Jigsaw puzzles from Japan

Titles in stock:
1278
Around 2500 by special order

Welcome to the Imaginatorium Shop, now in our twenty-third year!

From our base in Japan (see the map!), we send jigsaw puzzles anywhere in the world. Most of the hundreds of puzzles we have in stock feature oriental themes, but the high quality of Japanese-made puzzles (exquisite printing, really solid card stock, and clean cutting) also makes "reverse imports" highly desirable — puzzles of Peanuts, Disney, and lots of other Western characters popular in Japan. In general, if a puzzle is available in Japan, we can get it for you within a week or so - see the special orders page.

  • Contents page - full shop guide, including navigation links at the top of each page
  • Top ten - best-selling puzzles
  • Last chance! - only one left of each of these puzzles...
  • Artists - a complete list
  • Special orders - when you can't find the puzzle you are looking for
  • Missing pieces - help when you have the puzzle but can't find a piece!

(Puzzle of the month suspended)

2024 is the Year of the Dragon

The next symbol in the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac (see Wikipedia article)...

Latest additions

Chit-chat

Brian Chandler

—May—

Canal trouble

We ship puzzles all over the world, and we aim to meet all customer needs: this includes both speed and economy. The Covid era pretty much wrecked this: costs have risen hugely, and there were huge extra delays. Now things are almost! back to normal, so speed delivery is not a problem. But as if to keep everything interesting we have a couple of new problems. They do not specifically mention canals (so the rest is my supposition), but the Post Office is warning of possible extra delays of up to three months: probably a worst-case guess, but we feel obliged to pass it on.

Panama Canal

The Panama canal is crucial if you want to make a quick transit between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Shouldn't really affect us much: if you look at the globe, we reach Europe via the Suez canal, and most of North and South America from the west coast. Except that some years ago the US Post Office decided it would be more "efficient" if everything went to a single point on the east coast - so that anything bound for Hawaii sails past early in the journey, then travels two oceans, the Caribbean, and the canal, only to return overland and sail again from California. Such is modern business, and of course the US is a large sector of our market.

The problem is environmental: getting a single ship through the locks of the Panama uses a huge amount of water, and rainfall in Panama has simply dropped. This is all seasonably variable, and currently operation is almost normal, but this could change at any time. The extra sailing time to go around the tip of South America, or perhaps to go via the Indian and Atlantic oceans is going to be several weeks.

A bit of data: recent surface orders to the US:

  • Sent November 28 -- arrived February 9
  • Sent December 8 -- arrived February 21

...and you can get updates from this website: Current status of Panama canal

Suez Canal

The Suez canal is the key to all European destinations, and this one is political, with the current strife in the Middle East. It seems that shipping companies are avoiding the canal for the time being - you can check the situation here: Current status of Hapag Lloyd. Fortunately the extra trip around the Cape of Good Hope only adds around 7-10 days to the voyage, and currently surface to Europe is taking around 9 weeks.

The Stroudwater canal

This one doesn't directly affect us! The photo at the top of this post shows the sorry state of Whitminster lock... In the eighteenth century the inland canal system of England and Wales made a huge contribution to the industrial revolution: at last crockery made in Stoke-on-Trent could be safely carried to the burgeoning cities of the north, Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds. Further south, the Stroudwater canal connected the river Severn to the town of Stroud (where I grew up), and then the Thames and Severn canal joined this to the Thames. Then coal from the forest of Dean could be carried economically to London.

These canals fell out of use in the early twentieth century, but from the 1960s and 70s, canals saw a resurgence for leisure use, and many have been restored. The two canals connecting the Thames and the Severn, the two great rivers of southern England have been dubbed the "Cotswold canals", and there is an ongoing project ultimately to restore full navigation, through the Sapperton tunnel which was once the longest tunnel in England. You can read more about it here: Cotswold Canals.

Read more of these blog entries

Mural

  • Best-selling puzzles: Top ten.
  • Browse the complete list of artists.
  • How to display puzzles on the wall without needing to buy a frame: Murals!
  • Despite the FAQ, we can supply frames by special order: more information.
  • We also sell glue! Yanoman puzzle glue (100 g), 180 yen
    (Standard PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) puzzle glue - almost all puzzles include glue, but when you need extra, one of these bottles should be enough for two 1000-piece puzzles. Note that this will not work for the "Crystal" translucent puzzles made of plastic, which need no glue.)
  • Manufacturer details: Apollo - Appleone - Artbox/Ensky - Beverly - Cuties - Epoch - Road - Tenyo - Yanoman - more historical info
  • Any other problems or just questions - please ask!

About ordering

The details under each puzzle show the price, with approximate equivalents in US dollars, euros, and pounds sterling. The new checkout (at imaginatorium.com) should be self-explanatory, but please read the FAQ for more details. If you have any questions or problems, just use the forms provided to ask, and we'll get back to you. Once we receive confirmation of a payment, we aim to despatch puzzles by the next working day.

PayPal (verified member) The total for all PayPal payments is in yen, but you will be charged in your 'home currency', and you will be able to check the final amount before confirming payment.

Credit cardseChecks
You can pay by major credit card, eCheck in the US,
and bank transfer in many countries.

Finally...

Imaginatorium Shop started in 2002 as a part of my website at imaginatorium.org; it's still there - the Imaginatorium