I am currently visiting Kyoto – Airsoft specific stores are much harder to find here than the previous Airsoft-specific shopping days I spent in Tokyo.
This store, Yamamoto Model Gun & U.S. Surplus, is right in the midst of a busy shopping arcade. Not much of anything in the way of Airsoft parts, I’m afraid; as a matter of fact selection of even the guns was very limited outside of the regular Tokyo Marui fare seen everywhere else. Upstairs is where things got interesting – mostly repro, but damn good looking replica BDU’s for sale. Most cuts were US ACU style (even the European pattern articles were this way) and were cut on the small side, even for the usual smaller Asian sizing. Fabric and workmanship look good from poking around at the selection, though pricing is a bit more than your run-of-the-mill ACM BDU’s. I guess I’m a little spoiled in the way of tactical gear and apparel with DS Tactical within driving distance and the USA border (both new and surplus items) nearby as well. However, the fun part about Yamamoto was browsing through all the patches – though repro, they sure had quite a few clones of US Army patches, with a few other US mil ones as well. The surplus helmets in a corner were neat to see too.
Next up was Gunshop KM – a train ride away into the further bits of Kyoto. A small shop nestled blocks away from Kyoto prison, this was a bit of an unexpected find as I had previously not been able to Google-fu my way into any other Airsoft stores in the city and somehow stumbled across this one. Not the greatest in terms of parts or gear selection – but had a little bit of everything, real steel parts included. The shopkeeper spoke a bit of English and was helpful in digging through his parts bins to look for parts for me – I was impressed with his customer service despite the language barrier and how willing he was to let me rummage around. Looks like a one man show there – tech area in the back complete with a drill press that he was in the middle of working with when I walked in. He appreciated his products too – it put a smile on his face when I asked if the threading on one of the SF MBK repro flashhiders he had would fit a Systema PTW (this feat involved some pointing at a Challenge Kit in the corner, as I wasn’t yet sure if would understand my English “clockwise or counterclockwise” – which he did anyway).
Some cool GBB pistols in those cases at Gunshop KM – if import laws were only more lax in Canada, I would have walked out of that store with a number of new toys in hand, in addition to the parts that I got.