Digging in Tokyo: Manhattan Records
Tokyo’s oldest hip hop record store, Manhattan Records, has been going strong for over 30 years.
Located in the heart of the Shibuya music scene, you can find Manhattan Records tucked just around the corner from Face Records, Next Records, Nerds Record Store, and Disc Jam DJ Gear.
Manhattan Records: manhattanrecords.jp
Social Media: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
Focus: Focus on Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, & House. Rich assortment of new and secondhand vinyl and new CDs.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0042 Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho, 10-1 木船ビル
Phone: 81 (0)3 3477 7166
Manhattan Records definitely has a different vibe than most of the record stores we visited in Tokyo. When we walked in, the music was thumping from giant speakers overhead. The impressive sound system is paired with a DJ booth that towers over the rest of the store. Many of the employees are DJs and spin records during their shift.
The shop mainly sells new and used vinyl, but they also stock several shelves of CDs. Many of the CDs are from their own Manhattan Records label.
Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, and House are definitely the focus at Manhattan Records, but you’ll find some pop, reggae, and club music mixed into their inventory.
When we stopped by, we had the chance to chat with Manhattan Records store manager, Mr. Kiyokawa (清川), the online shop manager, Mr. Nakamura (中村) and Mr. Yoshidome (吉留). (from the right to the left on the pic below)
Mr. Yoshidome told us a little about Manhattan Record’s history, which was first opened about 35 years ago by Hirakawa.
Hirakawa visited the US frequently and bought records to sell in Japan. He would often try to buy promo items from radio stations to sell in his shop.
In the three decades Manhattan Records has been open, they’ve changed locations, started selling online, and many other aspects of the store have changed, but some of the fundamentals have stayed the same: an employee still frequents the US (New York City) in person to pick up stock for the store.
Near the back of the store is a board with photos of many of the artists and DJs who have spent time digging or DJing at Manhattan Records.
Make sure to add the legendary Manhattan Records to your VinylHub “Want to Visit” bucket list!
Digging in Tokyo series: