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Department store telescopes ain't so bad...


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... in Japan anyway.

I came back from Japan a few days ago and one of the things that really impressed me was their department store, specifically the astro sections in those stores.

In western department stores you'll find typical department store scopes like Celestron Powerseeker, Astromaster and Tasco, while in Japanese department store you get the like of Vixen VC200L, R200SS and ED103S on Sphinx and GP mounts as well as Kenko branded SW 200p and ED80 on HEQ5 and EQ6.

In other word, they sell proper telescopes many of us will be more than happy to own and recommend. Seeing these telescopes, mounts and accessories sold next to rice cookers and other kitchen appliance was a very strange sight.

PS. I'm not sure if this post belongs to supplier reviews or the astro lounge, so I posted it in the astro lounge. Please move it if I posted in the wrong place.



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Ha nice! got to love it! What were the prices like compared to here?

Depending on the exchange rate but in general Japanese items were 10-25% cheaper than UK. A LVW cost between £140 and £170, a Vixen ED81S OTA costed around £870, and a VC200L GPD2 combo cost around £1750.

However, non Japanese stuff were more expensive. Synta's (branded Kenko Sky Explorer) stuff were about the same price.

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If that was over here I would never complain about going shopping with her indoors! I would of course have to work out the exchange rate, one pair of shoes = mid range eyepiece? (or each shoe = eyepiece, that's more like it! :grin: :grin: :grin: )


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awwww... i miss yodobashi camera, such a great shop. i probably still have my loyalty points card for there. unfortunately, that was before i was into astronomy. (seriously keith, if you're there again and you make a big purchase there, get a point card. the sign in the background says you can get 10% of it's value in points. i bought a laptop there once and got enough points for an ipod)

What do they call a BigMac ?

bigu macu. i'm not kidding.

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Which store was it Keith?

I used to spend at least half a day in Bic Camera in Ginza, 6 or 7 floors of every electrical goods known to man. Still have my "Pointo Kardo" ready for my next visit to the best store on the planet :grin: There's even a British style pub round the corner in the Metro complex where you could get proper ale and fish & chips, a life saver after too long on gohan threetimes a day.

It was only a few years ago we were getting 235 Yen to the Pound, if only I'd been into astronomy back then.

Takahashi are based in Yokohama just south of Tokyo are'nt they? would be great if they did tours of the workshops!

Edited by Woking
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This one was Yodobashi Camera in Umeda, Osaka, it's better stocked than the Bic Camera store (Namba, Osaka) which had less Synta scopes.

Despite having the word 'camera' in their name, they also sell clothes, shoes, perfume and just about every consumer electrical and electronic goods you can think of and many you didn't know even existed. They're a bit like a Dixon+Jessops on steroid with a Debenhams throw in on top for good measure. Essentially they're department stores designed for the gentleman shopper accompanied by his wife, rather than the 'normal' department stores which are design for ladies accompanied by her husband.

In the end I didn't buy anything astro there because I spent most of my time on the restaurant floor, the pounds-yen wasn't favourable, and there was a proper telescope shop just down the street.

For completeness here is a photo of the Bic Camera's Namba store astro section.


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