These stores are nearby Akihabara Station in Tokyo. Unless stated otherwise, the staff spoke little to no English – and certainly not enough vocabulary to talk about Airsoft. I have the links to these shops and Japanese names on my person right now, but entering them on WordPress mobile app is way too hard to figure out at the moment. I can edit those in when I’m back home later.
Radio and other small elecfrical components in bazaar like shops in multilevel buildings – I was looking for connectors for my radios and antennas, but apparently the adaptors I’m looking for must not be that common.
Read on after the break for the actual airsoft stores.
Side Arms – sounds like they specialize in… well, side arms, and after stepping foot in there, I think that’s the case. Mostly Japanese made GBBs (and some Taiwanese brands) with all the parts that they carry neatly displayed inside locked display cases. And a whole case dedicated to TM Hicapa/1911 parts, with another for WA 2011/1911 parts. Great selection of gas blowback pistol/rifle parts and parts brands, including Japanese and Taiwanese, and even some Hong Kong brand products. Shop keeper spoke decent English so I was actually able to ask for stuff, definite plus. By far my favourite so far. Tech area in the back – looks like there were some house-assembled TM Hi-Capa-based race guns for sale in a showcase of expensive race guns.
Echigoya (Akihabara location) – one of the bigger, busier and more well-known stores in the area. No English speaking staff, though many, many local customers going in and out (at least, compared to Canadian Airsoft store standards) so I presume foreigners aren’t even on the radar. Lots of selection, though nothing too specific or rare. I didn’t end up buying anything here, despite drooling over many, many Marui GBB pistols and the M870 in displays. Note: I felt that store staff wouldn’t appreciate a foreign tourist taking photos and not buying anything, hence why I didn’t ask if I could take photos inside.
Gunsmith Baton shop and shooting range was my next stop, though I only did shopping and no shooting – not that fun to shoot AEG’s anyway. Had an interesting conversation that involved much pointing to figure out which Baton bucking set to buy… yes, Baton, as in Modify-produced Baton is the same Baton product line, as is the same name of that shop (confirmed as per staff I was communicating with)… I’m going to assume that these are one and the same here, considering as how all the Baton products appeared to be purposefully displayed near the front of each section. Lots of Taiwanese produced products in this store… was a little surprising to see, though now that I think about it, all those Modify brand parts makes sense.
Last but not least… Tokyo Marui headquarters. Thanks go to “Mouse” for doing research for me in Japanese to figure out how TM’s location was actually close enough to be worth visiting. So yes, it was worth visiting to say I was there… but beyond that, not much else. Mr. Sugimoto, a Tokyo Marui sales rep, spoke fluent English and he answered all of my questions after introductions were made – no access to the rest of the building beyond the lobby, no parts or products to be sold to walk-in customers (3 days wait after ordering – can go back and pick it up from their location then, pick up only), amd finally that the HK45 is due for release in Spring of 2014 after over 2 years of development… but wait, in all my excitement of staring at this one tiny display case of all the currently released TM products, I forgot to ask about the dummies displayed years ago for a M&P and FNP. Unfortunately, all I’ve got to show for my visit to TM HQ are these 2 photos (they better be in focus) and a swag bag with not a ton of swag in it, but I think it was still worth the extra travel distance and nearly getting lost in Tokyo’s boonies, all just to say that I stepped foot inside Tokyo Marui’s building… and it does help that I’m a bit of a TM fan.