Here are some of the questions Tokyo Flute Space receives most often, with the most typical answers.
Q1. Where exactly is Tokyo Flute Space?
A. It is located in Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo. The exact address will only be informed after making an appointment, in order to reserve the time and facilities everyone deserves upon visiting TFS, although it only has the capacity of accommodating one booking at a time. On this website you can find its nearest stations and related information, or get a glimpse of how inside the workshop looks like.
Q2. I am not familiar with Akasaka / Roppongi districts.
A. TFS can be reached within 2 minutes' walk from its nearest station, and situated in a building which most customers find very easy to locate. Also, please be assured that you will be offered detailed route suggestions upon booking. There is a wide variety as to how you can spend the time while waiting, further information on TFS's neighbourhood can also be found on this site.
Q3. Can I take my flute back on the same day?
A. It will much depend on the current condition of your instrument, as well as requested repair work and general availability, however the staff will give his very best -within the given circumstances- to accommodate your needs. In case of full adjustment, especially the instrument being brought to Tokyo Flute Space for the first time, would require more than one day to finish the work, based on the recommended procedure. The returning instruments that have already been to TFS in the past may possibly be finished on the same day, depending on booking situation in general and any repair records after your last visit, if applicable. Please let the staff know if you are in urgent need to have your flute back soon, are visiting TFS from afar, and/or are having difficulties in going out often.
Q4. Is it OK if I send my flute to Tokyo Flute Space to get it repaired?
A. At Tokyo Flute Space, careful consultation before and after the repair work as well as sharing the view with each customer on his/her instrument's condition are of pivotal importance. In order to return instruments in the best possible way for each owner, TFS remains flexible providing further fine-tuning and individual set-up as needed after the initially planned repair. Although TFS would love to welcome customers also from relatively distant places, this package around the actual repairs being excluded by sending the instrument, Tokyo Flute Space regrets to be unable to offer its services as a general rule. If you have already been served regularly in the past and look for ways other than visiting, the staff welcomes your individual enquiry.
Q5. Can you give me further details on face-to-face reception policy?
A. Tokyo Flute Space believes that the instrument owner and the repairer being apart from each other upon handing the instrument creates various restriction, when an instrument needs fine-tuning to several hundreds / thousands of a millimeter in order to meet each of your requirement. It is not only of vital importance to professionals, but also the vast majority of hobby flute players do notice the difference made by these individual adjustments. Rather, they are often more positively influenced since they do not as frequently apply the playing techniques “to get the result regardless to the condition of the instrument”, as professionals. It has to require your visit, but you will be rewarded as you certainly are going to experience the renowned skills of this genuine, truly specialised repair workshop for flutes.
< Before >
Q6. There are notes that do not sound as good as the rest, but it is hard to define if it is the instrument or myself being the reason.
A. It is surprisingly difficult to judge the condition of the instrument objectively and precisely. Many notice that "it wasn't the player”, only after the appropriate adjustment is done. It would be a shame to spend your precious time only attempting to make the instrument sound, which in fact isn't in a condition to perform as such, at least in a more desirable circumstance. You are most welcome to visit Tokyo Flute Space to find this out, inspection and quotation will be offered free of charge.
< After >
Q7. I am not sure if I would recognise whether my flute became better after the repair.
A. The vast majority of the customers at Tokyo Flute Space unmistakably notice the positive differences themselves after the repair/adjustment, saying "it plays much easier”, "the sound became much more even throughout the registers yet easier to control the nuances”, “the whole instrument resonates better and I feel the vibration at my fingertips”, or “the movement of the keys are smoother”, these are just a few examples among the most typical responses. Not only on relatively new instruments but also on older ones indeed, the instrument owners re-discover their respective instruments' charm and potential, or find "the original voice" again, all of which delight the staff who works hard towards these goals. Regardless to the price of the instrument or whether they play in professional environment, many of the customers seem to go home feeling the refreshed pleasure of playing the flute.
< Details >
Q8. What actually are the individual adjustments?
A. Technically speaking it covers a very wide range, such as voicing and tuning the action (key and mechanism), however the simple purpose is "to set the instrument up in the way so that the player feels more natural”. This area of work requires a completely different level of precision, compared to the sort of common repair work that just “makes it sound again”. That the flute/piccolo sounds well in all registers is the minimum requirement, it is more about the fine-tuning of how far it goes, in which tendency it sounds, and how it functions as an expressive musical instrument. Tokyo Flute Space is well known for its extensive consultation to achieve this, which is carried out by the repairer himself.
Q9. Do you have specific recommendation on spare parts such as pads, or set-up?
A. It is the firm belief of Tokyo Flute Space that no spare parts, skill or tool itself will ever be the final purpose of the repair work. Instead, they are the helping means to achieve whatever is musically / technically / physically intended by applying them. It is the solution to fully satisfy and realise the dreams of an instrumentalist that is required, not the component or set-up that uniformly forces your instrument to be. On the other hand, the specific components / proprietaries of flute manufacturers are developed and used with clear concept, detailed calculation and sensitive balancing, all of which Tokyo Flute Space respects. The repair plan offered by TFS takes all these aspects into consideration and suggests you the closest possible way to your goal.
Q10. How much will it cost to have my flute repaired/adjusted?
A. It wouldn't be fair to give one price for all, since each instrument has its own condition, natural durability, way of use and time passed since its production. In most cases at TFS, you can choose from several repair options according to your preferences, and setting the maximum amount for the work in advance is also possible. Please feel free to consult with the staff about the individual details. Also on this website, you can find the information on generally expected price range and breakdown.
Q11. Is student discount available at Tokyo Flute Space?
A. Yes. TFS offers student discount for those who are under 30 and are able to present document(s) such as student ID or other certificates issued by the educational authority. Of course any applicable documents issued outside Japan are also welcome (if you possess an international student card such as ISIC, please have it ready as well). In all cases the presented document must be within its validity.
Q12. At what point am I paying, and in which method?
A. Within the range of approved quotation given prior to the repair, you will of course only pay for what has actually been done. Therefore Tokyo Flute Space asks you to balance your bill when you receive your flute once the repair work is completed.
TFS accepts cash (in Japanese Yen) and credit cards (Visa / MasterCard / JCB / American Express / Diners Club / Discover). Within the confines of each credit limit and agreement with card issuer, the following electric payments are accepted: most IC cards issued by the Japanese railway companies / iD / nanaco / Rakuten Edy / WAON, as well as contactless payments using credit card.
Please let the staff know if you are playing in professional environment and belong to an organisation that is willing to cover the expense, so that a separate arrangement will be offered.
Q13. Do you sell instruments or sheet music?
A. In order to concentrate on offering technical services, Tokyo Flute Space does not sell such items.