It is often said that music knows no bounds. Even with our planet’s numerous languages and dialects, music can pierce through this barrier, connecting people who speak different tongues. Even if the lyrics are lost to the listeners, the melody still captivates foreign ears.
This attribute in music is the reason why cultures adapt different forms of music around the globe – and this holds true in Tokyo. From hip-hop and electronic, to punk-rock and heavy metal, the city of Tokyo has it all.
A Music Tour in Tokyo
The popular city in Japan is known for its vibrant color and culture which becomes more prominent when night descends – adding a certain pull to explore the city. But color and culture are just its surface. Stop for a moment and you’ll hear it. Music.
Music that attracts both foreigners and locals alike. Music that subtly shake the ground under your heels and beckons night wanderers to its source. People that have visited the city and delved into its existence come nightfall will tell you that Tokyo offers a myriad of music genres.
Tokyo is chock-full of small concert halls where musicians perform – usually starting between 7 to 8 pm and concludes around 10 pm. If you’re in the city, it wouldn’t hurt to check some of these concerts even if you’ve never heard of the bands listed.
Small concerts costs about 2,000-3,500 yen and may include 3 bands – more or less.
Music genres differ depending on the neighborhood you’re in. For instance, if you’re in Shibuya, the preferred genre is electronic and hip-hop, although punk and rock concerts aren’t rare either. Shibuya’s most popular clubs are located in an area called hotel hill. Quattro, O-Nest, and Vuenos are just some of its most visited venues.
There are even places where one would assume to be an apartment block. Only when you’ve ventured inside that you’ll find that the place is teeming with different clubs catering multiple genres on each floor. One might be punk, the other hip-hop or techno. It’s just a diverse of musical outburst all pack in a single place.
Mainstream to odd
While western music does seep in the musical culture of Tokyo, there are other underground and indie artists that are thriving in the scene. Various groups exist to support these local bands and attend their nightly concerts.
There are also musicians in the city who are heavily influenced by synthpop. Indeed, synthesizers have been used in the music industry in Japan even before its current rise to mainstream. Most notable pioneer of synthpop in Japan is Yellow Magic Orchestra which started off in the late 1970s.
Digging deeper into the underground scene and things will go from the ordinary to the most bizarre where strange instruments such as oil drums and even axe-grinders are use during performances.
Regardless of the form of music that you crave, Tokyo can certainly indulge you in more ways than one. Who knows, maybe you’ll even develop an affinity for their local underground artists.