Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Extremely Long Rambling Guide for Buying 60cm Dolls and Accesories in Japan

Last Updated: 2024.04.14

Northern Japan

Full disclosure - I personally have not visited Sapporo. While I can point out certain stores in Sapporo, I don't have personal experience of having gone there so I can't make any suggestions or recommendations.

The store is on the B2 floor of a tall corner shopping mall.

  • Volks  - The building you're looking for is "EBeanS". It's a very short walk from the Sendai train station.


  • Gee! Store - It's a short walk from the EBeanS building.


Utsunomiya is about an hour away from Tokyo via the Shinkansen. As for the stores, both Volks and Mandarake [Tax Free 5000 JPY] are located in the same building on different floors. The building you're looking for is the Festa building.




Akihabara Radio Kaikan: Volks Dollpoint (8F) [Tax Free], Azone Label Shop (7F), one of the DOLK (7F) stores, and Dolly Teria (5F) are all located in this building. The selection of dolls and related items will be limited but there's a Jungle (7F) store in the building as well. Amiami (4F) offers a selection of Azone, Obitsu, and Nendoroid dolls.

Mandarake Complex: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] It's a tall building. The doll section is on the second floor.

(For doll related items, you can ignore the Mandarake "Cocoo" store located elsewhere in Akihabara. The Cocoo store is a soft vinyl figures shop and carries zero doll items.)

Gee! Store: Go to the 4th floor to shop for doll products.

DOLKThis location of DOLK is separated into two floors. You can't get to the second floor from the first. Finding the first floor of the store is the easy part. After you're done visiting the first floor, exit the store. Turn right and go forward. Turn right at the next corner. On your right, you'll see an entrance which will go upstairs. Go up the stairs to the second floor.


From-SEN: Located on the second floor of the Komori building. It's located in a much easier place to find than the previous location.

Dollce: Hours are extremely limited. The store hours are Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon/Holidays 12:00 - 20:00.
Doll Up! Akihabara: Part of the Dolly Teria chain of stores.

The place to go is Nakano Broadway. Get off at the JR Nakano station and exit north. Keep going north until you see "NAKANO BROADWAY" in big, bold letters.
Once there, you'll notice there are something like 20+ Mandarake [Tax Free 5000 JPY] stores scattered throughout Nakano Broadway. The doll section is on the 4th floor.
The second store you'll want to go to is Parabox (3F). Just be careful about what day of the week you visit. Parabox is closed on Wednesdays. 10% off marked prices.
Mirai Store: [Tax Free 10000 JPY] The only place to go for Smart Dolls.
Tenshi-no-Mado: "Window of an Angel", or "Angel's Window". (Google's translation is hilarious.) A Volks store which deals with nothing but Super Dollfies. This place also has a basement where welcoming ceremonies are performed. [Tax Free]
Dolly Teria/Closet Child: Dolls are located on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Arcland Building.
Azone Label Shop Ikebukuro: Located on the 3rd floor of the Jouhoku Jidousha Kaikan building.
Mandarake La La La: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] There are now two Mandarake stores in the Ikebukuro area. If you're shopping for dolls, you want to go to the "La La La" store. The other location in Ikebukuro is "Nayuta". The Nayuta store has a very limited selection of 1/6 scale, 1/12 scale, and smaller dolls.
Dolly Teria Shinjuku: Located on the 6th floor of the Waseda ST Building.
Mandarake Shibuya: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] Located two floors underground. Take the elevator down to 2BF.

Tokyo area (but not Tokyo proper)

Parabox: This is a factory store and headquarters. You'll find a larger selection of Obitsu parts, Parabox original dolls, clothing, accessories, etc., than the Nakano Broadway location. The same rules apply - closed on Wednesdays. 10% off listed marked prices. As far as how to find the store is concerned, look for the Lawson store pictured at the Google Maps link. The entrance to Parabox is next to the Lawson store on the street level. Look for this entrance at the link. Go up the stairs.


Dolly Teria/Closet Child Yokohama: Located on the 7th floor of the Bright Yokohama building.

