Although a good portion of Toys Drive-in, the latest museum from toy collector Teruhisa Kitahara, is devoted to mid-century Americana, there's also an impressive collection of Japanese toys and other collectibles. There are action figures, goods and posters devoted to mid-century Japanese cartoons and movies. Doraemon, Ultraman, Norakuro (a heroic black-and-white cartoon dog) and Astro Boy (aka Tetsuwan Atom) are here, among many others. There's a big gathering of Godzillas and similar monsters, and a surprising collection of toy guns from a 1960s US TV show called Rawhide.
If you like classic tin toys, don't miss the two big display windows just outside the museum proper. One is devoted to toy cars and other vehicles, with a few hundred items organized by era. The other window has a nice display of robots, spaceships and other mechanical tin toys. The animal kingdom is represented by a telephone-clutching rabbit, and monkeys drinking, blowing bubbles and smashing cymbals together.
The museum shop sells a variety of toys and retro-themed goods. The cafe in front of the museum is a recreation of an American roadside diner, where you can get desserts and soft drinks. While you're here, don't miss seeing the giant, two-story robot down on the ground floor of the mall. And if you're in the mood for a very interactive experience with noisy parrots, check out Bird Zoo on the ground floor, inside the Kojima pet store.
Toys Drive-in is on the second floor of the Sevenpark Ario Kashiwa shopping mall, #226 on the mall map. To get to the mall, take the #31 bus from Kashiwa station; the bus runs 3-5 times per hour, and takes around twenty minutes; get off at the Sevenpark Ario-mae stop. Admission is Y500.
Classic tin toys and monster toys at Toys Drive-in in Chiba