Explore Japan’s World-Record-Setting Capsule Toy Store

Right now, a lot of people miss traveling, whether to somewhere near or to another part of the world. It’s a chance to experience new cultures, food, and to see some seriously awesome sights, including renowned stores. The US has its share of pretty cool toy stores and vending machines to nab a few things. But nothing quite compares to Japan’s capsule toy stores. A YouTube video by WAO RYU! Only in Japan shows off a Guinness Book of World Records-winning capsule toy spot, a.k.a. Tokyo’s Gashapon Department Store. It is located on the third floor of Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City shopping mall and it is quite the sight to behold.

The store boasts nearly 3,000 vending machines in a variety of prices from $2 to $15 for a single toy. There’s something for pretty much everyone, especially those who love manga and anime. This video, which we learned about via Boing Boing, show people wandering the store to get everything from keychains to masks. Viewers get a quick history lesson about Gashapon machines in the country, which date back to the 1970s.

The Gashapon Department Store scored their world record win back on March 18 and seems to show no signs of slowing down, even in the midst of the pandemic. In the clip, facility producer Kazumasa Yoshida talks about the store’s typical customers; he reveals that a large majority are women in their 20s and 30s who shop during the week.

a photo of orange and yellow plastic balls inside white geometric shapes with the word Ikebukuro and Gashapon department store written in japanese.


Of course, the weekends include more families coming through the door to nab a bunch of toys. It seems like one of the coolest places in the world and a bad omen for your wallet. It makes you beyond ready for a time when you can safely head over to Japan to bust your budget. But for now, just enjoy the vicarious joy that everyone in this video feels. If nothing else, it gives you something to look forward to in the future.

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