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U.S. guitar maker Fender opens flagship store in Tokyo

39 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA

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39 Comments
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The American guitar manufacturer has chosen for its location Tokyo’s Harajuku, a hot spot for Japanese youngsters who love animation, outlandish fashion and, of course, American music.

Premium equipment (such as fender) will be beyond the price range of most Japanese youngsters. Who wants a cheapo fender at over 100K?

Im not aware of any youngster here who is interested in guitar music

And, I can't imagine a tourist buying a guitar on vacation either.

But what do I know!?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I don’t think the guitar shops in Ochanomizu are too happy about it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Here is the address for "Fender Flagship Store".

〒150-0001 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Jingumae, 1 Chome−8−10 The Ice Cubes 9階

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Flagship store needs more bass...!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Premium equipment (such as fender) will be beyond the price range of most Japanese youngsters. Who wants a cheapo fender at over 100K?

It depends on the model, but with some modifications you can tweak it to the point where they audibly sound virtually indistinguishable, it also depends on the person and what they can financially

Im not aware of any youngster here who is interested in guitar music 

Again, as someone who’s player and who owns a couple of Fenders and is in the business there are a lot of people that are.

And, I can't imagine a tourist buying a guitar on vacation either. 

Again, it depends on the model, make or Japanese limited edition model.

But what do I know!?

I live in Fukuoka and there are a few groups here that always get my attention, and one of them is a Ferrari group, the other Lotus and Lamborghini groups, one day I was on the road driving with my family and all of a sudden I heard an earth-shattering deep noise, so strong I could feel the vibrations throughout my entire body, and as the vibrations got louder, I looked off the side and same more than 50 of those sports cars, driving past us, I never saw that many at one time even as someone who’s originally from California it blew my mind. But I also later found out that not all those people are loaded with money, some of those people will put their entire savings or take out loans and sacrifice all normal necessities in life and comfort just to have one of those exotic cars, I could and would never waste that kind of money, I get you and to a certain extent agree with you, so to answer your question, yeah, there are some people that will spend the money if they have it and that are that kind of Otaku. So I am estimating this store will do very well.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Fender Japan has been rising their prices for the last several years, sharply. They make nice instruments, sometimes on par with Fender USA quality, but there are much better options these days, specially for a beginner.

That store is aimed at custom shop buyers and guys looking for special editions and/or 20万 guitars, not teens.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That store is aimed at custom shop buyers and guys looking for special editions and/or 20万 guitars, not teens.

Yes, I agree, and there are enough people that can afford that price bracket, so I think the store will do exceptionally well.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I like how they have to use brackets after "INORAN" because he's not famous enough for recognition in his own right! Is that the best person they could have chosen?!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

WOW! How BOSS is that! I like to see the same for saxes, too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Flagship store needs more bass...!

If they do that, I’m moving to Tokyo immediately!!!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

My main guitar is a surf green made in Japan Fender Strat I bought brand new about 5 years ago for 66,000 yen in Shibuya at its regular retail price. I expect I can fetch way more $$$ for it second hand.

Great instrument. If you live in Japan, you must simply have at least one MIJ Fender.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Great instrument. If you live in Japan, you must simply have at least one MIJ Fender.

I agree. I have a Japanese Jazz Fender fretless built to Jaco Pastorius specifications, absolutely sounds great, cost at the time was about ¥80,000, I recently upgraded the neck with a US roasted maple version, the neck was around $638, I upgraded the pick ups to hand wound 1972 version, the thing just sound phenomenal. Not sure if I could part with it though.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Better late than never.

Japan has been importing all kinds of useless brands and even ideologies from the West, I'm actually surprised they didnt have Fender here before.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Peter NeilToday  06:58 am JST

I don’t think the guitar shops in Ochanomizu are too happy about it.

I doubt it will matter to them. This looks like a branding exercise, not a serious music shop.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

But what do I know!?

Did you read the article?

 

The company's revenue in Japan has recorded double-digit percentage growth each year since 2015.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

ok, absolutely NO thanks..

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Surprised that they opened it in Harajuku.

From what I know, Ochanomizu is the Guitar center of Tokyo.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fujigen or older Tokai and Greco would grab my attention before a MIJ Fender.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't understand why they didn't just put the new store in Ochanomizu with all the other guitar shops where all the people who actually care about this stuff go to.

strategic marketing

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Leo Fender, however, famously could not play the guitar.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Leo Fender, however, famously could not play the guitar

A little, he knew the basic mechanics. Which is why the man was a genius.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japanese Jazz Fender

...always pictured a Rickenbacker with you, don't know why.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

IMHO, this is concrete evidence standard of living is good for citizens of Tokyo. Cities that has music shops going bust are failing cities. Yokohama early 2000s was a good example of this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Last year, Uniqlo sold 1500 yen t-shirts with Fender designs as part of their long running brand logo UT t shirt line. I bought two in the 800 yen bargain bin. I've still got an Ibanez one from years ago. I bet the t-shirts in this shop will cost far more. Marketing is a mystery to me, and obviously works on many levels.

