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Hobby Shops in Strange Places XXI:

Gannet Shop in Nishinomiya, Shukugawa, Japan

By Brad Sekigawa

 

On our free day, Monday, Shane and I were to meet Mr. Koju Ise for special hobby shop tour down in Shukugawa near Kobe. We met at the Osaka-Umeda station (Not the Shin Osaka Station where the Shinkansen runs through!) near the Hankyu Dept. store after which we boarded the Hankyu-Kobe Main Line train for a short, maybe twenty minute ride to Shukugawa. When we got off the train, Mr. Ise said it was five to ten minutes from the station. At that time there was some construction just outside the station around which we had to detour through the suburbs. By the way, Shane was all smiles from the time we left the hotel. I think he fell in love about fifty times with all the local gals that passed by (heh-heh).

Well that five-minute walked turned into fifteen because of the detour, but near the construction (they’re building a new roadway just outside the rail station) Mr. Ise phoned the store for directions. After a few exchanges with the owner, he remarked that he could see it --about twenty feet away.

The first photo shows the area just outside the station. Near the blue sign is where hobby shop Gannet is located. The second photo (on the cover, ed) is just outside the Kowa building, Gannet is on the second floor note the Hasegawa and Tamiya signs in the window, a dead give away.

If you're a dedicated airplane modeler this is the shop to go to, bar none. The store is owned by Mr. Hiroyuki Oki and his lovely wife Sayuri, a cute and very friendly couple, own the shop. The store was very clean though small about the size of Weller's in Kailua, but he had everything for air nut modeler; he even had stuff that Hannants didn't have. His supplier must be real good--all the latest kits, resin, photo-etch details and decals.

This was quality and variety over quantity, so we didn't see thirty Hasegawa F-14s; pretty much like Weller's one type of kit on the shelf with a storeroom somewhere else or quick restock. That's how a real hobby shop should be--a wide variety of quality kits and accessories.

The decal selection was the best I have seen anywhere. He had many out of print Aeromaster, Microscale, and short run Japanese decals that I had been looking for a long time. It was worth the trip just for the decals alone.

After picking up our jaws and shopping bags off the floor we headed back to Osaka, happy that we found a lot of cool stuff, but sad it ended all too soon