Anime and figurines are now a proud part of Japanese culture as the world knows it. There is a place deep in the Shimanto River Mountains where you can appreciate both of these. There is an array of figurines from various genres at the Kaiyodo Hobby Museum, from anime characters to dinosaurs and animals, microbes, rockets, and vehicles.
Kaiyodo is a global figurine maker, and they charm lots of people with their slightly unusual motifs, delicate designs, and attention to detail. There are over 10,000 items displayed from among the figurines, garage kits, capsule toys, and small toys received with other purchases that Kaiyodo has made since the 1960s. You can feel of Kaiyodo’s history and achievements, and their passion for figurines. With sights from an exhibit corner by sculptor and artist to a manga and video corner, there is something for everyone, from children to adults. The shop stocks the latest Kaiyodo products, “Tosa dialect character” goods, and Kochi souvenirs, with an adjoining Kaiyodo-made capsule toy corner. There is also a class for making mini-dioramas using Kaiyodo’s mini-figurines. Anyone interested can participate for a fee. They teach you starting with the basics of creating a diorama, so you can give it a go without any pressure. This museum has the cooperation of the local administration as well as Kaiyodo’s support, and the building it occupies is the renovated Utsuigawa Elementary School - which closed in 2008. It represents a realization of the regional community’s wish for the elementary school to be a place where people meet and socialize again.
1458-1 Utsuigawa, Shimanto Town, Takaoka County, Kochi Prefecture
Kaiyodo Hobby Museum Shimanto TEL: +81-880-29-3355
Business hours :
10:00 to 18:00 (from March through October) 10:00 to 17:00 (from November through February)
●About a 60-minute walk from JR Utsuigawa Station on Shikoku Railway’s Yodo Line
●About a 30-minute drive from Shimantocho-Chuo Interchange on Kochi Expressway
●800 yen per person for senior high school students & older people; 400 yen for elementary & junior high school students