Volks Yokohama Showroom: Located on the 9th floor of the Yokohama Vivre department store. Take the elevator up to the 8th floor (because that's as high as it goes). You'll see a flight of stairs and some signs for how to get to the 9th floor.

Azone Factory Shop Shonan: (Southwest of Yokohama.) Honestly... This place is not worth visiting unless you're getting a tour of the factory. You're better off visiting any other Azone shops located across Japan for shopping. If you still want to visit, the following is how you get there.
Once you're at the Shounandai train station, take the west exit and proceed to the bus stop. The bus is on a ticket system; you take the ticket and you pay a specific rate when you get off the bus (unless you're a native with a card you scan on the bus). Take bus #34, get off at the Ishikawa (Fujisawa-shi) bus stop. Cross the street and walk a short distance to get to the store. The Ishikawa bus stop back to Shounandai Station will be almost directly in front of the factory store. There's one bus every 30-40 minutes, so plan your trip carefully. The same thing can be said for the ride back. Open M-F 10:00~19:00, closed on weekends and holidays.
If you're impatient with the frequency of bus #34, take bus #17 or #26, get off at Jushouji-mae, and then walk for about 7 minutes. If you're impatient with bus #34 for your trip back to Shounandai train station, go to the other Jushouji-mae bus stop on the opposite side of the street. Take bus #17 or #26 back to the train station. Buses #17 and #26 are very frequent. The advantage is this frequency. The disadvantage is the walking to and from the store.  


Azone Label Shop's location.

There's also Mandarake. [Tax Free 5000 JPY]

Gee! Store Nagoya

Volks Nagoya Showroom [Tax Free]



DOLK: This is the DOLK headquarters store. The store is not located along the main road so you'll need to walk through one of the side streets to get here. You'll see which building it is. Once you do, use the entrance and there will immediately be a flight of stairs. Go to the third  floor.

Volks Osaka Showroom: You can't miss it. [Tax Free]

Jungle: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] Not a large selection but still worth visiting.

Azone Label Shop Osaka: This store is located on the 4th floor of the Kotobukiya Building.


Gee! Store Osaka

Mandarake Grandchaos: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] Located on the same street as Volks but on the opposite side.

Mandarake Umeda: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] While all the other stores in Osaka mentioned above are either clustered together or within a manageable walking distance from one another, you're not walking to Umeda. You'll need to take the subway. Get off at Umeda station. Once there, assuming you have a smart phone, use its navigation feature. Depending on which subway exit you use, navigation without a smartphone will range from difficult to impossible. Once you find the correct path, it's a straight line to the store. The problem is finding that correct path, so that's why I'm recommending smart phone navigation - ESPECIALLY if you can't read Japanese.

Osaka area (but not in Osaka itself)


Tenshi-no-Sato, Kachuuan: The hours/days of operations are limited. If you insist on visiting, make sure the museum's schedule says it's open on the day you want to visit. Be sure to check the calendar. There's a Volks Global (GL) sign-up for overseas customers. Signing up for overseas customer membership will save you a lot of headaches, such as not being turned away on the day of special events. If visiting, getting membership ahead of time is highly recommended. [Tax Free]


Volks Corporation corporate headquarters / Hobby Square Kyoto: In addition to the corporate offices, there's a diorama display on the first floor, a model train store also on the first floor, and all other Volks products on the second floor. It will be a slight letdown if you're only looking for doll products.There's no tax free shopping here unlike at Tenshi-no-sato.


Parabox Kyoto: Same rules as the Musashi-Kosugi and Nakano locations apply. Closed on Wednesdays, 10% off marked prices. The entrance to this building ("Tohbeh") can be tricky to find so I posted some photos below. While they might look the same, they are from two different entrances of the same building.


Mandarake Kyoto: On the fourth floor of the Takashimaya Building.



Volks Kobe Showroom: This Volks location is in a shopping center with three sections. They are San Plaza, Center Plaza, and Center Plaza West. Volks is on the third floor of Center Plaza. In the image below, look at 3F #1 and #2.



Volks Hiroshima Showroom: Your primary method of transportation will be a flat-rate bus/street car. Take the bus from the Hiroshima station to Kamiya-cho Nishi (or Higashi).



