By Hannah Warren
Planes, trains and automobiles.
And boats, helicopters, tanks, and pretty much anything else you could possibly imagine out of little plastic bits, paint and motors.
The Tamiya Plamodel Factory store in Shimbashi sells more than 6000 of these things and plenty more, across two shop floors and an event floor.
Tamiya is one of the world’s largest and most famous hobby product manufacturers, and their two-star logo is well known to model builders and radio control enthusiasts around the world. In 2008 they opened this official shop and event venue, conveniently located a five-minute walk from JR Shimbashi station.
More than just a store, the Tamiya Plamodel Factory serves as a focal point of information dissemination to spread the appeal of Tamiya’s hobby products.
As well as stocking scale models, radio controlled products, and Mini 4WD products, it also has everything else you need like tools, paint, books, magazines and even Tamiya branded clothes and merchandise.
They also hold events at the store, such as new item announcements, model exhibitions, Mini 4WD and remote control races, workshops, seminars, and talks. In addition, model clubs can rent space for private use and meetings.
The first floor has the collection of plastic models, clearly laid out, with plenty of pre-assembled models to show you how yours is supposed to look (but probably won’t).
The basement level has the radio control section; from the cheapest models up to the full sets which retail at over $1000.
On the third floor there’s even a workspace and race track for small remote control vehicles, which is a popular hangout space for hobbyists around Tokyo. Clubs often hold sessions for members or beginners in which they build and race cars socially and competitively.
On the weekends it’s open from ten am to six pm, but during the week it’s open from midday to ten pm, so even those who have to work on weekdays can pop in any day.
So if you’re in need of a project for the weekend, adding to your collection, or looking for a gift for a model fan, definitely make a trip to Shimbashi to check out the Tamiya Plamodel Factory.
Hannah lives in Sydney and spends most of her time dreaming of being somewhere else. She loves karaoke, hates making plans in advance, and will probably never be able to read a map.