Photo Guides: Volks in Japan

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Shinjuku Tenshi no Sumika

UPDATE: Please note that as of August 2007 the Shinjuku Sumika at Alta has moved to the sixth floor of the Alta building, instead of the eighth. If you had previously visited, please make sure to go to the correct floor from now on. As such the below information about store size/layout/display/sale location is out of date, but I will leave it up for now until I can get it updated properly.

This store is my favourite Volks store simply due to the fact that the staff there have always gone out of their way to be particularly nice and friendly to me. ^_^ It's fairly small, though not as small as the Ginza Sumika, but still has plenty of items on display, as well as a lot of very lovely SDs all around the place, modelling and showing off clothes and other items that are for sale. Shinjuku Sumika often sells a lot of outfits made by small SD dress maker groups, some of whom you might be familiar with from internet websites and the like. (Cherry Milk clothes and shoes can often be found here, and I recently spotted wings and horns made by ZoZone on sale as well.) Shinjuku also has a sale section; it's at the back of the store, in the middle of the back wall. When you have the shoes section directly on your left and are looking at an indent in the wall full of clothes, with some baskets of clothes piled up in the shelves near your feet, you're looking at the sale section. ^^ As with all Sumika stores, Shinjuku Sumika is dedicated to SD and Dollfie Dream items only.

How to get there:
Catch one of the JR lines to Shinjuku -- the Yamanote, Chuo, or Seibu lines are what I usually take, but many, many lines stop at Shinjuku. If you take any of the other non-JR lines (such as the Metro), I can guarantee you that you will get lost. Shinjuku station is huge and none of the other lines have exits near the one you want. I've spent 15 minutes walking from a non-JR station to get to the correct exit. And I always get lost.
When you get off the JR train, follow the yellow signs to the East Exit. As I said before, the station is huge, so just keep your eye on those signs and follow them. If you end up at the Central East Exit by mistake, don't worry, there are signs there as well pointing to the East Exit.
When you go out the East Exit, you will see a flight of stairs up ahead and to your left, heading up leftwards. Go directly up these stairs. (The signs will say 'To Kabukicho', but don't worry, you're not going there. ^_^) At the top of the stairs is some glass doors. Exit through the doors and you will see a scene that looks like this:

See the building in the middle there? The one that says 'Studio Alta'? That's where you're going. ^_^ Here's a closeup:

Even if you can't see the sign clearly, you should be able to see the giant TV underneath it, which is constantly playing ads of various kinds. Basically, angle around a bit to your left to get around the barriers and road and trees that are in your way, keeping the Alta building in your sight at all times. You'll find a main road between you and it, so just wait for the lights to change and cross with all the other billions of people who are always in Shinjuku. When you reach the Alta building, the elevators are on the right-hand side. Enter via that side (you'll go past a hat shop on your right where people will try and sell you stuff) and take the elevator up to the 6th floor. The store should be on your left just as you come out of the elevator, so turn left, and you're there! Have fun! ^o^

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