These sandwiches have some good action.

Earlier this year, we reported on news that the first-ever flagship store for guitar brand Fender would be opening in Tokyo. This is a large-scale store that not only sells guitars, basses, and other related equipment, but a vast array of lifestyle goods and clothing.

It finally had its grand opening on 30 June in the Harajuku area of Tokyo, so we sent our own Mr. Sato down to check it out. As you may or may not already know, Mr. Sato is something of a musician himself, having been the bass player in a funk-infused alternative rock group some 20 years ago.

▼ And if you don’t know, now you know!

Mr. Sato went a few days after the grand opening and just before the store was about to open for the day. He was surprised to find that there were still people lining up to get in. Once inside, our reporter saw rows upon rows of guitars and bass guitars stretching from the first basement floor down to the third basement floor.

There were also ample spaces for customers to try out the various guitars, but not Mr. Sato. It had been a long time since he played and he was feeling far too self-conscious to do it in the Fender Flagship store of all places.

But it wasn’t just his nerves. He was also feeling the “hunger” – that hunger that all guitar players feel that makes them constantly want to buy new guitars. Back in the day, his lack of money did a good job of holding him back. He had his one Thunderbird bass which was identical to the one played by UFO’s Pete Way, and that was good enough for him.

▼ A 21-year-old Mr. Sato at a festival playing his Gibson Thunderbird that he bought used for 170,000 yen

But now, even though it might not be the most prudent financial decision, he could buy a new one if he wanted. And if he went down into that veritable harem of six-strings, it would have been impossible to resist the hunger.

So, Mr. Sato did what he always did when faced with hunger, and got something to eat! Luckily, the facility also had the Fender Cafe powered by Verve Coffee Roasters, where he could pick up some lunch. It was a small section of the store but perfect for a quick break from either guitar shopping or guitar avoiding.

The whole menu was surprisingly written in English only – and slightly esoteric English at that – so Mr. Sato struggled with it a bit. He ultimately broke down and asked the staff, “What’s a Cortado?”

They explained that it was an espresso with a lot of warm milk, sort of like a cafe latte. That sounded good, so he ordered one of those for 600 yen ($4.19) along with a Boiled Ham & Cheese Sandwich for 930 yen ($6.50).

Mr. Sato felt a little embarrassed to be getting a heart-shaped latte art at his age in a guitar store, but its bittersweet blend was very nice.

The sandwich was served hot and had a reliably simple taste that would have gone well with a beer.

With a full belly, Mr. Sato was able to resist the urge to shop for guitars for the rest of the day. To be honest, it was a little easier here because the Fender flagship store felt more like a high-end boutique than the kind of guitar stores he was used to visiting. With the vast floor space, he couldn’t even hear any of the familiar sounds of other customers noodling away.

It was probably for the best, though. A new guitar would have just gone to waste because Mr. Sato was far too busy to play much. Best to leave to a young person with dreams of playing in an outdoor festival like he had. Maybe when our reporter gets too old for pole dancing he’ll get back into it and even make a reservation on the third floor where the custom guitars are made.

Store information
Fender Flagship Tokyo
Address: Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-8-10
Hours: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Closed during New Year holidays

Photos ©SoraNews24
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