Tokyolo #2 – Audio Union, Shinjuku


‘Second Hands’. You’d need a pair to play carry out on all that your heart desired at Disk Union’s sister shop, Audio Union. You’d probably need a second wallet too. Divided into three spaces that includes one listening room, Disk Union offers an extensive range of second hand hifi gear at none too outrageous prices. I noted a pair of Chartwell LS3/5a loudspeakers for little more than US$1300. There’s also a LOT of silver when it comes to CD players and amplifiers; it would seem the Japanese market prefers the shinier finishes to plain old black.

However, this post isn’t about getting down to the nitty gritty of the what and the how much — that’s easily browse-able at Audio Union’s website. This is about opening a window into a world not often seen by those who don’t visit in person. And that means video. Protocol and manners ride up front in Japan and I probably should have sought permission to film but what if I’d been knocked back by a firm “no”? Yolo, right? Instead, I grabbed snatches via a clandestine approach.

We enter by stepping off a busy Shinjuku street and into an unassuming office block lobby before taking the elevator up to the eighth floor. I say this as if it were easy. It took me over an hour to find Audio Union the first time I visited back in 2013. That’s the thing about Tokyo – you gotta look UP!

And like the Disk Union approach to dotting stores around the city, this Shinjuku location is one of several Audio Union spots found in and around Tokyo.

Further information: Audio Union


Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
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  1. Japan is a special place. I remember going to a thrift store that had second hand McIntosh tube amps a few aisles down from the used bakeware lolz.