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Best Astro Shops in Japan?

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#1 psychwolf

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 11:46 AM

Hi all, I have family in Okinawa so I do regularly visit and plan to again once we're safe to travel again.

 

I do try to visit a selection of record shops if I'm visiting the mainland, especially when in Tokyo. But, it got me thinking - are there some legendary Astro shops I should add to the list next time I go in the Tokyo, Yokohama or Kyoto areas? Anybody have a review or some pics to share of your experiences?

 

I'm wondering if prices in person will be far lower to the point that maybe I could get a Tak someday... From what I know about records, that answer is not really, but there will probably be more exotic options available.



#2 OldManSky

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Posted 02 July 2020 - 01:33 PM

Starbase Tokyo, edge of Akihabara.

I bought my Tak Sky90 there in person.  Terrific staff, a couple of whom spoke passable English!

 

How good a "bargain" you get largely depends on the exchange rate.  Tak prices are essentially set by Takahashi, worldwide, so there's little variation.  But I did wind up paying about $150 less in Tokyo than I would have in the US, and I got to open the box and examine it before taking it home smile.gif

 

edit: one of the photos on Google shows the Tak FC76DCU for 132,000 yen -- $1227 at current exchange rates.  The US price is $1420, so almost a $200 savings...

 

http://starbase.dw.shopserve.jp/

 

https://www.google.c...E,lf:1,lf_ui:10


Edited by OldManSky, 02 July 2020 - 01:45 PM.


#3 Heywood

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 01:48 PM

Starbase Tokyo, a few blocks north of the Akihabara Station, is the best in Tokyo by far, or at least it was when I was last there, in 2015. Well worth a visit. Google it to get the precise location. There are a couple more telescope shops in the Akihabara area, but their names escape me at the moment. I'm sure someone here will pipe up and say. You can Google "telescope shops in Tokyo" and probably get their names and location.

I almost forgot: Yodabashi Camera Akihabara also has some telescopes and accessories.

Edited by Heywood, 03 July 2020 - 02:13 PM.


#4 psychwolf

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Posted 06 July 2020 - 01:10 PM

Awesome, great recommendations, thank you!  Sure you can google them, but going in blindly can quickly chew up the day, or be by appointment only, or just be hard without speaking Japanese so I'd need to go with someone who does in that case. Partially I also wanted to hear about your experiences walking in, seeing them all and how it compares. Yes, I was hoping there'd be more of a bargain to be had in person, so reduced shipping is a slight win there, but hopefully there have been some rare model sightings too!


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#5 OldManSky

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 10:59 AM

Awesome, great recommendations, thank you!  Sure you can google them, but going in blindly can quickly chew up the day, or be by appointment only, or just be hard without speaking Japanese so I'd need to go with someone who does in that case. Partially I also wanted to hear about your experiences walking in, seeing them all and how it compares. Yes, I was hoping there'd be more of a bargain to be had in person, so reduced shipping is a slight win there, but hopefully there have been some rare model sightings too!

I've been to Starbase Tokyo a dozen times or so.  The first time, they welcomed me warmly, and went out of their way to get an English-speaking associate to work with me (I speak Japanese, but only so-so -- and telescope technical terms aren't really in my Japanese vocabulary!).  I spent nearly 2 hours there just looking at things, talking about astronomy, making them jealous of my clear, dark, dry California skies, etc.

 

On subsequent visits someone always recognized me and welcomed me back.  Second visit is when I bought the Tak.  Other visits I bought extension tubes, adapters, etc.  Always warm and welcoming.  I haven't been back in 8 years, but I'd bet real money that if I walked in today, they'd remember me :)


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#6 Heywood

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 02:25 PM

When I was there in 2015, no one in the shop spoke English, but I still had a good time. The shop is not very big, but it was crammed with astronomy equipment. Well worth a visit.

Be sure you know where it is on the map, though, before you try to find it!!

The last time I checked, the Starbase website had a map on it.

Edited by Heywood, 07 July 2020 - 02:26 PM.


#7 Star_Shooter

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Posted 07 July 2020 - 11:46 PM

Kyoei-Tokyo is another good store, about 15 minutes walk from Starbase. I would definitely visit that store too.

Lei
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#8 Bill Barlow

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 11:23 AM

Does Takahashi have a store in Tokyo?

 

Bill



#9 Heywood

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Posted 08 July 2020 - 01:25 PM

Does Takahashi have a store in Tokyo?

Bill

Yes, it is called Starbase Tokyo. It is the "official" Takahashi store. It also sells other brands.

Edited by Heywood, 08 July 2020 - 01:26 PM.

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