Toy Shopping Guide: Part 2
For part 2 of the shopping guide, I explored the area around the train station as well as going up along Chuo-dori (中央通り). There are heaps of shops everywhere and its just a matter of visiting each one to find what you’re after! Even some of the mixed business stores sell some toys so its worth poking your head in and taking a look. Theres quite a bit of walking in between the stores, as they are not all centrally located (apart from the Radio Kaikan Building as seen in part 1 of the guide) so have a good pair of walking shoes on if you intend on staying here for the day, which you’ll probably need to get through all the shops!
First up, opposite Akihabara station’s central gate at the Shouwa-Dori exit is the chain electronics store “YODOBASHI CAMERA”. They sell everything and anything to do with electronics, gadgets, DVDs, bicycles and even sports equipment! Of course this also includes toys and hobby supplies. At this particular store, the toys are located at the very top floor, which also has a music shop and a section for books, magazines and gaming material. I was expecting the prices to be a bit higher because Yodobashi is not a a specialist toy store, but to my surprise the prices were good, some items were even cheaper than department stores and other toy shops. For a full list of stuff they sell and the prices, check out their website ヨドバシ !
Liberty (リバティー) has a few stores scattered all around Akihabara, they mainly deal in second hand toys which is fine by me as it means rare and limited edition items do pop up from time to time! You can also take your unwanted toys and sell there for some extra cash. Check out their website for a map of their store locations and items they sell.
Head back towards the Radio Kaikan building (as seen in part 1 of the guide) for Liberty shop 12 & 13, walk through to the back of the building and you will see two shops side by side with simple plain white signs with the words “FIGURE . HOBBY”. Both stores are multilevel with different types of toys on each floor, prices vary and some bargains can be found here, but not everything is worth the sticker price so best to do your research before hand.
Walking up Chuo-dori towards Ueno (上野) for Liberty Shops 7, 8 and 11. Shop 7 is the first one you’ll come across on the right hand side of the street. It is relatively small compared to the other shops but still has a good selection of toys.
Shop 8 is the biggest of the Liberty hobby stores, so much to see, so many cabinets, so many floors, I could have spent a whole day in there! Prices were mostly reasonable and I did manage to pick up some bargains.
Shop 11 is right beside shop 8 on Chuo-dori. They sell die-cast cars, trains, choro-Qs and anything to with cars, trains, trucks etc. Sorry no photos:P
Toys Goldenage is a small vintage toy store located right beside Liberty shop no.8. Theres a whole bunch of US toys, Japanese action figures, vintage toys and heaps of vinyl stuff. Cool shop and certainly worth a visit!
Walking further towards Ueno, in one of the side streets is an old model shop called LEONARUDO. This is a multi-level building that sells model kits, mostly second hand and out of production stuff but they also do have some new kits. Each floor has a different category of kits, planes, cars, ships etc. Theres also a second hand books and publication section. Check out their website for more information.
DVD . GAME
Situated approximately half way between Liberty shop no.8 and Akihabara station, on Chuo-dori is another second hand toy shop. This is a much smaller single floor store which is easy to spot from the main street. Selection and prices were not as good as the other second hand stores I visited, but I thought I’d document it anyway. They did have quite a big section of Figma toys though. I have a feeling this shop may also be a part of the Liberty stores, as there are signs which indicate it could be shop no.1, but its not marked on their website.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of the hobby shops in Akihabara, I’m pretty sure its not even close but at least it gives you an idea of what the toy shops there are like there. This completes part 2 of the toy shopping guide, I hope you’ve enjoyed the read!