Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Shopping at the new Kato Store

My first visit to the Kato Hobby Center in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo was in 1999.  I went again in 2005 and both those times I took the Sebu-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku as I was not yet comfortable with the subway system.  This required a bit of walking up hill from Araiyakushimae Station.  The past couple of trips I used my shopping time to explore some the the hobby shops in other parts of town such as in Akihabara.  On this trip I was aware that the shop had been complety rebuilt since the last time I have visited and was better than ever.  Also I needed to find a replacement for a broken coupler on one of my Japanese Shinkansen trains so this was high on my list.  By now being more comfortable with the subway system, I took the subway this time only needing one transfer.

This map shows my route from the Toei Araiyakushimae station to the Kato Hobby Center.

It's a short walk on level ground from exit A1 of the station to the Kato store.

This is the view approaching the shop from the subway station.

This was an entirely new building since the last time I had been here.  Only the railcar in front is the same.

As I was looking for a replacement for a broken coupler on my N700A power car I was drawn to the parts aisle.  In the old shop, much of these parts were behind the counter but it seems it's all self service now.

And I was not disappointed.  I found the part in this aisle, picked up two packs of each type of coupler for this train so I would have some spares.

As these seem to be positioned in the aisle by part number, it's helped that I had the part numbers for what I wanted written down.

Besides having Kato products, this is a full line hobby shop.   It's quite spacious inside with wide aisles.

As they did with the old shop, there are also operating N scale and HO scale layouts.  I will show something of that in my next post.


  1. My in-laws went for me on their recent trip to Japan. I hope to make the trip at one point! (With...lots and lots of cash and an empty suitcase....or two...) :)

    1. The trick is to get the wife to travel light - good luck with that. The exchange is really good right now, plus the cost of not having to have things shipped. I got a good deal on the last 4 cars I needed for my 16 car N700A so am really happy to have that train complete, and it runs great. At the end of our trip we rode a couple other Shinkansens that I now want. So next trip I'll be on the hunt again, and have found out about a few more shops that I have not been too.