Tokyo Hobby Shops...Looking for recommendationsApril 5 2013 at 10:44 AM
|Rick in Virginia (Login RFindley)|
from IP address 184.108.40.206
Got a trip coming up to Tokyo....first time, so I need to know the recommended hobby shops to visit while there. TIA
Re: Tokyo Hobby Shops...Looking for recommendations
|April 5 2013, 10:57 AM |
The link you need:
Yellow Submarine, Volks and Yodobashi Camera are all close to each other in Akihabara. Yodobashi you will get a good discount on stuff so I usually go there first. Then Volks/YS to find the stuff I couldn't at Yodobashi.
Sunny is another good one but it's bit more of a trip.
|April 5 2013, 11:18 AM |
was worth seeing, both for the "village" air of its neighbourhood, and the sheer amount of kits they pack into a small space.
I was just there!
|April 5 2013, 11:17 AM |
Best customer service ever. Very clean city. Dress like you're going to a job interview, and you might just fit in. Get a Suika card for public transport. Write down the full address of every place you're looking for, because you will get lost. There's a 3 level system, zone/block/door.
Here are some model and book shops that I tried
|This message has been edited by DavidByrden from IP address 220.127.116.11 on Apr 5, 2013 12:02 PM|
I just went to Japan last year. Here is what I saw...
|April 5 2013, 11:36 AM |
Yodobashi is a MUST! Go to Akihabara by train and it is right at the station- huge building. I think models is floor 6 (?) Wow, I had limited time there but picked up a couple kits! They had Tamiya enamel paints. It is duty free too and what you see is what you pay -no tax. Given the strong dollar you should score better than I did. I had 77 yen in August 12 and it is in the 90s now. Definitely go there and don't forget to buy a diecast bullet train model-so much cool stuff-a treasure and I was hyperventilating! Really! They call plastic models "PLA" there so write PLA on paper and they will know what you mean. You should see the huge robot kits-amazing (I think I am hyperventilating again! haha!) If you have a lot of room I recommend buying extra rare kits (you will have to research but an example is the Hasegawa Vanship and Blade runner car by Fujimi which I think are good ones to think about.) and selling on ebay if you so desire. I didn't but you could easily make cash doing that. Just a thought.
My kits. The 2 outer robots were from Yellow Submarine. I had limited space but am happy to have these!
In Hiroshima (stay with me) I went to Yellow Submarine. This is awesome to buy 50% off (and more) kits! A lot of robots. The YS in Hiroshima had a lot of wargamer stuff and plastic figures of girls and gundam for like $1- $2 I bought a ton of them-really cool. They had a lot of Macross kits marked way down. For example I bought a robot kit for $5 there and amazon showed it at $40+ ! Really good deal. Don't know where yellow submarine is in Tokyo but search, find and show someone when you get there. I printed out the Japanese address of the shops and showed people. it is really easy that way. Oh and the main kits they have are Macross, robots etc not much airplane, tank (if any really). Think of it as an outlet store for models that are a little older. I also bought tiny little Japanese aircraft carriers so open your eyes and look at everything! Still worth the stop especially if you like little cast figures of cutesy schoolgirls-apparently that stuff is popular!
Hope that helps and I am VERY jealous! Luckily I have a Japan connection now that brings me models when he visits Tucson twice a year. So lucky.
One more thing. If you are American take Traveler Checks. Typically you get 2 yen more per dollar which can add up. At Narita you can change for Yen and the rate will say TC next to it-traveler check. When I was there it was 75 yen to dollar 77 yen to TC. Really worth while to do. This was at other currency exchnages too (one near the imperial palace)
Also, go to Asakusa! Really cool place to hang around-see SkyTree tower ($20 plus $5 to highest level). Take a cruise from Asakusa to Odaiba and see the giant Gundam robot there. Hard to find behind a building. Gundam all over there.
If you have more questions email me at steve921.at. cox.net.
Oh and always have your camera ready!!! Proof....
insert clever quote here
|This message has been edited by RedSteveSDMB from IP address 18.104.22.168 on Apr 5, 2013 11:54 AM|
looks like you had a good trip, Red
|April 5 2013, 12:16 PM |
Yellow Submarine has several shops in Akihabara. Only one sells models. The others sell Gundam/Macross, fantasy figures, gaming stuff, and such. All these shops are located very close to each other. The other YS shop I've visited is in Yokohama and only sells gaming stuff.
