By Peter Lin
If you've ever played a musical instrument, chances are that you have heard of the Yamaha brand before. Accounting for some 25% of musical instrument sales globally, Yamaha ranks in the top ten manufacturers for virtually every single instrument it creates, acoustic or electronic, classical or modern.
The Yamaha Ginza flagship store has been the face of Yamaha in Japan, and the world, since the building's establishment in the 1950s. An unparalleled range of instruments and selection of musical paraphernalia, many limited edition and available only here in Ginza, has made the flagship store a favorite stop for musicians visiting the country. In 2010, Yamaha Ginza flagship store was given a $100 million facelift, reopening to great fanfare and universal acclaim as it further cemented its reputation as a Mecca for music lovers all over the world.
Yamaha Ginza Flagship Store Floor Guide:
B2F: Yamaha Ginza Studio
The Yamaha Ginza Studio has a capacity of 100 seats and standing space for 250 audience members. With an elevated stage and advanced sound system, this is the perfect setting for a cozy live band performance, exhibition or lecture.
B1F: Guitars/Drums/Digital Musical Instruments
Stocking all you need to make a band and start jamming right now, the floor offers a wide range of electronic instruments, including the famous DTX drums sets and music production equipment. You can find guitars, basses and acoustic drum sets here as well.
1F: Portal and Digital Pianos/Electones
A lobby that rivals that of any boutique hotel, only this one frequently plays host to live performances by many visiting musicians. It doubles as a demonstration and promotional events hall. Right behind the lobby space is the showcase of digital pianos and electones, Yamaha's famous electronic organs.
With a collection rivaling that of Tower Records, except Yamaha Ginza mostly offers classical or jazz music. The floor also offers a range of opera DVDs.
3F: Sheet Music/Music Books
More like a library than a music store, the customers here all seemed engrossed in their browsing of all genres of sheet music. Yamaha Ginza offers sheet music for any instrument and all genres, including symphonic bands and choirs.
4F: Winds/Strings/Concert Percussion Instruments
You can be literally blinded by the extensive showcase of brand new shiny wind instruments here. More than 100 violins and other string instruments are also available, though the highlight definitely goes to the massive concert xylophone on display.
5F: Pianos/AVITEC Soundproofing Lab
Featuring the largest number of Yamaha pianos on display in the entire country (and maybe the world), and they're all free for visitors to try! The adjoining AVITEC soundproofing lab offers a pristine environment for customers to select their pianos.
6F: Yamaha Ginza Concert Salon - 100 Seated
Boasting an avant-garde interior design, the concert salon is the perfect venue for live acoustic performances and recitals.
7F-9F: Yamaha Hall - 333 Seated
I couldn't quite believe it myself when I first discovered that a full-sized concert hall was actually present on the premises. The hall is designed with cutting-edge sound technology (as expected of Yamaha) to provide concert-goers the perfect auditory experience, right in the heart of Ginza.
10-12F: Yamaha Music Avenue Ginza - Music School
This music school spans 3 floors, 30 studios and can provide for up to 3,000 adult students. Honestly though, it looks more like a 5-star hotel than an educational institution. A grand stairway and atrium provides access through all 3 floors, and the lounge on the 10th floor overlooks the Ginza district.
Open from 11:00am to 7:30pm daily, closing only every second Tuesday of the month, the Yamaha Ginza flagship store and the music school inside are open to the public with no appointments required. Advanced booking, however, is required via email for private use of the recording studios, music salon or concert hall.
The Yamaha Ginza flagship store is best accessed via Tokyo Metro, alighting at Ginza Station that serves the Ginza, Hibiya and Maruouchi lines. From the station, the flagship store is a short 7 minute walk down Ginza's main street, Chuo Dori. Alternatively, the flagship store is also a 10 minute walk from JR Shinbashi station that serves 4 JR lines, including the prominent JR Yamanote line.
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