Hobbyland: Honmachi, Osaka, Japan
(Or "How to Hobby in Japan")
by Neal Izumi
Hobbyland is the scale modelerís dream come true shop; more odd foreign 1/72 aircraft kits than you can shake a stick at, really weird armor conversions, and enough resin ships and accessories to choke a whale! The only down side is that the prices are retail. Nevertheless, this shop is a must-see when in Osaka. Until I visited this shop, I never saw Dynavector, Raccoon, RS Resins, or Unicraft kits. There were several other manufacturers that I have never even heard of. There are several racks of aircraft aftermarket accessories, like Engines and Things resin engines, Eduard photo-etch, etc., etc., etc.! Oh, there are no Gundam or sci-fi kits to be found of any sort! These guys are SCALE modelers.
Getting there is a trick, since it is located on a somewhat deserted street. The subway area map will not help either, since no block numbers are given! I had so much trouble finding the place (on two separate visits!) I decided to write down detailed instructions to the place.
Take the Midosuji Subway to the Honmachi Station. Take Exit #4 and cross the street towards the south. There is a Starbucks on the side of the street that you want to be on. Turn right at Starbucks, then walk for three blocks. Turn left, and Hobbyland can be seen on the right side of the street. Watch for speeding cars; you want to go shopping, not see the local hospital! Hobbyland is on the second floor of a nondescript three-story building - look for the winged elephant logo on their window.
Their hours are from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays, 11:00 am to 7:00 p.m. on weekends. The couple who own and run the place are very nice, but speak no English. If you like weird models and accessories, be sure to visit Hobbyland!
P.S. Helpful tip: Do NOT bring significant others who donít give a ratís empennage about models to this shop - they will not enjoy having to sit around for the hour or so that you will need to properly digest everything in the shop. There is a bench in the airplane corner for the unfortunate, though.