Yodobashi is absolutely worth a visit. Very good prices on kits. Take your passport for the duty free advantage. If you have a Japanese address, get a Yodobashi Gold Point card. It's good for an additional 10% off. Be sure to check out the modeling tool selection here. There are many innovative tools for modelers that you won't see outside Japan.
If you're interested in older kits, check out Leonardo's. It seems to be a elephant's graveyard for old kit collections. Prices can be good or not so good. If you're looking for a specific release, this is a good place to go.
Todd's link is very good for finding shops, but isn't a complete listing. Many shops advertise in the back of Japanese modeling mags. The problem here is the language barrier, but the concierge at your hotel should be able to assist. I'd use the link first, printing out the directions to the shops that interest you.
My favorite shop is Sunny in Shimokitazawa. There are very different atmospheres in the different sections of Tokyo. Shimokitazawa has an older feel. It also has a younger feel with the colleges in the area. Good, cheap eats can be found very close to Sunny.
Japan is a very interesting place. Please don't spend all you time in the shops. There is too much to see and do to spend limited travel time in hobby shops.
|April 5 2013, 1:09 PM |
I am sure they sell other models beside Super Giant Robots and Starblazers....
"You'll Love My Wingnuts!"
Rick, Japan is like a giant hobby shop
|April 5 2013, 12:41 PM |
They love us hobbyist/model builders.
Model building is big over there.
If you haven't already, do a search here. It comes up 2-3 times a yr. nt.
|April 5 2013, 1:37 PM |
Question about a price of a model in Japan
|April 5 2013, 2:10 PM |
Is the Tamiya P-51D Pacific version any cheaper in Japanese stores then it is via an online Japanese supplier?
One of the jets that we share the hanger with is going to Japan next week to do a medevac. The pilot owes me a few favours and I am thinking of asking him if he has time..................
|April 5 2013, 2:19 PM |
the 1/32 P-51d ranges from 10,600-12,800 yen or $109-132 (based on todays yen rate). But remember no tax or shipping. So I hope that helps. Yen rate of kits is shown on hobby search site. For example:
insert clever quote here
|This message has been edited by RedSteveSDMB from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Apr 5, 2013 2:20 PM|
If he flys into Yakota AB
|April 6 2013, 3:13 AM |
There's a GREAT hobby Shop right outside the fence across from the Transit Aircrew Barracks! It sit's between the two Base entry gates, but it's worth the walk, if He'll do it for you!
LEONARD !! a dream come true hobby shop
|April 5 2013, 3:04 PM |
Look for a shop called leonard, I believe it is located also in akihabara...
I was there in 2006 and it was very exciting....huge lines and deep discounts...
If you cant find it online PM me.
|April 5 2013, 8:47 PM |
That chain of hobby shops was called Leonardo. They closed most of their stores, including their 4-story main store in Akihabara last summer. The main store moved into another building near the old location and now calls itself "Leonardo ET".
Check the link at the bottom for a map.
Is that "old" kit shop still there?
|April 5 2013, 4:03 PM |
I was there in '98 and visited a two-story shop packed with OOP kits, cars/sci-fi first floor, aircraft and armor were upstairs in two rooms. I have no idea where my notes are, but it was an awesome shop among about 6 awesome shops I visited (not including model RR and militaria shops!).
|Brian in Va.|
addendum to what the others have said...
|April 5 2013, 5:34 PM |
I go there quite a bit and these ar my observations:
Yodobashi is definately worth a visit and definately get the rewards card. You don't have to have a Japanese address to get one, I live in Va. and have one. It gives you 10% of your purchase twoards the next one. Also the Yokohama Yodobashi is cheaper than the Tokyo location. They both have a varied selection, so you may find a kit in one and not in another. There's alot to do in Yokohama so its not a wasted trip just for the visit.
I think Yellow Submarine and Volks are very exspensive, remember the main drag of Akihabara is a tourist trap, so don't blow your wad as soon as you get off of the train. They both have killer built models on display, but you can't take pictures.
