Travel – Tokyo Toy Plan Pitstop 8: Mandarake at Shibuya

19 12 2006

After the ‘hiking’ trip to the Yasukuni Shrine and Tokyo Dome in the morning, I am back at Okachimachi station to meet up with Mrs SWFToys. She had opted to sleep in for the morning to have extended rest. Although I had walked several kilometers earlier, I still feel fresh. I guess the cold weather had something to do with that!

And so it was that we decided to head back to Shibuya for the ladies to catch up on shopping. I was ok with the plan as I thought I could take the chance to check out Mandarake’s branch there. As it would be meaningless for me to follow the ladies while they were shopping,  I contemplated visiting Nakano again by myself.

We reached Shibuya at about 2pm. By winter standards, we are looking at darkening skies by 4.30pm. And we had to head back to meet up with my friends at Ueno for dinner at 6pm. We planned to leave Shibuya by 5pm. Honestly, there was hardly any time and so I squashed any thoughts of visiting Nakano.

We parted ways in front of the Shibuya Starbucks which overlooked that big cross junction. I promptly navigated my way to Mandarake. When I reached the location, the Mandarake shop front was completely unexpected. It was leading underground. I believe it was in B2 of that building and the stairway down was dimly lited and had black walls. For a moment I did wonder if I had gone the right way!

At the end of the stairs is the Mandarake shop. Shibuya Mandarake occupies a significantly big retail space. You could see it as the merging of several of those smaller shops at Nakano. Although it was big, I found the stuff here less interesting. There were lesser toys. More on manga and gaming stuff. There is a row for gundam kits but the selection for Star Wars toys was by far… few. Bottomline is… if you are only able to visit one Mandarake store while you are here, choose the Nakano branch. There’s more variety there.

I took a quick look through its rows of shelves and then took the lift up to 1F and exited the building. Pretty quick trip I must say. Shibuya Mandarake would be the final pitstop in my 2006 Tokyo Toy Plan.





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