In partnership with Resident Advisor

Listening Bar Culture

We explore Japan’s rich culture of listening bars and audiophile venues. It’s a culture rooted in the joy of discovering music and listening to that music in the best possible environment - that means precision made speakers, amps, turntables and mixers.

Tucked away in basements, back-alleys and high-rise buildings, these bars come in different shapes and sizes, but they are united by their pursuit of quality, with owners endlessly fine-tuning their audio setups to create an enriching experience for anyone who visits.

These are wonderful settings for people to share their love of music, serving as a "third place"—somewhere to unwind in between their time at work and home. Though they're the result of long-standing traditions, listening bars offer a glimpse into progressive Japan, one of the world's most vibrant places for music discovery.



Yoshio Nojima has been refining the soundsystem at SHeLTeR, an audiophile venue on the quiet outskirts of Tokyo.



Located high above Shibuya's world-famous pedestrian crossing and equipped with a high-quality Rey Audio speakers, Bridge offers a refuge from Tokyo's bustling streets.



Step inside Brilliant Corners and you might think it's a regular bar and sushi restaurant.