View Full Version : Two questions about Japan and Japanese Ukes (Osaka)

10-16-2011, 03:30 AM
I just recently came to Japan to teach English but due to space constraints I couldn't bring my Uke with me. I know it's a long shot but does anyone know a place to get Ukes in the Osaka or Kobe area? I found two places, one that sold really expensive ones and a Yamaha place. I know it's a long shot but I gotta try


Does anyone know about Japanese brands? I have only basically seen a brand called "Famous" in my price range (few hundred bucks) and a U-900 themed one by aNueNue. I don't really know anything about these and dont speak Japanese so I can't really talk to the clerks about them. help!

10-16-2011, 04:50 AM
I've heard rumors that Yamaha makes some nice 'ukuleles that are only available in Asia, so you may want to check them out. Otherwise, I'd definitely give aNueNue a serious look. I have their O'ahu tenor size and it's pretty amazing in terms of quality materials, construction, and it sounds absolutely lovely.

10-16-2011, 05:45 AM
Famous ukuleles are made by the Kiwaya company in Japan. The same ukuleles are called Kiwaya ukes outside of Japan. They've got a great reputation---check out youtube reviews of Kiwaya ukes.

10-16-2011, 05:50 AM
I own a Kiwaya KTC-1 concert and it's great uke. My daughter and I performed at the Kiwaya/LoPrinzi booth at the summer NAMM show and I got to try several Kiwaya ukes and they were all very nicely made and well set up.

- Steve

10-17-2011, 05:51 AM
Thanks for the replys everyone! It's good to know that the few brands that I have seen here are good ones. I am now thinking about one that I wasn't even debating before, It's a Hello Kitty Uke. I saw it at the store for about 180$ but then saw that its a limited edition one sold only in Japan and is selling for more everywhere else I looked (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hello-kitty-x-VOX-VU-33HK-Ukulele-Limited-400-japan-/160661620627?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item25682dc793) So I may end up getting it, I have a bunch of nieces and they might like hearing it and it may be a good memory of Japan for me years down the road, and who knows, it may be worth something as well.