Daily life in Japan is full of surprises and great experiences. Last night, my two friends, Nozomu-san and Shinya-san (my former student), took me out to Old Spaghetti Warehouse about a 15 minute drive from our apartment complex. During dinner we shared our fondest memories and favorite scenes in Godzilla movies and episodes of Ultraman. Then Nozomu asked me if I’d like to go to Book Off because they have a big toy section. Book Off is like the ultimate thrift shop full of used books, clothing, music equipment, CDs, DVDs, and toys. I found some inexpensive Godzilla and Ultraman toys that were in great condition.
A great evening was followed by a great day. Today, I rose for my usually Saturday morning walk through Nagoya City. Toys stores abound in the Osu temple era. About a month ago I stumbled across Chuu-ko-ichba (仲庫市場 – ちゅうこいちば）a small fabulous corner story full of old vintage electronics and toys. In the right corner of the front window is a 90,000 yen 2-ft. Baragon vinyl figure. And right up front is the Medicon Action Joe Gojira-Mothra figure (7,000 yen). Once through the front door you can’t miss the television playing clips of Ultraman. Immediately below are baskets full of Ultraman and kaiju gashapon (ガシャポン and other figures. There is a glass case for of various Godzilla figures.
So I decided to buy some Godzilla gashapons. I spoke to the store clerk with my broken Japanese. She didn’t have the key so she had to call the store owner. So as I waited for a few minutes she asked me if I was visiting Nagoya. Then she asked if I will see the new Godzilla movie. It was cool to have a conversation about Godzilla! When he arrived he pulled out all the Godzilla figures. I selected the ones I wanted and a few moments later the transaction were over. But as I began to walk toward the door he smiled and drop another Godzilla in my bag and said thank you! They made my day!
Here’s my toy photography of the Godzilla Diorama Figure Yuji Sakai Zensyu 1965 Ver. Bandai 2006 Secret Version (8.5 cm / 3.3 inches). Click and download a larger version.
Right around the corner from Choo-ko-ichba is Mandarake. I’m always both nervous and excited when I go inside. I’m anxious about what new Godzilla toys I’ll find, but afraid that I will spend money I don’t have. Today was no exception. They had two large incredible figures of King Ghidorah and MechaGhidorah, 15,000 and 18,000 yen, respectively. I was tempted but I reasoned that it would be to difficult to take home. But on my way out I decided to search the aisles for the hard-to-find SH Godzilla figures. And I found the two I really wanted most, Godzilla 1964 Monster Arts and Godzilla S.H. Monster Arts.