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May 21, 2009

In The Belly Of The Beast: KAIKODO

Filed under: Erik Sjoen,Toy Love,Toy News — erik sjoen @ 12:43 am

Nestled in a sleepy little town roughly 50 km outside of Tokyo, lies a Japanese toy collectors paradise known only as Kaikodo. As far as I know, or have seen, it is without question the largest independent vintage toystore in all of Japan. Located in the Saitama prefecture, Kaikodo is about a 10 min walk from the Okegawa station, but it’s the hour journey outside of Tokyo that apparently scares people..

According to Yutaka Ishida, the proprietor of Kaikodo, he doesn’t see many westerners AT ALL.. This seems absolutely amazing to me. For all the guys/gals that take the big trip over to Tokyo for vintage toy shopping, one would think that Kaikodo would be flushed with new white round faces weekly at the least. But alas, it is not.. And, up until now, Kaikodo was the secret place that I bragged to all my pals about. “It’s the biggest fucking vintage shop you’ve ever seen!!!”, I would say, gloating. Well, just like numbers, the pics don’t lie. And NOW, it’s “our” secret people.

Stay tuned, because I will not only show you what you’re in for, but I will also show and tell you how to get there. Getting back is all you..

Enjoy:

So, what did you think? Incredible right? Right.. Believe it or not, it’s actually a bit smaller than the last time I was here.

Upon arriving to Kaikodo, Ishida-san laid the keys to the compound on Alt and we literally had free run of the place.. Strolling through the barrage of cases with the keys, filling my personal bin with new found treasures was beyond any other toy buying experience I could, or would ever be able to express..

Personally, I’ve been friends with Ishida-san going on 8 years. Matt, on the other hand road tripped with him up and down the east coast in the pre 2000′s, which totally predates my affiliation. Another noteworthy mention is that Ishida-san contributed to more than one of the early datafiles and is without question part of the ToyboxDX.com family.

If you’re planning a trip over to Japan, for whatever reason, and are a vintage toy collector; Kaikodo should be a top priority. Granted, it’s a bit out of the way, but I guarantee you will not see another “venue” close to this size aside from the 7th and 8th floors of the “Mandarake Complex” in Akihabara in all of Japan. Nuff said..

You want to go? OK, I think this is the easiest way. From the JR Yamanote line; go to Ueno station and get on the JR Takasaki line. Go past Akabane and Omiya station up to Okegawa station (about 45min- hour). Get off at Okegawa and take the east exit. Exit to the right and follow the directions listed below. Kampai!

-Sjoen

You can reach Ishida-san via email HERE

Visit Kaikodo online HERE.

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