There are actually two Leonards in Tokyo and they are extremely close to one another. Their names are slightly different somehow, can't remember though, but if you find one you can't miss the other. I was just there and I thought they were a gold mine of great deals. (old 1/12 tamiya F-1 cars for $20) There are some high priced items, but they are collectors kits. If you have old, really old Tamiya kits from the states they will hook you up big time if you trade them. There are a lot of smaller shops, just explore.
TamTam is on the main drag as well, they have a great selection of accessories and kits. I think they are on the third floor up the street (past Mos Burger) big blue building on the corner.
There is a nice small shop in Ofuna as well called Suzuki Moki (Model). Ofuna is between Yokohama and Tokyo. Their number is 0467-50-0446. the store owners name is Kazuya and his mother speaks pretty decent English, you'll appreciate this if you don't speak Japanese! They do 20% off retail, which is very cheap compared to the States and only have newer stuff. He's a true top notch builder as well. Look for the giant Kannon statue on the hill side. As a side note this is where Pappy Boyington and other aviators where inturned in the "Ofuna Death" camp which was where the train station and Lumine Wing mall now sits.
You can also visit the Tamiya Plamodel factory in Shinbashi as well. Its about 5 minutes from Tokyo. The prices are higher than you will find elsewhere, but the dioramas on display alone are worth the visit, plus you can get that Tamiya t-shirt you always wanted.
Also, despite all of the shops in Japan, quite a few are closing. Fort Lucky Bay was a great shop and they just closed the January. They were tremendous guys and had great prices and a huge seletion. You will find that kits in general are cheaper there, and despite what you hear in the states Hasegawa and Tamiya kits are very cheap there. Its the importers that are hosing us.
Yokosuka is also worth a trip, you can visit the Battleship Mikasa on the bay past the Naval base, and don't forget Enoshima and Sea Paradise aquariums (Whalesharks!!!) and Kamakura, they are all very close to Tokyo.
Enjoy your stay, it's the most beautiful country and people I have ever experienced. If you need anything else shoot me an email. I speak the lanquage pretty well and don't mind helping out.
Leonardo has probably changed names, but I think still exists
|April 5 2013, 5:59 PM |
Last time I was in Tokyo was a long time ago... about 2005 0r 6, but when I went to Akihabara, Leonardo was the bee's knee's! It was 4 stories high, each story dedicated to a different genre-- aircraft had its own floor. It had a great selection of both old and new. I've heard from the owner of what used to be a Leonardo in Kobe that the place has sold and changed. Seems it's still there with new owners though. Most good hobbyshops will have anything you've ever imangined by Hasegawa, and cheap (Japanese products are cheap, that is...) Any old import stuff you happen to find, classic airframes for example, will be expensive. I live in Kobe, and we have about half a dozen good hobbyshops (not counting Gundam stuff, which I have no idea on). Volks is the new kick-butt place to go, IMHO. It has everything that is current, plus some older stuff and some imports. Everything is discounted 30 percent from normal retail, but that's its main selling point. The mom and pop shops that have been around and cater to your genre are the ones to find the stuff you didn't know existed. Every time I hit Hobbyland, in Osaka, I can't believe my eyes. "Why haven't I ever seen this stuff reviewed anywhere?" always comes to mind.
Best bet is to narrow down your interest, and then Tokyo experts can tell you where to go and, just as importantly, HOW TO GET THERE.Contrary to popular belief, FEW people speak enough English to help you with diections. You'll be on your own in a place where all streets look the same, and you are unable to read or communicate. It can be handy to have a hotel card in your wallet, so you can show it to taxi drivers. Then they can get you back if all else fails.
PS... Akihabara WILL seem like cute babe central of the world. It's a young people preferred shopping area, so try to keep your focus, lest you might walk into poles or parked scooters!
Another thing to carry is...
|April 6 2013, 5:27 AM |
a COMPASS. Helps you read your map.
The worst hobby shop in Japan is better than the best ones in the US!
|April 5 2013, 7:06 PM |
No dig against US hobby shops, just that the Japanese ones are all pretty much amazing places. Put a lock on your credit card.
Why? How come?
|April 6 2013, 12:36 AM |
We're the ones with the free time, the diversity of interests, and frankly, the disposable income? How come the Japanese have hobby shops, and we have empty shells that once held kits? How come there are six hobby shops in all of Virginia?