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Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65413
11/20/06 01:31 AM
11/20/06 01:31 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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It looks like I'll be visiting Tokyo, Japan near the end of the month.

Would appreciate recommendation on interesting piano places to visit (e.g., spectacular piano shops, piano museums, great recital halls, piano factories that allow tours, etc.).

If there is any PW member in the area who might like to meet, I'd also appreciate receiving e-mail from you.

Thanks.

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Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65414
11/20/06 08:09 AM
11/20/06 08:09 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,130
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Ax,

Have fun! I hope you will have time to explore the city while you are there.

I have a client in Tokyo who I am sure can help. He works there and sometimes here in the US. His English is excellent.

I will email his address to you.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65415
11/20/06 08:53 PM
11/20/06 08:53 PM
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Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Thank you, Rich G.
Your e-mail received, and is much appreciated. smile

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65416
11/22/06 11:45 PM
11/22/06 11:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 374
Tokyo, Japan
M
masaki Offline
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Tokyo, Japan
Axtremus,
 It has been three days since I saw your post first, and I have been trying to nominate places, but only few have came up in my mind.

There are, as I know of, no piano factories, very few small pinao musiums, a few great halls for classical piano recitals, no specutacular piano shops in Tokyo.

A piano factory that allows tour and worth visiting is Kawai's Ryuyo factory near Hamamatsu, Shizuoka. Going there, visiting and coming back to Tokyo would take more than five hours. In Hamamatsu or near Hamamatsu, there is also a Museum of Musical Instruments and there are some factories of major piano or pano componets manufacturers.

Some musical colleges in Tokyo have museums in their premises open to everyone. Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Musics which is a Janan's most prestige college in music has one, but I guess the museum is under renovation and not available now.
http://www.geidai.ac.jp/english/index.html
Less prestige colleges than TNUFAAN are Musashino College of Music(I am not sure if this is the official english name of this college) and Kunitachi College of Music have ones.
http://www.musashino-music.ac.jp/plant/musium/index.html
http://www.gs.kunitachi.ac.jp/e_index.html
Musashino's museum opens evry week days. Kunitachi's museum opens only on Wednesdays.

In the past most of the halls in Japan had been built for multi-purpose, but recently some halls have been built only for classical music purposes.
One of the recently built and has excellent acoustic characteristics is Toppan Hall.
http://www.toppanhall.com/en/index.html
There are other some excellent halls in Tokyo. You will be informed of them by Ric's clients in Tokyo.

You did not asked, but I guess you may be interested seeing pianos and piano rooms of individuals, strange and sometime bogus gadgets to protect pianos from the high humidities and to reduce sound radiations to avoid claims from the neighborhoods. If you are so, I would write more about this topic.

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65417
11/23/06 08:27 AM
11/23/06 08:27 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Thank you very much for the detailed recommendations, masaki.

Quote
... pianos and piano rooms of individuals, strange and sometime bogus gadgets to protect pianos from the high humidities and to reduce sound radiations to avoid claims from the neighborhoods.
I've never thought of that. This sounds very interesting, and may be rather unique to the Japanese culture/environment. I would appreciate pointers on that general direction.

Thank you again.

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65418
11/23/06 11:22 AM
11/23/06 11:22 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 277
Texas
Hamiltonian Offline
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Ax:
There is Yamaha Hall in the Ginza district. I recall the pianos are on the second floor. Nice, but not unique. There is the 5 or 6 story Kawai showroom on the west side in the Shibuya district within a short walk from the Harajuku stop. The grands, including a number of Shigeru Kawai's, I believe are on the 5th or 6th floor. Be sure to bring your camera for lots of photos of the "Harajuku girls" just south of the train stop. Good fun and some very ahhh....shall we say interesting, outlandish fashion. My favorite spot in Tokyo.

You should be able to get precise addresses for both spots from the hotel.

Have fun!


Hamiltonian

Shigeru Kawai SK6, Hammond R124
Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65419
11/24/06 10:48 AM
11/24/06 10:48 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Thank you, Hamiltonian.

As it turns out, I will be spending a few days in the Ginza district. Yamaha's Ginza building address was successfully Googled with one hit! So stopping by Yamaha Hall should be easy.

I'll go Google up on "Harajuku" and "Shibuya" in the mean time...

