Lucky enough to live in Tokyo? Just planning a trip to Tokyo? Make sure to add a stop to Yodobashi Akiba to your list. Located in the freak-magnet of Akihabara, it’s an enormous new department store that’s something like the Otaku Wal-Mart of Tokyo. It’s absolutely huge, having subsumed, amoeba-like, an entire city block. In fact, it’s so packed so full of stuff that visitors are issued a complimentary magazine-like floorguide to navigate through it all. Computers. Cameras. Washing machines. Stereos. TVs. And most importantly, of course, toys. Lots and lots of toys. At far, far lower prices than your average shop on the street.
Of particular interest to TBDX’ers is the soon-to-be-legendary 7th floor, which boasts more square footage than your average corn-fed American-sized Toys R’ Us, and is chock full of (new) kits, toys, video games, and model guns. The selection’s absolutely amazing, and what’s there is often far cheaper than can be found in your average new toy shop. DX Aquarions for 16,000 yen, 4,000 yen off the retail price. Entire pallets of Lord of Byston Well Dunbines at 1,900 yen a pop, less than half of normal retail. (You can almost hear Crazy Eddie in the background chanting “at prices this low, we must be INSANE.”)
On the plus side? Those low, low prices. On the down side? It’s like the Times Square-ification of Akihabara. Family friendly, and minus that shady back-alley funk Akihabara connoisseurs know and love. On the other hand, everyone’s favorite sleaze-merchants, bootleggers, and mod shops will probably flourish in Yodobashi Akiba’s squeaky-clean shadow.
Anyway. Not everything is marked down, but what is can be had for practically wholesale, and the deals get better on holidays, so it’s worth a trip if you’re scouting for new loot for your toy shelves.
(And no, to answer the inevitable question, they don’t do mail order. Get your ass to Tokyo!)