miscellaneous little displays scattered through out the store that caught my eye. The Tower Records theme merchandise was pretty cute too. Their slogan, No Music No Life, was all over the place.

I was in Tower Records for a few hours easy. It was well worth the walk in the Sahara Desert like heat. I definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Japan that stays in Tokyo.

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