fulcrum1 Posted September 2, 2018 Share Posted September 2, 2018 (edited) These are some notes complete with spelling errors for anyone interested. I was there for work a couple weeks ago and explored Tokyo on my off time. Volks: Akihabara store: Fantastic. Great builds on display. Full line of Zoukei Mura/SWS and newer Hase and Tamiya kits in various stages of builds for display. The Akihabara store had a display of Japanese WWII planes and ships kits all stacked nicely with a flat panel showing some WWII flick. They also had on display plenty of ship models painted in different shades of grey which showed off details nicely. Many of the ship kits were painted shades of dark grey and the photo etch or brass was left unpainted to showcase the aftermarket. Quite effective as I left with a 1/700 Fujimi Next Kongo kit and wood deck (looking for some barrels) and a new interest for small ships. They had a great display of a F-4S taking off. I already picked up the SWS kit and Midway base at the Nats in Nebraska so I bought the metal landing gear to replicate. Say what you will about SWS, I was impressed with their booth in the states and even more impressed with their product in Japan. Their 1/48 Shinden was sold out, again. Yokohama store: On the top floor of the Verve building, pretty much the same stuff as the Akihabra store but with more focus on large chested anime kits. The scale model kits on display weren’t of the same quality, but the armor display section was on point. This store had a spray booth with various paints that you could try out. It was nice to see Mission Models and Vallejo’s complete line. I only use acrylics where I currently live so it was nice not having to order them. I went to a 3rd Volks store. It may have been two stores in Akihabara. Anyways, it was much smaller but covered the full line of SWS. Yellow Submarine: Yokohama store: Don’t go for scale models, they looked to be a trading card shop only. Akihabara store: Fun! Plenty of newer kits like the Modelcollect B-52 and some of their Hase kits were on sale. A large armor section and aftermarket set it apart from the other stores. It was in the same building as Volks. Tam Tam: It was in Akihabara so I walked over….nothing special and prices were high. Post Hobby in Atsugi: Good prices and great selection. I actually preferred this store to the others in Tokyo. I ran into some sailors there buying Gundam kits and they told me this store had some of the better prices. The aftermarket was solid and the supply section was good with mostly Japanese manufactures. I bought a pair of Tamiya F-14D’s there for something around $62 a piece. I also bought the 1/350 Tamiya Tone for $80. Yodobashi Camera/Electronic Store: They had these in a few places. I went to several although not exactly a hobby shop they had a large section of hobby related stuff. The Yokohama, Shinjuku, and Akihabara stores had some of the larger scale model selections. Mastuda was smaller. Their prices seem to be the best and if you had a tourist passport you could save on tax as well. They also had an electronic section that was best I had ever seen. I ended up buying some Nintendo stuff for my boys and auditioned the Sennheiser HD800s headphones that I am now convinced I need. Random hobby stores and 2nd hand toy stores: I went into several all over and these were fun, naturally they had the best prices. Mostly toys and figurines, but some had some quality kits. Tamiya Store/Factory: Their prices were higher and only Tamiya kits. The builds on display also need some attention. This was actually a little disappointing; I did not even bother with the Yokohama store. Maybe next time, even the two stickers I bought were overpriced. Lessons learned: -The iPhone map app was solid gold for the trains and subways. I was able to get where I was going 90% of the time with the exception of a highway bus stop that through me for a loop on the way to Mt. Fuji. Like any international location bring an unlocked smartphone and buy a data sim card at the airport or train station. I think I bought 3gb for $24…AT&T wanted $120 for 3gb. Bring an external battery for your phone. I was on the map app constantly and needed it for my plus sized iphone. -Use a tourist passport if you can to save tax. They have stores that will not charge you the 8% tax. Military with a SOFA stamp or using a diplomat passport I was no-go’d. -Active Duty Military, the New Sano hotel in Tokyo near the French Embassy has an APO/FPO shipping room in the basement along with a packing store. You do not have to stay here to use it. APO-to-APO is also free for some locations and I believe reduced for others. It was $12 to box the 1/350 Tone and Premium Yamato and $14 to ship it. You can save money on the packing/boxing, but the convenience is hard to beat. -To avoid foreign transaction fees I used my Amex Platinum and almost all places accepted it. Edited September 3, 2018 by fulcrum1 Quote Link to post Share on other sites
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.