Akihabara in Tokyo is well-known for its otaku culture, and you can literally spend the whole day shopping for the latest electronic gadgets, cameras, computers, toys, figures, games, anime goods and even visiting the maid café.
There are also places for people who love cars or ‘car otaku’ in Akihabara. Here is a list of 5 car hobby shops you can visit to look for rare diecasts, miniature cars or any car-related hobby selling at a decent price. :)
1) TamTam Hobby Shop
Even though TamTam Hobby Shop is the furthest from Akihabara Station, it's unquestionably the best car hobby shop in that area with its wide selection of new car models and brands of different scales. Hit the elevator to 5th floor to find the shop.
AutoArt, MR Collection, Kyosho, Norev, Minichamps, TSM Model, Hotwheels Elite, Ignition Model, Spark, and Ebbro are among the high quality brands you can find at TamTam Hobby Shop.
If you’re looking to add Autoart Signature models into your collections, try visiting this shop as there are plenty for you to choose from.
I love visiting Liberty, the little shop in green signboard. It's one of my favourite car hobby shops because they sell used miniature cars that are no longer in production and most importantly, used means cheap!
On the 1st Floor (Ground Floor), you can find almost of all kinds of diecast brands, similar to TamTam Hobby Shop. Since they are used items, be careful with the conditions like scratches and missing parts which are clearly stated on the box, in Japanese. I believe the shop assistant is willing to help if you have difficulty with the language.
Smaller scale 1/64 miniature cars are available on the 3rd Floor (2nd Floor sells trains). If you missed out some old Ferrari or Lamborghini series from Kyosho, take your time to browse through the assortment. You will never know what you may score. :)
Some cars are sold at a good deal, but this Wangan Midnight comic series by Tomica is probably the rarest collection set I came across and it's priced at whopping ¥15,000 (RM456)! Worth it or not, you decide.
Do visit Mandarake if you're looking for second hand goods - games, anime, figures etc. The miniature car section is on the 7th floor.
Things are not quite the same as what they offer at Liberty. The choices are little and price can be more expensive at Mandarake, but who knows they may have what you've been seeking for.
Usually, I will head over to the shelves, looking for more used miniature cars that are selling at cheap. You need to dig in harder to find something you like. I found the rare Tomica Limited #0001 Skyline 2000GT-R (KPGC110) here in those coloured baskets. :)
4) Yodobashi Akiba
Yodobashi Akiba is an electronic store giant that offers one stop shopping for everyone. For toy lovers, Yodobashi Akiba's 6th floor is a sure heaven. Foreign tourist who spend more than ¥10,001 are entitled to to a tax refund, and payment via VISA card will enable extra 5% discount on their goods. This makes Yodobashi a better place to shop. :)
It is the best place to look for Tomica (apart from Tomica Shop Tokyo), because the new basic Tomicas are updated on time and I find that they are the cheapest. Well not only Tomicas, rather all goods in Yodobashi Akiba are priced lower than other place. This is a good place to find Hotwheels as well.
For bigger scale diecasts, they have pretty decent amount of brands like the Autoart, Ebbro, & Welly. You can approach the sales assistant if you'd like to take a closer look at the model cars behind the glass cabinets.
However, the main highlight at Yodobashi Akiba has to be its collection of 1/24 plastic car models, like Tamiya, Aoshima, & Fujimi. Tools for plastic modeling are also available to get your kit started.
5) Asobit City
The final place on the list is Asobit City. I wouldn't say this is the best place to look for diecasts but definitely the best place to look for plastic model kits, and they are on the 5th floor.
Asobit City offers more plamodel choices than Yodobashi Akiba. In terms of price, they both fall within the same range, probably a bit cheaper at Yodobashi.
More Initial D merchandises can be found at Asobit City!
The 5 car hobby shops that I listed above are the places you should pay attention to when visiting Akihabara. Enjoy browsing through the rare collections at the shops, monitor your wallet and have fun shopping! :D