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A Look Inside Japan’s Listening Bars For Audiophiles

If you are on the search for a vintage synthesizer, a rare record or just a place to experience the pure bliss of listening, you are probably looking for Japan. Japan is well known for being the home to various listening bars and audiophile venues. Discovering music and listening to it in the most appropriate environment is embedded deeply within their culture. Precision-made speakers, amps, turntables, and mixers are all there if you know where to look. Spread across back-alleys and high-rise buildings, these bars vary in size shape and space but share the same ideology. They are spaces with owners who fine-tune their audio setups to create the best experience for anyone who visits. Resident Advisor has created a series of videos on these listening bars, this offers you a window into Japan, one of the world’s most vibrant places for music discovery.

Watch them below.

SHeLTer, Hachioji, Japan
Yoshio Nojima has been refining the sound system at Shelter, an audiophile venue on the quiet outskirts of Tokyo, for 30 years. It’s a never-ending quest in the pursuit of one humble goal: to share special musical experiences with friends.

Bridge, Tokyo, Japan
Located high above Shibuya’s world-famous pedestrian crossing and equipped with high-quality Rey Audio speakers, Bridge offers a refuge from Tokyo’s bustling streets. It’s what the venue’s manager, Masaaki Ariizumi, calls a “third place” – somewhere to unwind between home and work.

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Here is a list of venues for you to visit on your next trip to Japan.

Balearic Café
1-38-19 Miyasaka, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 156-0051

Bonobo
2-23-4, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0001

DJ Bar Bridge
Park Side Kyoudou Bldg.10F, 1-25-6 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, 150-0002

DJ Bar Tengu Shokudo
KT Sangen-jaya 3F, 5-15-11 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 154-0004

Forestlimit
102 Hatagaya Koda Bldg B1F, 2-8-15 Hatagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 151-0072

Grassroots
1-6-12 Koenji Minami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo, 166-0003

Koara
Koritsu Bldg B1F, 1-13-15 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0041

Lion
2-19-13 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0043

Oath
Tosei Bldg B1F, 1-6-5 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-0002

Orbit
B1F 5-28-9 Taishido, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 154-0004

SHeLTeR
NK Bldg B1F, 1-1 Yokamachi, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0071

Ura Mado
1-1-7 Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 160-0021