I have a Strat, but its a Fujigen one. I also have a Jazz bass, but its an Ibanez short scale. If a beginner is buying a guitar, Strats and Teles are a good place to start, better than a humbucker guitar. They can't do the Strat neck pickup sound at all,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only Fender I had when I was in Japan was a Custom Shop Tele. Beautiful, but weighed more than a Kei car to lug it around. Sold in on Yahoo auction for a nice profit…

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't understand where some of the comments are coming from

Fender has been widely available in Japan for a long time now

Acquiring them is not a big deal

Opening a "Flagship Store" doesn't necessarily mean the product wasn't accesible before

2 ( +2 / -0 )

My Mother presented me a guitar for my 7th birthday and spent 29 odd years regretting it.

I still unshelve/unshelve the stringed weapon of mass noise nuisance to strum my rendition of tie me kangaroo down sport.every Christmas.

Maybe I should invest in a fender?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I cannot believe my good fortune. Through this story I have found out the Japanese maker of my 'look a like' copy of my Fender Stratocaster. It is a CMI......but for years I thought is was just Mi, until I realised that the writing of the M and the wide flare/stroke at the start was actually a C. It is a very old guitar going back to the 1970's but the quality and sound is superb..........but then, of course it is, it is Japanese.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The photographs do not show any amplifiers, as if the guitars on display are static, and not meant to be played; I wonder if there are 'Do not touch' signs attached? When I walk into my local Hard Off store, there is always an amp, tuner, cable and chair provided for customers to try the instruments hanging on the wall...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a godsend for professional musicians in Tokyo and the greater Kanto Region. Hopefully, the shop won't be too crowded with amateur and pretend musicians. This will also be good PR for Fender. Too many Japanese musicians naively believe the inferior Gibson brand to be the superior guitar. This shop will be tantamount to making this region of the world into the larges music market in the world within seven years. I just might go on a Fender bender. Couldn't hurt.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I don't understand where some of the comments are coming from

Fender has been widely available in Japan for a long time now

Acquiring them is not a big deal

Opening a "Flagship Store" doesn't necessarily mean the product wasn't accesible before

Exactly this shop is just for branding purposes and to promote guitar playing to a larger segment of the population, i.e. those who until now were not so seriously interested in playing the guitar but may be convinced to if it is made into a more fashionable and trendy activity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hopefully, the shop won't be too crowded with amateur and pretend musicians

Are you a professional or ‘real’ musician?

Too many Japanese musicians naively believe the inferior Gibson brand to be the superior guitar

I’m more at home on acoustic guitars but my understanding is it can depend on factors such as what sound you are after.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For me it’s sufficient to have a synthie keyboard. That can produce any sounds I want or might need or can think of, piano, violin, flutes, chorus, anything else, of course also those guitars and bass guitar sounds. But does that work vice versa for your Fenders? I guess no, they’ll produce or emulate not so much more than guitar sound only or at best some additional undefined noise when the amp isn’t fitting.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I have never heard of them before. Is the famous fender bender expression.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

*Musical newcomers find some stores intimidating but the Tokyo store will be friendly, Fender says, with *most salesclerks being women.

As long as they're very knowledgeable about guitars, basses, amplifiers, effects pedals, and accessories, I could care less about the gender of the staff. Are they going to be in bikinis.

*“I’ve played various brands, but what I like about the Fender is its power to help you play at more than 100% of your ability, letting you become aware of your potential and take up new challenges,” said Erino Yumiki, a guitarist, songwriter and one of the world’s many Fender artists.*

Really? How do they do this differently from other guitar manufacturers.

One of my gripes is the lack of space in most stores. Sounds like this store will have a lot more space. But what I'd really like to see are private rooms to try out equipment. They can be basic and small. Better than just giving you a stool in the middle of the store with people walking around you, not able to properly hear your own playing, and having to listen to 3 or 4 other people playing at the same time.

Leo Fender was an engineer and started making amplifiers before guitars. He didn't play guitar but he didn't have to. He was a great listener and took to heart what many players told him. He also had the brilliant idea to copy the curves and shapes on cars to design the Stratocaster and understood the importance of color variety. Until he came along most guitars were available in a total of 2 - 3 colors only.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese reaction to your comments

http://www.gekiyaku.com/archives/60616573.html

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I actually do own a Rick and the tone is just unmistakable, love the growl, but they are very heavy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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