Genre-defying Kyoto trio Zahatorte are bringing their unique sound to Australia for the first time next month, embarking on an East Coast tour and taking to the stage at MONA in Hobart. To celebrate, we sat down with the band to hear their expert advice on the best music stores to visit in Kyoto and Osaka.
Koizumi Gakki | 民族楽器コイズミ
Koizumi Gakki is one of the leading ethnic music stores in Japan. They have all kinds of instruments from all corners of the of the world, including didgeridoos, Indian sitars, tabla, Chinese erhus, African djembe, Turkish oud saz. It’s the perfect place to pick up that hard-to-find instrument, and a wonderland for instrument maniacs.
Address: 〒604-8091 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, Shimohonnojimaecho, 518
Americaya | アメリカヤ楽器店
Americaya is your go-to destination for those looking for classical instruments. Located just outside the busy Kitaoji Station, it’s an easy place to check out when you’re travelling through the city. They mainly focus on string instruments, like piano, accordion etc., but you’ll find some other hidden surprises as well. They also offer on-site lessons and a rental studio.
Address: 6 Chome-10-3 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo 110-0005
Contrabass Shop Kadomoto | コントラバス工房 角元
Contrabass Shop is, as its name suggests, a shop dedicated to contrabasses, AKA the double bass or the upright bass. The shop stocks some of the nation's most beautifully crafted double basses, and also offers repair services. If you have the extra money to spend, you can also get bespoke basses made.
Address: 20-14 Shinohonogano-cho Kita-ku, Kyoto City
Stringphonic | ストリングフォニック ギター カンパニー
Stringphonic is a guitar shop for absolutely obsessive instrument maniacs located in the Osaka neighbourhood of Shinsaibashi. It’s a specialty shop for Makaveli guitars, which are pretty rare in Japan. When we go there it’s near impossible not to drop a whole lot of money on buying a stylish McAfee guitar. This has got to be up there with one of our most favourite guitar shops in the world.
Address: 542-0081 Osaka-shi Chuo-ku Minamisenba 3 - chome 2-6 Osaka Norinchukan Kaikan 2F
Celt No Fue | ケルトの笛屋さん 京都 フィールド店
Very specific but very unique, Celt No Fue is an instrument store that focuses on serving Celtic flute players. They source their stock directly from makers and producers, and also stock CDs, instructional books, and music notation, all in the hope of spreading Celtic music culture across Japan. Hatao, the owner, was a senpai (senior) of ours during our college days. We all played in an ethnic music circle together.
Address: 〒604-8144 Kyoto-shi Nakagyo-ku Yuon Ponyoji Temple 683 Karasuma Nishiki Building 3F
Another very specific one, this is Osaka’s premier accordion specialty store. It sells accordions from Italy, France and Germany. More about repairing instruments than actually selling, this speciality store is niche, but a must-visit for us as we play 100 shows a year, so our accordions can always do with a little service.
Address: 1-28-2 Kujo, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, 550-0027
Zahatorte Australian Tour 2019
Wednesday February 6: Leftys Old Time Music Hall, Brisbane, QLD
Friday February 8: Petersham Bowling Club, Sydney, NSW (Tickets)
Sunday February 10: Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT (Tickets)
Tuesday February 12: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC (Tickets)
Thursday February 14: The Barn, Rosny Farm, Hobart, TAS (Tickets)
Saturday February 16: MONA, Hobart, TAS
Keep up with Zahatorte over at zahatorte.com.