Thanks. smile

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65420
11/24/06 08:27 PM
11/24/06 08:27 PM
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Posts: 374
Tokyo, Japan
M
masaki Offline
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Tokyo, Japan
Axtremus,
 If you are not from Austria and can go around only downtown Tokyo, try Bosendorfer Japan. They are not in Ginza, but in a couple of miles west of Shinjuku. I am sorry that their web pate is available only in Japanese language.

http://www.bosendorfer-jp.com/

Both Kawai and Yamaha are producing soundproof boxes(or chambers). These are for Japanese people who live in apartments and need to play instruments including pianos. Product names are Kawai:Nasal and Yamaha:Avitecs. These products are displayed in their showrooms in Ginza and OmoteSando, which is near Harajuku.

http://www.kawai-os.co.jp/nasal/H02.html
http://www.yamaha.co.jp/ad/classicnews/index.html

Try playing some of the pianos in those boxes and enjoy a sense of superiority that you do not live in apartments in Japan. No matter how the instruments generate excellent sounds, they arrive our ears quite differently.

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65421
11/25/06 09:22 AM
11/25/06 09:22 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,458
Albuquerque, NM
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
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I spent many hours in rooms like that at my tuning school! They were about six feet square, just enough room for an upright piano and two people.

--Cy--


Cy Shuster, RPT
www.shusterpiano.com
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director, PTG Norfolk 2016 Technical Institute
http://convention.ptg.org
Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65422
11/26/06 12:54 AM
11/26/06 12:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 374
Tokyo, Japan
M
masaki Offline
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Posts: 374
Tokyo, Japan
Cy,
By the way, what opinions do you have on practicing piano in such a small box? We usually play pianos listening to sounds not arriving direct from the piano, but from sounds reflected by the farthes walls.
I have a 6' x 9' box and have a cheap old Kawai upright in it. Most annoying thing is very small mechaninical noises and sympathetic noises coming from loose screws or something.

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65423
11/26/06 08:30 AM
11/26/06 08:30 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Thank you, masaki.

Interesting! Those "practice boxes" reminded me of those "practice rooms" in university, except those I used in university were metal and glass, and came with a couple of moveable magnetic panel that supposedly let you change the "room acoustics" if you place the panels differently.

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65424
12/23/06 11:29 AM
12/23/06 11:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Just want to give an update on this...

So I went to Japan and came back.

I went to "Yamaha Hall" in the Ginza district. As far as piano goes, I did not fine the Hall that impressive -- it's a multi-purpose Hall, one floor as a concert hall, one floor for string instruments, one floor corporate offices, another for brass/woodwind, basement dedicated to book store selling sheet music and music books... leaving only one floor for acoustic pianos.

There, I finally got to play an S4 (there was an S6 there too, but I've played S6 before in the US). Pianos there are quite good, much better prepared than those in most of the Yamaha dealerships I've visited here in the US. Also got to try their "soundproof box" that masaki referred to above -- they put a used C3 in there for people to try out the box. It's like practicing in a college practise room.

The most impressive part of Yamaha Hall is actually the basement bookstore... lots of "rare" or "non-mainstream" classical sheet music!

I also went to the Kawai dealership near Harajuku station that Hamiltonian referred to above. Hamiltonian is quite right on the "outrageous" style of the Harajuku fashion! laugh

The Kawai building is more piano-centric, and the employees all seem qutie enthusiastic to direct visitors to go try our their grand pianos. Basement dedicated to teaching, consists of teaching studios and waiting areas for parents/chaperons.

Ground floor is mixed -- bookstore, acoustic uprights, and digital pianos.

1st floor is a recital hall -- not big, and it's set up coffee room style. A stage with a Shgieru EX, and lots of small round tables and chairs. I had a go on the Shigeru EX, it's very good, but the best has yet to come...

2nd flood is dedicated to acoustic grand pianos -- including the Boston brand. Featured in a raised platform in the center of that floor is a Shigeru SK-7. That SK-7 surpassed my expectation by a long stretch. The Shigeru EX, while did not disappoint, also did not "surpass" my expectation since I walked in with very high expectation for concert grands to begin with. The SK-7, despite being 18 inches shorter, actually "felt" and performed quite like a concert grand. It seems to relate much more closely to the SK-EX than to the SK-6. (Surprisingly, there's no RX-7 on display.)

There is a separate room dedicated to the Kawai EX concert grands. There were a couple of pianists preparing for a concerto performance with those non-SK EX's, so I did not get to play them. Besides that, the only other piano I did not get to try out is the CR-40A crystal/acrylic grand piano -- it's put on the ground floor as window display and is not meant for visitor to try out anyway.

I commend the employees in Yamaha Hall and Kawai store for being very curteous and accomodating. Please forgive my stereotyping here, but I find that practically all the Japanese employees I've dealt with in this trip to be very respectful to their customers/visitors, and they take their jobs very, very seriously. Those employees in the Yamaha Hall and the Kawai store have definitely displayed very admirable work ethics!

