Shopping for Gunpla (and more) in Japan

Having seen Knolly’s guide at Unfit to be a Gunpla Meister! about ordering Gunpla from the states, I thought I’d chime in with a simple guide of where to pick up and not pick up Gunpla in Japan.  First off, if you’re wanting to walk in and pick up the new release at the cheapest prices, hands down Yodabashi Camera or Bic Camera, the Japanese electronic department stores are the place to go.

Both Bic Camera and Yodobashi Camera sell models at 30% off, and you’d be hard pressed to find any other stores that would sell Gunpla for less.  In fact, as much as everyone loves Akihabara, the truth is you have to do some hard searching to find good deals.  Both Yodobashi and Bic have good and bad points.  First off they both have point programs, so you get 10% points on whatever you buy which you can turn around to use as a discount on your next purchase.  I actually used points to pick up the new Zeta HD version for free the other day.  Otherwise, major differences are that Bic Camera in general doesn’t have as much Gunpla stock as Yodobashi does, and tends to have less of the anime/otaku/gacha/collector stuff like Yodobashi does.  On the other hand while both Yodobashi and Bic sell Gunpla at 30% off,  Bic actually sells tools cheaper than Yodobashi, again on the other hand Yodobashi has more selection.  I’ve also occasionally seen Yodobashi offering sales on certain models.

Both Bic and Yodobashi have several stores around the Tokyo area, as well in major cities like Osaka and Nagoya. 

If you’re looking for even cheaper Gunpla, then you might be better off looking online at auction sites such Yahoo Auctions, where depending on the seller, you may be able to get Gunpla at half off or more, and can combine shipping as well.  I picked up about 90% of my kits this way, and have saved about a lot of money.  I don’t think the misses would forgive me otherwise!

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Lastly, while not really cheap, a place to check out is Gundam’s in Osaka, which is a licensed store by Bandai that is everything Gundam.  They even have Gundam cookies and gifts you can bring back for family and friends! 

I’ll try and update this should I find new and interesting stores or sites.

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4 thoughts on “Shopping for Gunpla (and more) in Japan

  1. This is some good info. I tried to research this info a year ago before I went to Japan but even though I found the address of several interesting stores I didn’t find these and it seems they are worth of notice.

    A couple of questions though. If I want to find an older release what would be the best bet ? By what you say it seems both stores work mainly with the most recent stuff ? And how are they in the variety of tools and materials for general modeling ?

  2. @Ravhin

    Some good questions, which I realize I should have been a bit clearer on. I’ll actually be stopping by Bic tonight on the way home from work so I will try and take some pictures, so I’ll do an update post to reflect that.

    In general, they both carry all releases, but Bic tends to only have one or two of older models, while they’ll have 20 of the new releases. On contrast, Yodobashi tends to restock often, of everything and usually has stacks of 5~10 of the same models, old and new (of course more of the newer one if you saw my picture from the other day) Of course, some stores have more space devoted then others. For Yodobashi, I suggest going Yodobashi in Akihabara, Yokohama, Shinjuku, or Umeda.

    As for tools, I’ll take a few pictures tonight, again, and update that in my next post, look forward to it.

  3. I will, thanks ! I’ll make sure to link this in my own blog. Very useful info for someone hunting for modeling stuff in Japan. I will certainly check up those stores the next time I’m there.

    It reminds me that when I was there a year ago (more or less) I found the HGUC Nu Gundam at a really bargain price in a store in Akihabara. I don’t remember the name, but it was part of a chain that has several big stores there, each selling different kinds of products, this one sold only scale models and related stuff, quite allot of variety.

  4. Very useful info, i’ll make sure i get to visit those stores next time im in japan. What you said about akihabara is true, it is pretty hard to find bargain deals despite its popularity.

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