If you were taking a dream vacation to Hawaii...

Ziret

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BIG IN JAPAN is an old joke meaning if you haven't made it elsewhere...... you tell everyone you're BIG IN JAPAN. lol

Though, one UU member told me a few years back that longneck sopranos were big in Japan. No idea who that person was but I liked their style.

I have no clue about the Easy Music Center. I need to Google it.

You're totally right about KoAloha. B-stock yes. I still have their fridge magnet.

LOL.. you and I could be friends and have drinks.... no Mai Tais. lol
I think it’s from the Tom Waits song, Big In Japan, though the saying could have preceded the song, I heard it first from Tom in 1999. Good song.
 

merlin666

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I think it’s from the Tom Waits song, Big In Japan, though the saying could have preceded the song, I heard it first from Tom in 1999. Good song.
Big in Japan were a punk band that emerged from Liverpool, England in the late 1970s. They are better known for the later successes of their band members than for their own music. This band inspired the name of a hit song of German group Alphaville in the early 80s, that's where I heard the term first.
 

Ziret

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Big in Japan were a punk band that emerged from Liverpool, England in the late 1970s. They are better known for the later successes of their band members than for their own music. This band inspired the name of a hit song of German group Alphaville in the early 80s, that's where I heard the term first.
Thanks! I wonder how far back this can be pushed?

William Shakespeare to Christopher Marlowe, “Despair not dear Kit, I hear thou art big in Japan.”
 

OpihiMan

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"Best Ukulele" in the Ohana Marketplace on Ward Ave. is another smaller store. They're also at the Aloha Stadium swap meet on the weekends. They carry the Big 3 K brands, Rebel, Kala, Ohana and a few more.
 

man0a

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"Best Ukulele" in the Ohana Marketplace on Ward Ave. is another smaller store. They're also at the Aloha Stadium swap meet on the weekends. They carry the Big 3 K brands, Rebel, Kala, Ohana and a few more.
Ohana Hale Marketplace on Ward Ave closed last month. The landlord is going to build condos at that location. I heard that the marketplace was looking for a new location, but I have not heard anything specific.
 

DJ Mango

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Ohana Hale Marketplace on Ward Ave closed last month. The landlord is going to build condos at that location. I heard that the marketplace was looking for a new location, but I have not heard anything specific.
Best Ukulele's new location is :

358 Royal Hawaiian Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
 

PeteyHoudini

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Hi uke friends. I have no clue where the expression BIG IN JAPAN came from. I know DEEP PURPLE did an album MADE IN JAPAN in 1972. When was Tom Waites?
 
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TBB

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Thanks! I wonder how far back this can be pushed?

William Shakespeare to Christopher Marlowe, “Despair not dear Kit, I hear thou art big in Japan.”
I wish I could “like” this more than once 😂
 

DJ Mango

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BIG IN JAPAN is an old joke meaning if you haven't made it elsewhere...... you tell everyone you're BIG IN JAPAN. lol

Though, one UU member told me a few years back that longneck sopranos were big in Japan. No idea who that person was but I liked their style.

I have no clue about the Easy Music Center. I need to Google it.

You're totally right about KoAloha. B-stock yes. I still have their fridge magnet.

LOL.. you and I could be friends and have drinks.... no Mai Tais. lol
Sekiguchi-san whose BIG IN JAPAN playing a long neck soprano at time stamp 18:49

 

Jerryc41

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...what would be your top ukelele builders or shops to check out?
KoAloha. That would do it for me. I've never been to their shop, but when I was in Hawaii, I was impressed by the number of well-stocked uke stores and seeing so many ukuleles everywhere. I bought my first uke in an ABC store, a basic #25 uke (in 2002). I played that little no-name uke for quite a while. Then I got a KoAloha soprano from the Hawaiian Music Store. I liked the idea that it was made on Hawaii from wood that was grown on Hawaii, and it was sold by a Hawaiian store.

On one of our first visits, a uke group played where we were staying, and they explained the different sizes, which was a surprise to me. When I asked about the price range, that was a real shocker!
 

rhiggie

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KoAloha. That would do it for me. I've never been to their shop, but when I was in Hawaii, I was impressed by the number of well-stocked uke stores and seeing so many ukuleles everywhere. I bought my first uke in an ABC store, a basic #25 uke (in 2002). I played that little no-name uke for quite a while. Then I got a KoAloha soprano from the Hawaiian Music Store. I liked the idea that it was made on Hawaii from wood that was grown on Hawaii, and it was sold by a Hawaiian store.

