With so many awesome record store owners in Tokyo, it would impossibly hard and really unfair to to rank them in terms of coolness (first noting that by definition that they are many degrees cooler that the populace at large), but you’d be very, very hard pressed not to put Yusa san of Garageville Records at the very tip top of the list. You’d really need several Mt. Rushmores to carve them up the pantheon of cool shopkeepers but Yusa san really does stand out among most. You could say it’s because taste in music and his great curation of records. You could also say it’s because of his very good prices and friendly service. You could say it’s because he offers delicious beer and potato chips only. You could also argue that for the occasional Taco Nights that his host, or for the lovely drawings from neighborhood kids he hangs on his walls. You could say it’s for his supremely excellent turntables, cartridge, speaker and amp combo, boasting a couple of Thorens TD 124s, or for the fact that he used to be an international buyer for one of the most famous record store chain in Japan and knows his stuff. You could say it’s for the cool clientele he attracts (ahem) or for his lovely wife Junko san, or his beautiful cats, Kinoko and Goma, or the people you’ll meet there. You could say it’s for the say that it’s for his commitment to holding down a fort for beer and records out, somewhat alone, in what I affectionately call the Goldilockes Zone of Records store, those just far enough removed from the city center that they are not picked over or over prices, yet close enough to have all the good stuff you’d expect to find at a great centrally located shop. You could say it’s because he just a nice, friendly, stylish, cool, gu, or you could say it’s for a combination of ALL these things, and you’d be nearly completely right, but not entirely…
You see, what makes Yasu one of the coolest record shop owners in town is that he IS a record shop owner. He had a dream to one day open a record shop downstairs at his place, open to the street and welcome to anybody and everybody, to have a couple of couches, stay open late, serve some nice beer and just some simply snacks, and create a hangout place for music-loving people like me to come and chill, buy record for fair prices, talk shop, sorta like a record store garage, and call it Garageville. Dreams can come true.
Yasu, you’re a legend! And Garageville has become one of my favorite places in town. Looking forward to the next visit!
Beer and Records
3-30-30 Nishi-Tsutsujigaoka Chofu Tokyo
水曜定休 Closed Wednesday
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