Photo Guides: Volks in Japan

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Ikebukuro Showroom

Note: The Ikebukuro Showroom is closed on Wednesdays and every second Tuesday - please keep this in mind when planning your trip!
This store is a bit of a walk from the station, and it is possible that you may get lost, but it's still worth a visit all the same. It's the second largest showroom in Tokyo, after Akihabara, and has plenty of interesting things to check out! Being a showroom, they stock a huge variety of things, not just Super Dollfie items -- the SD section is in the back lefthand corner of the store, and takes up roughly a third or slightly less of the store. The rest of the store houses 1/6 dolls, model kits, and various out types of toys. They probably also have a sale section for the SD items, like most Volks stores, however I didn't see it when I visited.

How to get there:
Catch the JR Yamanote Line, or the Metro Marunouchi Line or Yurakucho Line to Ikebukuro station. Wherever you happen to come out, just follow signs to the East Exit. Ikebukuro station is very large and it will take you some time to get to the exit; you will also pass a large number of stores on the way. Don't get confused; just keep going until you get there. Also, you want the normal East Exit, not the Seibu East Exit. If you find the Seibu one, head much further to your left. When you come out onto the street, you will find yourself at a very large and busy intersection that looks something like this:

See the red arrow pointing straight downwards? That's where you're headed. The other two arrows point to signs that I don't expect to change (as opposed to the ads which will change frequently) -- one is a big red Vodafone sign, the other is a big blue Yen Shop sign. Use these to get your bearings. Basically, head diagonally across the road when the lights are in your favour, always aiming for that big building on the corner. When you get to it, you'll want to follow the road as it angles around to the left, always keeping on the lefthand side yourself. Then keep walking for about half a block or so. You will find yourself at a crossing that looks like this:

As the arrows point out, look for Lotte burger on the left, and the big Sanrio store with the Hello Kitty sign over it on the right. So, cross over towards these, and then walk down the road between them. You're on a sort of paved road/mall area, with several intersecting roads that sometimes have a bit of traffic, so watch out. This place is always very busy, so don't be surprised by the crowds. Just keep heading straight. Eventually you will reach the other end, which you will know by seeing the Sunshine City building:

Keep walking past this building, straight ahead, and you will find yourself at an intersection that goes underneath the overhead pass you can see in the previous pic. The intersection looks like this:

The red arrow is where you want to go -- diagonally across from Sunshine City. So, if you're smart, you'll actually go and stand on the left side of the intersection, and only have to cross the road once. However, you can also do what I did when taking these pics, which is stand on the right side, cross straight ahead from where the photo is taken, and then turn left and cross the road again. Do it the other way, it's quicker. ^_~ Once you get to the red arrow, you'll be on a corner that looks like this:

Walk straight ahead from here. Approximately one block away, you'll find a Family Mart convenience store, which looks like this:

Feel free to stop in here for some refreshments. ^_~ But after you're done, you'll want to keep walking past the Family Mart. Directly after it is a small side street on the left. Turn into this side street. You'll find the road looks something like this, including the bicycles:

Head straight on down this road and keep following it. It's best to keep on the righthand side of the road, within the painted lines, as cars do come down here sometimes. The road will curve away slightly to the right, and go past a small park on the left. Keep going. After about two or three blocks, you'll come to an intersection like this:

You're almost there, Volks is only half a block away! Keep walking straight ahead, and before long, you will find a little area on the right that looks like this:

Up above the words "KATO" and "Furniture Collection" is Volks' logo, and their name written in Japanese. And just under the awning that you see on the very right is the actual entrance to the store itself! So, turn right, walk straight in, and you're there! Have fun! ^o^

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