Thursday, March 3, 2011
Sylvanian Travels - JAPAN
Yes! Continuing as part of specials this week, today we are going look at my travels overseas and what better way to start with JAPAN! Japan, without a doubt is a Sylvanian mecca to any collector. However, it is not easy to navigate around without speaking Japanese. In the first of this five part mini-series, we'll be looking at Sylvanians in Tokyo in general.
Now, in this city of 12 million, searching for Sylvanians, like everything else can be a linguistic nightmare. So first things first, the basics. If you're planning to keep your Sylvanian hunting to Tokyo, the best option for you the Tokyo Metro Pass which is available at Narita International Airport's Arrival Hall. This pass covers all nine Tokyo Metro Lines but NOT the Toei Subway Lines or JR Lines For my week-long stay in Tokyo, I bought three of these two-day metro passes, which cost 980円(USD$18.60)
Even if you're not planning to limit your hunt to Tokyo, the pass is still pretty useful for travel to the usual tourist train in Tokyo or traveling back to your hotel after a day in Grinpa!
First stop, department stores. The one is the picture is Isetan, located in Shinjuku.
Most department stores in the city, stock Sylvanian Families. However, the range is only limited the current Japanese range and even so, there isn't anything special that you can't find elsewhere. My advice? Give these stores a miss unless you're really tight for time.
Next, on the list are the various Sylvanian Markets. The most convienient being the one at Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara. Here you'll find a large variety of Sylvanians and I mean large. Sylvanian Markets also stock many Flair and UK Sylvanians as well. In addition to all this, the prices here are discounted, starting from 273円(About USD$3.30) for standing babies. Tax rebates are also available if you spend more than 10,000円.
Another place with mentioning is Toys R Us. Here, you'll find Toy R Us specials with Special figures included with buildings. For example, the Toys R Us version of the School Bus comes with a Chiffon Dog Driver and three students. Pretty good if you want to add a few special figures in your collection!
Yodobashi Camera Akihabara
Take the Ginza Line of Tokyo Metro to Suehirocho(G-14) which is a five-minute walk from the store. Alternatively, take the JR Yamanote Line to Akihabara station, the Sylvanian Market is on 6/F.
Toys R Us (Sunshine 60)
Take the Marunouchi Line of Tokyo Metro to Ikebukuro (M-25), Sunshine City is a five minute walk away. Alternatively, take the Yurakucho Line to Higashi-Ikebukuro (Y-10)
Another great place to try out is Nakano Broadway in Nakano. Nakano, for many is anime lovers paradise! Here you'll find all sorts of toy stores as well as the flagship store of Mandarake, Japan's biggest store in dealing with all sorts of anime paraphernalia and toys. Depending on your luck, you may find Early 80's Epoch Sylvanian Families or figures of the current range. Many of the toy stores here also stock Sylvanian Families with some having back-dated stocks with retired items.
Take the Tozai Line on the Tokyo Metro to Nakano (T-01) and walk though the covered shop alley (Seen in the second picture) to Nakano Broadway.
In our final place for this week, we'll look at Asakusa. Asakusa, is well-known for Sensoji Temple, the oldest temple in Tokyo as well as the world famous, Asahi Breweries. While there are not many toy stores selling Sylvanian Families here, its a great place to get a Sylvanian or two while soaking up the atmosphere of old Japan!
The shop I went to had a 10% discount on Sylvanian Families and hand wrapped the Acorn Mouse Brother I bought even though I didn't asked for it to be hand-wrapped.
Take the Ginza Line to Asakusa (G-19) and walk towards the Sensoji Temple. The toy store I went to was on a side street branching out from the Nakamise Shopping Street (Seen in the picture above)
Next time on Sylvanian Travels, we'll look at the Sylvanian Kitchen at Kichijoji!
Special thanks to Renee on the advice about Yodobashi Camera!
All pictures are copyright of Jonathan Daniel Lau and SylvanianHolics.blogspot.com, All rights reserved.