For toy lovers around the World there really might not be a better place to go than the capital of Toyko, for this place is really just one big giant playground full of toys and the only limitation is your imagination! Okay, that part might be stretching it a little, let’s try it again, your limitation is really what your bank (or significant other) allows you to charge to your credit card.
Although i didn’t really get to do as much toy hunting as i had originally planned (Nakano Broadway…one day…), i did manage to hit up a regular establishment where i’m sure there will be something to see, even if prices might not be the lowest. This is the Yodabashi flagship store in Akihabara.
Quite a number of people have asked me where can they go to feed their automotive-centric toy hobby and for those who’ve never been to Japan, trying to navigate them through the street of Akihabara to find the smaller shops might prove to be a bit of a challenge, so usually, i’d point them to these big chain stores where the top floors usually carries a nice assortment of mini-car goodies. And of course if anyone had Akihabara already on their itinerary, i’d point them here. Right next to the JR AKihabara station and probably the biggest building in the vicinity, it’s a little hard to miss even for first time visitors.
Just take the lift or escalators straight up and you’ll be staring at little Tomicas in no time. This might be an electronics chain but their selection of toys is second to none, and with such a strong culture of cars in Japan, you can be sure to find something that might pique your interest.
I usually find myself picking up one or two of these Drive Town cars on my trips to Tokyo, they might not be the most detailed or the most well built but it really comes down to their oh-so-JDM subject matter. Hachiroku? Check! Old school Sprinter Levin? Check! Subaru 360? Check! NSX or Prius Patrol car? Check! Coupled with such a low entry price, these will make for some great omiyage for auto-otakus back home.
I was very tempted, but with an impending house-move coming up in a few months, i decided against it. Maybe next year.
One big big big thing that sets this flagship Yodobashi apart from its slightly smaller stores scattered around Japan is their hobby section which has been set apart from the rest of the toy department. Like the opening image, it is just rows upon rows of scale kits. This is a major wallet busting area so keep your cool, unless you’re a Gundam fan, in which case you might have already lost it.
Bringing back memories for those who grew up on Tamiya Mini-4WDs. I was always a Vanquish fan.
With shops back home charging premium prices for Mini-4WDs, it is really refreshing (and horribly horribly tempting) to see some reasonable JDM prices.
This Nissan Be-1 at ¥860 is just the beans. I really should have picked one or two (or three!) up. They even had a Mini4WD version of the latest Daihatsu Copen. Shucks.
Variety as they say, is the spice of life. Where do i even begin? Those mini food trucks? The nostalgic Japanese cars?
Even more kits you will hardly see at prices you’ll never find them for outside of Japan.
If building kits are not really your thing or if you are like me, and have absolutely no talent at all in doing so, YOdobashi also carries a decent lineup of diecast, these are priced at quite a premium but their quality does reflect the asking Yens. Those Kenmeris and Fairladys might seem like a decent offer at a little over ¥2500, but bear in mind, those are 1/64s. Ouch.
For those who dare to venture into the deep dark hole that is Gundam, i don’t think you’ll be disappointed here.
They even had a kit of the One-Piece ship, not that i would know much since i never really watched it. Oops. *Fanservice!* Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this really brief look at Yodobashi Akiba, looking back at some pictures, i really wish i picked up some of the things i put back. I guess this means i’ll have to return again next year!