Once you exit the train station north, you'll see a few statues outside. If you do not see these statues, you went out the wrong station exit.



The place you're looking for is Aru Aru City. This is a shopping mall with a variety of stores. Mandarake [Tax Free 5000 JPY] and Jungle are inside.

Volks Fukuoka Showroom: The showroom is on the 4th floor. [Tax Free]


Mandarake: [Tax Free 5000 JPY] The doll items are on the second floor. 

Doll Shop Eden: This is a BJD shop specializing in dolls from China and Korea. Store days and hours are very limited so you'll need to do some planning. The store calendar explains when the store will be open (in Japanese). If you can't read what's there, just look at the days with a star on them. The store is usually open on "star" days from 3PM (15:00) to 6PM (18:00). On some days, the store is open from 1PM to 4PM. Even if you can't read Japanese, you can tell which days are open from when to when by looking at the corresponding day below the calendar. "15~18" or "13~16" are the open hours. The day marked with a wrapped present is a special event day at the store.


 What's New  2024.04.14

- Updated the location of Mandarake Grandchaos (Osaka).

- Updated the location of Dolly Teria Yokohama and posted a photo.

- Updated info concerning the Azone Factory Shop. (It's not worth visiting.)

- Updated the discount info at all three Parabox locations (Nakano, Musashi-Kosugi, Kyoto).

- Added photos for Doll Up! Akihabara.

- Added photo and deleted useless blabber for Dollce Akihabara.

- Added photo for Azone Label Shop Ikebukuro.

- Deleted photo for Dolly Teria Shinjuku as it was no longer relevant due to signage changes.

Deleted Info concerning the Cadre D'or doll cafe. The appointment system is impossible without knowing Japanese and it is not friendly for English-only speakers.

- Fixed various broken images. 

 What's New  2024.01.01

- Deleted the info concerning Yumemi-Tei (in Nagoya), a now defunct business.

- Added additional bits of info concerning Mandarake stores in Akihabara and Ikebukuro.

What's New  2023.12.16

- Re-edited the tax free info for Volks locations. The tax free locations are Akihabara, Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, Tenshi-no-mago Harajuku/Omotesando, and Tenshi-no-sato Kachuuan (Kyoto).

What's New 2023.11.26:

- Added info concerning Doll Up! in Akihabara.

What's New 2023.11.21:

- Added info for Mandarake Kyoto store.

What's New 2023.11.18:

- Sapporo: Deleted the out of date tax-free info for Volks.

- Akihabara: Deleted the photo for Dollce as the listed hours were out of date.

- Overall: Cleaned up some link references as some images were still being pulled from another web site.

What's New 2023.11.08:

- Akihabara: Updated the photo for the Gee! Store.

 What's New 2023.11.05:

- Removed "Tax Free" shopping info for Volks stores as that policy is now discontinued.

- Akihabara: Updated the location for From-SEN. Updated the hours of Dollce.
- Funabashi: Deleted defunct Volks store location and info.
- Nagoya:  Removed defunct DOLK location. Updated Azone's location and removed old photo.
- Osaka: Added the appointment bit for Cadre 'dor.
- Kyoto: Updated the visitors information concerning Tenshi-no-Sato.
- Tenjin: Deleted defunct locations of Gee! Store and Dollce. 

Final Thoughts

If you're reading this, odds are good you have a non-Japanese passport. Make sure to have it with you to take advantage of tax free shopping. [Update 2023.11.05 - It's unfortunate Volks no longer offers this service.] Volks is offering tax free shopping at certain stores again.

All Mandarake stores offer tax free shopping if you purchase at least 5000 yen.

I confirmed the Osaka location of Jungle has tax free shopping with a pre-tax minimum purchase of 5000 yen. I haven't confirmed whether this is the case with other Jungle locations.

The Mirai Store in Gotanda has tax free shopping with a minimum purchase of 10,000 yen.

Make sure to get a credit card which doesn't have foreign transaction fees before leaving for your trip.

I know I didn't include all stores you could possibly buy doll related items from throughout Japan. I know I missed *something*. If I need to update my rambling above, I will.

Hopefully, what I rambled on here will be useful to *someone*.

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