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Hobby Shops in Strange Places VIII

Chi Kyu Do in Jimbocho, Tokyo, Japan

By Valentin "What an Accidental Find" Bueno

It was a cold day in Tokyo. We had checked out of the hotel and were wandering around the neighborhood when I looked up. The words Hasegawa, Academy, Trumpeter, and Tamiya jumped out at me as if trying to slap me upside my head. I stopped and stared at the wonderful words stuck to the third floor windows. I immediately found the entrance and entered the rickety elevator up to the third floor. I found a door with a poster of Tamiya's latest releases taped to it's front, I opened the door and I entered Chi Kyu Do.

The store is tiny, only one room about 10 meters front to back and 5 meters across. There were the latest releases of Tamiya, Hasegawa, Academy and even Trumpeter. The selection was mostly aircraft with some accessories. They had a large number of the new Trumpeter MiG 21's on the back wall of the store and a few rather esoteric Czech resin helicopters near the front of the store. I was so tempted to pick up a resin helicopter, but the fact that all my bags were packed and locked deterred me. I am so stupid stupid stupid stupid!! When will I learn to grab opportunity when it presents itself! The proprietor was a young gentleman, but his English seemed very limited, as was my Japanese, but he did understand me when I asked what the name of the store was.

On the right hand side of the store (with your back towards the door) all the armor kits were stacked. Tamiya, Trumpeter, and a few Dragon kits were present. None of the really juicy stuff such as Decal Star, Gumka, or Ordnance Models were in stock. Oh well. I sure do miss MG Shop by Ueno Station! There are some ship models and lots of Tamiya tools. I assuming the large boxes on all of the bottom shelves contained air compressors.

The store was actually quite busy. I opened the door only minutes after the noon opening time and already there were several others in the tiny store with more arriving. That looks good for the little shop.

The store is located within spitting distance (but don't spit, it's rude to expectorate in Japan) of the Jimbocho subway station. The subway station serves the Shinjuku, Mita and Hanmon Subway lines. Exit A7 is the closest exit to the store on Kanda-Suzuran Dori. From Shinjuku station (a major starting point for any adventure in Tokyo) jump on the Shinjuku Toei line towards XXXX. Get off at Jimbocho station and head for exit A7. The map below should guide you to the shop easily enough. Chi Kyu Do is open from 12:00 to 20:50, everyday it seems, I was there on a Sunday.