Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop

Can I come and see the puzzles?

Blog entry for August 2011

Location map We often get questions like "Do you have a store?" To which the simple answer is "No", since we are an online operation — but anyone intrepid enough to make their way here would be welcome to browse catalogs, and inspect stock. And we'd be delighted to provide a cup of tea. Intrepid? Well, we are in Sano, two or three hours from Tokyo by train.

So where else could I look at puzzles? Are there any specialist puzzle stores in Tokyo? I don't know of a specialist store in Tokyo, but the following two are both interesting, in an old-fashioned way — you can spend an hour there, buy nothing, and feel the time was well-spent.

Hahuhinkan Toy Park: in central Tokyo, near Shinbashi station, this is a wonderland of toys, games, and puzzles. Website Location on Google maps

Tokyu Hands: in Shibuya, with a huge range of craft materials and hobbies. Website Location on Google maps

If you are in Nagoya there is the delightfully named Jiyuukan (時遊館) — to a Japanese speaker this sounds like something to do with "freedom" (jiyuu), but is actually written as "Time-play-hall". Well, "hall" doesn't really have the right ring, but it's the same as the -kan which is the last character in our Japanese name: Souzoukan (想像館) or "Imaginatorium". Anyway, this is a jigsaw specialist shop: their website is Japanese only, and not particularly easy to navigate, but I am sure the store itself would be worth a visit. Here's the location: Google maps

Brian Chandler

"A kind of blog..." My sporadic comments, mostly topical, on shop matters. (Brian Chandler)