Gachapon hunt! Where to find the best capsule toy vending machines in Tokyo

If you aren’t dashing from the plane to feed all your hundred yen coins into gachapon vending machines, you should be! And if you have to ask  why…

…it’s because capsule toys are adorable
Satirical
Mythological
Classical
Inexplicable
Questionable
Inevitable
Instagrammable
…and oh so collectible!

You can only get them in Japan, and every series is a limited edition. Once they’re sold out, they’re gone forever. But the best part is, they only cost ¥200-300 each! Which is why gachagacha hunting feels like beating all the other bargain hunters to the sale table and finding a Wonka golden ticket, all in one!

Ooo, ooo, did I get the one I was hoping for?

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s load up our pockets with ¥100 coins and get busy!

Here are my favorite places to snap up the most excellent ones:

And here’s where to find the vending machines, once you get there:

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AKIHABARA AREA

Akihabara Station

Inside the Showa-dori ticket gate of the JR lines, go up one flight of escalators and there’s a bank of choice gachapon machines before you get to the next escalators Coin changer: yes, both bill changer and coin changer, by the island of machines closest to the escalators. Note: These gachapon vending machines aren’t wheeled out and open for business until 10:00 a.m.!

Yodobashi Camera

MAP

There are a lot of machines near the entrances to Yodobashi Camera. These are the ones nearest the Hibiya Line entrance, in the pass-through opposite the food stands. Coin changer: no
But the gachapon vending machine mecca is on the sixth floor, in the toy department (not the model department). Follow the overhead signs toward the elevators and you’ll see them. There are two big hunting grounds: one near the cashiers’ desk, and one on the way to the bathrooms. Coin changer: yes, bill changer and coin changer, at the end of the row of machines near the cashiers’ desk.

Radio Kaikan

MAP

The 5th floor has the best selection, but they’re always moving the vending machines around, so check the other floors too. Make a circuit around the central escalators and you’ll see them. Coin changer: no

Gachapon Hall

MAP

This is a stand-alone shop filled with gachapon machines. Coin changer: no, but the attendent in the booth at the rear of the store will make change for you.

Akiba System Idle Shop

MAP

This stand-alone shop is small, but mighty. I never leave without finding something excellent here. Coin changer: no, but the attendant in the booth at the rear of the store will make change for you.

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SHIBUYA AREA

Tokyu Hands

MAP

Gachapon are on the same floor as the costumes and souvenirs

Village Vanguard

MAP

There are gachapon machines outside both entrances to this Village Vanguard, which is underground and a little tricky to find.

Look for this flight of stairs going down from street level (across the street that runs along the right side of the famous 109 Building)
The Village Vanguard store is on two levels, with two separate entrances on B1 and B2. The gachapon machines are outside both entrances, and there are different ones on each level, so be sure to check both! Coin changer: no

Adores photo booth & game center

MAP

As you walk toward Tokyu Hands from the station, on the right hand side of the street you’ll see banks of gachapon machines outside the Adores purikura shop and the game center next door. Coin changer: Yes, both bill and coin changer, inside the game center

***

SHINJUKU AREA

Tokyu Hands

MAP

Gachapon are on the same floor as the costumes and souvenirs

***

IKEBUKURO AREA

Tokyu Hands

MAP

Gachapon are on the same floor as the costumes and souvenirs

LABI electronics superstore

MAP

Gachapon are on the same floor as games and toys

***

TOKYO STATION

Gashapon Street

MAP

This place can be a bit tricky to find by GPS because it’s underground, but if you step outside the Central Yaesu Exit of Tokyo station at street level, then go down the broad stairs leading to the “First Avenue” shops, you’ll end up right in the middle of this shopping area. The gachapon machines are all the way at the end of the hall, past the character shops, in their own little corridor.

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NAKANO AREA

Nakano Broadway

MAP

Inside the big Nakano Broadway mall next to Nakano Station, there are a couple of shops that sell excellent gachapon. The shops are always changing around, so you basically have to walk the circuit of each floor, looking for them.

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ODAIBA AREA

Daiba 1-chome Shopping Street

MAP

At the DECKS shopping complex at Daiba Kaihin-koen Station in Odaiba, there are tons of excellent gachapon machines lining the main promenade through the 4th floor, in the retro shopping area. Coin changer: no

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