Digging in Tokyo: Manhattan Records

by Weetzie

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 outside

Manhattan Records: manhattanrecords.jp
Social Media: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram
VinylHub: www.vinylhub.com/shop/9663-Manhattan-Records
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 speakers

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

Manhattan Records releases

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.

Manhattan Records turntables

When we stopped by, we had the chance to chat with Manhattan Records owner Kiyokama (清川) and Shingo Nakamura (中村慎吾 ), the online shop manager.

IMG_4198

Kiyokama 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. 

Manhattan Records wall of records

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.

Manhattan Records records

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.

Manhattan Records visiting artists and DJs

Make sure to add the legendary Manhattan Records to your VinylHub “Want to Visit” bucket list!


Digging in Tokyo series: 

Vinyl Vacation: Digging in Tokyo 

 Face Records  /  Flash Disc Ranch   / Lighthouse Records

Dessinee Shop / Best Sound Records / Tower Records