I had the opportunity to travel around Tokyo over the past few days and I've had the chance to try out some killer gear I had never seen in the states. Before you guys ask for pics, I did take a few, but I cannot upload them until I get back to the states, and that won't be until August 3rd/4th! First, I checked out the Big Boss/ESP Guitars shop and they had tons of stuff. The most impressive by far was this singlecut 5-string bass by a Japanese company named Dragonfly. It had two singlecoil jazz pickups, and a Fodera style knob layout. The preamp was incredibly flexible and it really could nail the Jazz tone and everything in between. I loved it, but the asking price was a little too high at about $2700.00 USD for a brand I was unfamiliar with. I also sat down with Japanese Laklands and they were killer. Having owned 2 Skylines and loved them both, I was really impressed when I found the quality of the Japanese builds to exceed that of the Korean line. I checked out a Bob Glaub and a few KILLER 55s and 44s. There was a 44 with a quilted maple top that was remarkable in every tangible aspect. There were tons of Atelier Zs in the ESP shop as well and I can attest to what many here have mentioned before... they are heavy as a mother! They sound O.K. - not really my cup of 70s jazz tea. There was an interesting A.Z. that had a stealth motif going on with a black bound and blocked (literally, black blocks) on a rosewood board. Really neat touch, but a little too black for me. One thing that I was surprised to see throughout other smaller shops throughout Tokyo was the excessive number of Music Man basses, specifcally the new limited edition quilted top MM. I thought those were a bit more limited. I was also shocked to see about 15 Rickenbackers (in total) throughout my travels. In Shibuya (IIRC) there was a bass speciality shop that would make the guys with even the deepest pockets sweat. There were high-end American basses from the who's who of luthiers. I was most impressed with the handful of Elricks that were in stock. I had never seen/played an Elrick but I was incredibly impressed with shortscale fretless I played. In that shop, there were quite a few beautiful MTDs (including a 7 string), a Fodera Victor Wooten, the aforementioned Elricks, a Pino Palladino Fender Precision, a number of beautiful Zon basses, and an Alembic that did not even have a price tag. It was pretty much a bassists heaven. Again, sorry for the lack of pics for now, but soon I will upload what I took when I was not too buys drooling.