in ,

Tokyolo #1: Fujiya Avic 2015 Autumn headphone festival

  • You only live once = yolo.

    Tokyo + yolo = Tokyolo. Geddit?

    However, I’ve not flown the nine hours from Sydney to Tokyo just for the heck of it. I’m here for several reasons – which we’ll get to – but primarily I’m here to cover this weekend’s Fujiya Avic headphone show.

    Fujiya Avic is a headphone/DAC retail outlet in Nakano (about thirty minutes walk from Shinjuku station) who twice a year, Spring and Autumn,  host a Headphone Festival in the nearby Nakano Sun Plaza. The show is a little like Head-fi’s own CanJam events but sprawls across six hotel floors instead of one large space.

    Being almost exclusively aimed at local consumers, promotion of the event outside of Japan is all but non-existent. A Google search turns up more than a single thread on and my own coverage of their 2014  Spring show. It was my intention to follow up with coverage this May but the organisers, seemingly unaware of the 2015 Munich High End Show, had scheduled their own event for the same weekend.

    The Fujiya Avic headphone festival plays host a smattering of international brands – Campfire Audio / ALO, Noble Audio, Astell&Kern, Westone and AudioQuest will be in full attendance – but also to Japanese companies like IEM-manufacturer FitEar who barely register a blip on the radar outside of their home country. The show is also where many local companies launch new products and it’s a good place to clock the how many of those are exclusive to the domestic market. Many manufacturers offer limited show pricing that tends to attract large crowds on the first day.


    I’m also in Tokyo for a holiday. Well, a working holiday. I didn’t extend this year’s RMAF trip and with a mate’s place requiring house-sitting, I’m stretching this Tokyo visit out to a full ten days. That’s the view from my Tacho Mae apartment in the header image.

    To keep up with the review coverage, I’ve come equipped with all three of Campfire Audio’s new IEMs, which will enjoy daily rotation via Pono Player and Astell&Kern AK120 II as I march the streets of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Shimokatazawa and, of course, Nakano.

    A bullet train will take me to Nagoya on Monday to check out e-earphone‘s new store before returning to their Akihabara (Tokyo) outlet/s the following day. At which point another visit to Dynamic Audio (previously covered here) is all but inevitable. Then there’s Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera too.

    The final reason for being in Japan? This video will take you there…

    …and it too will meet with DAR coverage in the coming days. After all, you only live once.

    Further information: Fujiya Avic | Campfire Audio 


    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


    1. Hah… I knew the video would end with a record store before I even clicked play. You’re getting predictable, John. 😛

      But yeah, FitEar. Other interesting brands would be CanalWorks, Analog Squared (they’re the ones Woo stole the portable tube amp idea from), Wagnus and Mass Kobo. Pioneer also released a new flagship level full-size headphone this year.

      Btw, also try visiting Technique Tokyo if you find the time. Not as big as DiskUnion, but they’ve (in my experience) got some really rare stuff. Also have a decent Soundcloud page if you’re curious.

      Have a safe trip.

      Looking forward to your impressions of the CA Lyra and Jupiter models. Also, is that ALO amp (in photo) really commute safe? I heard it gets rather toasty.

    2. John, if possible can you check out the new Onkyo DAP that is being raved about in the forums? Comes out late Nov in Japan I think so I’m hoping it will be there. And it has a baby brother Pioneer model as well that you previously talked about the XDP-100R

    3. Do Japan have any purely domestic DAP to compete with the likes of Astell&Kern, Questyle & Co aside from Sony and Onkyo? You’d be in a good position to scope out that scene I’d expect

      • On it. There’s the Pioneer and the new FiiO coming but as to their Japan exclusivity, I dunno.

    Futureshocked by the Kii Three active loudspeaker

    Tokyolo #2 – Audio Union, Shinjuku