It was my first time checking out the place, but thanks to the very clear map on the show promo postcard (a larger version of the map can be found on their website), it was easy to find. The gallery is located in Omote Sando, a high-end district chock full of boutiques, galleries, fantastic architecture, and well-known shops like Original Fake.
The easiest way to get there is to take the subway to Omote Sando station. It takes less than 10 minutes to walk to the shop from the B1 exit. It's basically a left and a right. By Japan toy shop standards, that's almost criminally easy.
We rolled up at 11:40 and were given numbered slips of paper indicating our position in line. I really like systems like this, since after getting your number, you can hang out, wander around, or fall asleep under the cool blue autumn sky without worrying about losing your place in line.
Shortly before opening time (12:00), a crowd had gathered in front of the gallery. Folks peered in hoping for a sneak peek at the day's offerings.
The show, held at the back of the gallery (which doubles as a retail shop) features a nice variety of work in vinyl and other mediums, as well as paintings and illustrations.
Today, the first version of Billiken's new figure was slated to be released. We were surprised to see the figures being painted in the middle of the gallery. That's some lived in toy activity right there!
A nice crowd turned out for the opening:After checking out the show's offerings, we looked around the shop. Billken has an eclectic mix of toys, art books, children's books, and other things for sale. Considering the variety of shows they've held in the past (pics can be seen on their homepage), it's not surprising that the shop is so diverse.
Shop PicsSo, the fall toy show season is well underway in Japan. Coming up are some great chestnuts, including Mark and Matt's latest show - In Living Kolor - as well as Design Festa, Pachi Summit, and more. Let the good times roll!