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65425
12/23/06 11:58 AM
12/23/06 11:58 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,983
boston north
lilylady Offline
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I have been hoping that you would post of your experiences.

Without going to websites to update my knowledge of the 'letters and numbers of the pianos', could you also include how we can relate to the specific groups?

Re: S series Yamaha?

Re: Shigeru EX series?

Re: non-SK EX's

Re: The SK-7, despite being 18 inches shorter, actually "felt" and performed quite like a concert grand. It seems to relate much more closely to the SK-EX than to the SK-6. (Surprisingly, there's no RX-7 on display.)

A little more info might help someone like me who have not had the experience with these names - trying to relate.

Thanks Ax. LL


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65426
12/23/06 04:30 PM
12/23/06 04:30 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline OP
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Axtremus  Offline OP
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Lililady,

Yamaha S-series: S4 is 6'3" (191 cm); S6 is 7' (212 cm)

SK-6 is the 7' grand in the Shigeru line.
SK-7 is the 7'6" grand in the Shigeru line.
Shigeru EX is the 9' "concert grand" that is part of the Shigeru line.

"non-SK EX" is just my term to refer to Kawai's EX concert grand that is not part of the Shigeru line. This old post by KawaiDon gives more insight into the EX: *link*

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65427
12/23/06 08:51 PM
12/23/06 08:51 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 43
MALAYSIA
ERWANDY Offline
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MALAYSIA
hi axtremus..still remember me..from malaysia..glad to hear your fascinating experience in piano throughout the whole world..wish i can follow u throughout ur journey..(but i cant since im too busy at work huhuhu :rolleyes: ) btw, i havent heard any of your experience since your visit to malaysia..execept story about one old yam which belongs to a local family here, have u visited a local piano factory in ipoh, perak?. btw where did u stay while u were here..KL? Im glad if u can share your wonderful experience...while u were in malaysia, philipines..etc.. and what is your future plan/next destination?...mery christmas to u..
smile smile smile smile

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? #65428
12/24/06 07:10 AM
12/24/06 07:10 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 11,130
Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rich Galassini Offline
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Ax,

Did you only see Yamies and Kawais? Nothing else? Also, wondering if Yuji communicated with you.

Merry Christmas!


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
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Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? [Re: Axtremus] #2455598
08/31/15 11:37 PM
08/31/15 11:37 PM
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C R Offline
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Resurrecting an old thread, since I did look it up as I am going soon.

The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo offers the use of its music room for free to guests for 2 hours, which has a Steinway B by the look of the photos. Link: http://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/tokyo/facility/music.html

Any new additions to the excellent recommendations in previous comments?

Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? [Re: C R] #2455753
09/01/15 12:57 PM
09/01/15 12:57 PM
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BrianDX Offline
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Nothing really new, however we were at the Yamaha store in Ginza several weeks ago. The pianos are now on the 7th floor I believe, and there is a Bosendorfer as well as other high-end Yamahas, all available for playing.


Yamaha C2X | Yamaha M500-F
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Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? [Re: Axtremus] #2455783
09/01/15 02:42 PM
09/01/15 02:42 PM
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Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? [Re: C R] #2455817
09/01/15 04:53 PM
09/01/15 04:53 PM
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phantomFive Offline
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Originally Posted by C R
Resurrecting an old thread, since I did look it up as I am going soon.

The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo offers the use of its music room for free to guests for 2 hours, which has a Steinway B by the look of the photos. Link: http://www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/tokyo/facility/music.html

Any new additions to the excellent recommendations in previous comments?


It is nice to have a practice room, but for that price, I would much rather spend the night here or here, and sleep on the floor.

It may sound less luxurious to sleep on the floor, than to sleep in a suite, but I assure you, it is not. You will sleep better and feel richer sleeping on the floor on tatami mats.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Piano Places in Tokyo, Japan ? [Re: phantomFive] #2455950
09/02/15 05:20 AM
09/02/15 05:20 AM
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Oh, we got a corporate rate, it's quite a bit lower than MSRP. I'm also partial to the history of the place, as an architecture and history fan.

Otherwise I agree, ryokans are great and usually my first choice on our frequent Japan trips. I particularly appreciate the extra floor space one gets from folding the futons. My favorite yet is the Watanabe Inn in Miyajima, which is particularly striking (if a bit crowded) around hanami. It's the only one we've returned to.

Is there a conservatoire or other kind of music school with student or faculty performances in Tokyo? For example, Singapore's Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music regularly does lunchtime concerts and evening masterclasses by visiting musicians, with free admission (Stephen Hough next week!). Anything similar? My googling has so far been unfortunate.


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