Tokyo Toy Stores: Godzilla-Ya and 2000 Toys
As a six-and-a-half foot tall giant white man living in Tokyo, Godzilla isn’t just a hero of mine, he’s a role model.
So when I found out about Godzilla-Ya, a toy store in the neighborhood of Koenji that specializes in retro Godzilla goods, I knew I had to make the trip – and it was totally worth it.
A short walk from the Koenji station (Google Maps location), Godzilla-Ya is on the second story of a small side street, away from the hustle and bustle of the main drag. It doesn’t even have a window display or storefront, just this small sign signifying its presence on the second floor. It’s so inconspicuous that I walked past it twice actually, and only found the place when I mistakenly entered the Godzilla-Ya bar on the first floor, which was just about to close shop. Thankfully, the woman working the counter saw me, the giant nerd, correctly assumed I was looking for the toy store, and pointed me in right direction.
Once inside I found myself in Godzilla heaven. The store is very small, but it’s packed from head-to-toe with amazing vintage toys, models, figurines, books, records and just about everything else Godzilla-related you could imagine, as well as other toys from the post-war era.
It’s really an amazing place, and my pictures don’t do it justice. Just trust me, if you love Godzilla, or just vintage Japanese pop culture in general, make your way to this store if you’re even in Tokyo, you’ll be happy you made the trip.
However, as awesome as Godzilla-Ya is (and it’s pretty damn awesome) it’s not the best toy store I’ve found since arriving in Tokyo. No, that honor goes, without question, to 2000 Toys, a mind-blowingly amazing store located near the Nakano Broadway shopping center (there’s a good map at their official site).
I mean, holy shit. Just look at this place.
Toys. Toys everywhere. And not only that, they’re organized and categorized! Like the Ghostbusters? Well then be sure to check out their Ghostbusters toy section, which includes action figures from every incarnation of the series and then some.
How about wrestling? 2,000 Toys has you covered, with multiple displays filled with nothing but vintage WWF and WCW toys, as well as several issues of classic wrestling magazines.
My favorite part was the Gremlins section though! LOOK AT ALL THE GIZMOS! I FUCKING LOVE GIZMO!
About the only thing that 2,000 Toys is lacking in is Japanese toys. I talked to the guy working the shop that day, and he said that the owner is mostly interested in American imports, and frequently makes trips to the states for massive purchases. Makes sense, just think about how many American nerds are into Japanese toys, the reverse must be true. And besides, if you want Japanese toys, Godzilla-Ya has you covered there. 2,000 Toys has you covered for, y’know, every other kind of toy you could possibly think of – as well as some you probably can’t.
Did you know there were Killer Tomato toys?
Yeah, me neither. Those are from America, by the way.
And people say that Japan makes weird shit.