Bamboo flute in Tokyo and where to get it

The bamboo flute, also known as shakuhachi, is a traditional Japanese musical instrument that has been a part of Japanese culture for centuries. If you are a music enthusiast and are in Tokyo, you might be interested in getting your hands on a bamboo flute. In this article, we will explore the history of the bamboo flute and where to find it in Tokyo.

History of Bamboo Flute

The bamboo flute has been around in Japanese culture since the 8th century. It is said to have originated from China and was brought to Japan by the Zen monks. The shakuhachi was initially used by monks for meditation and spiritual practices.

Over time, the bamboo flute gained popularity and became a part of Japanese music culture. Today, it is widely used in traditional Japanese music, folk music, and even in contemporary music.

Bamboo flute in Tokyo and where to get it

Where to Find Bamboo Flutes in Tokyo

If you are in Tokyo and interested in getting a bamboo flute, there are several places where you can find them. Here are some options:

1. Music Stores

One of the most obvious places to find bamboo flutes is at music stores. Tokyo has several music stores that sell traditional Japanese instruments, including the bamboo flute. You can check out stores like Shimamura Music, Ishibashi Music, and Jimbocho Denki Music.

2. Traditional Craft Shops

Another option is to visit traditional craft shops that specialize in selling handmade Japanese instruments. These shops usually have a wide variety of bamboo flutes to choose from, with different styles and designs. You can check out places like Kinkou Music Instruments and Yamamoto Music Instruments.

3. Flea Markets and Antique Stores

If you are looking for a more unique and antique bamboo flute, you can check out flea markets and antique stores. These places often have vintage bamboo flutes that have been passed down for generations. You might even find a bamboo flute that has a rich history behind it. Some popular flea markets in Tokyo include the Oedo Antique Market and the Setagaya Boroichi Market.

See also: Japanese transverse bamboo flute: Shinobue

Choosing the Right Bamboo Flute

Once you have found a store or shop that sells bamboo flutes, the next step is to choose the right one for you. Here are some things to consider:

1. Sound Quality

The sound quality of a bamboo flute can vary depending on the material and craftsmanship. It is essential to test the sound of the bamboo flute before purchasing it. You can try playing different notes and listen to the sound quality.

2. Size and Length

Bamboo flutes come in different sizes and lengths. The size and length can affect the pitch and sound of the flute. It is important to choose a bamboo flute that feels comfortable to hold and play.

3. Design and Style

Bamboo flutes come in different designs and styles. Some have intricate carvings and designs, while others have a more simple and minimalistic look. Choose a design and style that speaks to you and fits your personality.


In conclusion, the bamboo flute is an essential part of Japanese music culture, and if you are in Tokyo, getting your hands on one can be a unique and exciting experience. Whether you choose to visit a music store, traditional craft shop, flea market, or antique store, make sure to choose a bamboo flute that has good sound quality, comfortable to hold and play, and fits your style and personality.