Tamiya Playmodel Factory - and race track
Kids of all ages...
While I thought it would be just an interesting shopping experience, the Tamiya Playmodel Factory turned into a 3 hour stop with my 8 year old son.
Three floors total. Bottom two are dedicated to models, radio-controled cars, and race cars kits for the second floor circuit track. Models are a mini museum of sports and race cars along with military vehicles of every vintage.
But the real fun is the 2nd floor.
Slot Cars - Up and racing in 30 minutes.
Go up and view the action on the second floor and your inner kid will soon come out. When we were there (Saturday afternoon), about 30 Japanese young men were tuning their slot cars for maximum speed. Very interesting to watch.
My 8 year old was soon captivated by it all to the point where NOT racing was going to be a major life disappointment. While I thought I had yet been entrapped by anther expensive Japanese retail experience, I was soon pleasantly surprised.
For about ¥2,000, you can get the car, racing motor, batteries, and everything you need to race on their huge 2nd floor track. Buy the car in the basement. Their English is good enough. Just tell them you want to race. Pick you car and head upstairs.
Directions to assemble your car are in English takes about 30 minutes - a little longer if your 8 year old does it. Then put in the batteries and go.
The guys - 99% were guys - are quite friendly and find it novel that a couple of foreigners. Look for someone smiling and they will help.
All in all, a great way to do something fun, interesting, and constructive with your child - for under ¥2,000.
Location is in the business district of Shinbashi. Centrally located and about five minutes walk from a Shinbashi and Uchisaiwaicho stations.
Easy to find. Website has English directions.