On one of our first visits, a uke group played where we were staying, and they explained the different sizes, which was a surprise to me. When I asked about the price range, that was a real shocker!
Last I heard KoAloha didn't have the extra staff to do Factory Tours so if that's your plan, call ahead first!
 

hands_on_lanzon

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I'm visiting Oahu now on my "dream vacation" and did the Koaloha tour last week, I think. I just emailed one night and was in the next day at 1:00... and I was the only one on the tour! Another lady came late and the guide finished my tour and started hers! They were awesome. I also got to chat with Brian and Paul about getting an after market side sound port drilled in my Koaloha. I'll find that SSP thread and reply there.

I visited Ukulele Lab right after the Koaloha tour, but was advised to call ahead since Isaac isn't alway in the shop. Sure enough, he was out and about and met me in 30min. As mentioned earlier, it's a smaller shop but has some cool ukes in there and, again, 1on1 service.

I have an appointment set up to meet Shawn at the Ukulele Friend showroom next Saturday! Looking forward to trying some more amazing ukes.

I mentioned this in another thread (I think "Please Buy This Uke").. I ended up bringing one of my favorite ukes to help quell my UAS and it's helped. I also got a pickup installed at TUS which got me in with them. I scheduled to pick up my uke at the shop in Haleiwa when Corey was working and got to have him provide a little plugged in sound sample. We were also lucky enough to have Kalei show up. We waited for a lull from other customers and got requested a duet from them. It was definitely a highlight!! After that, got some shrimp at Giovanni's.

Going back a bit, I initially went to the shop to ask about my pickup installation and met Brey. He was super cool and directed us to get shrimp at Romy's instead. It's a bit farther drive, but I like it too. After that, I had to drop off the uke at the warehouse before they left, where I got to meet Veronica, Joel, and Billy. All super nice folks.

Cutting back forward... when I asked Brey about the I'iwi soprano, he mentioned that they keep the higher end ukes at the warehouse. I scheduled a time to meet Corey over there and they welcomed me in, gave me a quick tour, then bombarded me with the latest shipment of LFDMs, Blackbirds, Koaloha Red Labels, a Ken Franklin, a Ko'olau fresh from downstairs and that I'iwi soprano I had asked about. I sat on the lil couch where they film the podcast and played whatever I wanted... even before Corey saw some of those ukes! They shoulda left me with one of those plastic bibs they give out at Cajun seafood restaurants!

This was definitely a dream moment... but I think it stemmed from me bringing my Kinnard. It showed that I'm a serious UAS sufferer and they're the dealer / biggest enablers who wanna keep you hooked. If you visit and are serious about checking out the good stuff, they'll make it happen. Having the Kinnard there with me also helped keep me from making any impulse buys.

If you're going on your dream vacation to find your dream uke, there's definitely ample opportunity. This makes me think I should go try that Grimes while I have the chance and inspect for Taimane scratches. 🧐

Speaking of Taimane, I got to see her live at the Blue Note earlier this month. I also saw Paula Fuga there on the 23rd and Tavana at the Slack Key Lounge (HB Social Club) earlier this month too. Next I'm catching Jake with Pure Heart then Tavana with Taimane at the Blue Note in January. I'm missing out on The Green and there's a bunch more I've already missed! Needless to say, there's tons of great live music to be found!

Food. Beaches. Shopping. Weather. This is our first time here in almost 20yrs and we're making up for lost time. It's easy to fall for this place!!
 

peanuts56

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Not uke related but The Royal Hawaiian Band usually plays a Friday concert on the lawn at Iolani Palace. I'm a retired band director and trumpeter. I visit family in Kailua pretty much every year. I had never heard the band in concert. Heard them a few times in the Kailua 4th of July parade. Wow, they are really tight. Clarke Bright is the music director. Clarke's dad Ron taught theater at Castle HS for years and is a legend. The theater is named after him. The jazz scene is quite good on Oahu if you are a jazz fan. Benny Chong and Byron Yasui are fabulous. IMO Benny is the best jazz ukulele player on the planet. I was at Nico's a few years ago to hear Bryan Tolentino and Hale Seabury. Bryan invites people to come up and play during their breaks. Bryan invited me to play and told me Benny and Byron would follow me. No pressure there!!!! Got through my little set just fine. Benny and Byron tore it up for 15-20 minutes. Glad I didn't play after them. Byron sat in with Bryan and Hale the rest of the night. Really fine bass player, nice man too.
Led Kaapana plays a lot locally. One of the nicest guys as well. A real Ambassador of Aloha.
 

badhabits

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@hands_on_lanzon, sounds like you would enjoy browsing at The ukulele store and speaking with the owner Tyler (but he's not always there). Located upstairs in a mall on Lewers, a block or so down from the Lab, easy to miss if you don't look up.

Tavana with Taimane would be awesome! And not many non-locals know The Green. Check out a Night market if they are still going on.
 

Tin Ear

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You folks that get to Hawaii and also have the time to experience the Uke factories and shops are lucky dogs !

I have enjoyed the reports posted here and have vicariously been your shadows in your adventures.