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04 September 2017 @ 02:37 pm
Buying Johnny's goods in Japan (Osaka)  

It's been a while since I posted something here...

So last year I spent 6 months in the Osaka-Kobe area, and I found it insanely difficult for foreigners to find stores that sell Johnny's goods.

I'm sure I have only discovered a small part of these "hidden" stores, but for everyone who's planning to visit Japan in the future, here are some tips on where to buy Johnny's goods in the Osaka area!

1. Official Johnny's Shop
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

This is the official shop, where you can mainly find the newest shop photos. I would definitely recommend going here! You can also find this shop in Harajuku, Nagoya and Fukuoka, but I have personally only been to the Osaka one.
The store is located at a 5 minute walk from Osaka/Umeda station. To enter the store, you go up a stairs on the outside and wait in line for the staff to let you in. If you can, go in the morning of a weekday, it will be less likely for there to be a line! You will find yourself in a room with all walls covered in shop photos, classified by group. In front of these photo walls, you can grab a piece of paper to mark down which photos you want. Grab one sheet for each group you want to buy photos of, write the group name on top of the paper, and mark the numbers of the photos you want (write "2" if you want two of that particular photo, etc). When you're done choosing, count the total amount of photo's you're buying per group, and write down that number at the bottom of the paper. Say goodbye to the photo walls and walk down the (inside) stairs to the cash registers. Hand over your papers to the staff, and she will go grab the photos for you. If I remember correctly, each photo is ¥160. When the staff returns, she will show you all the photos and you can check whether or not it is correct. If there's any photo you don't want, make sure to tell her! After that she will tell you the total amount and all that's left is for you to pay!


2. Book-Off
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

Even though this is not a Johnny's store, I would absolutely recommend you to go here. It's a store mainly for secondhand books and cds, but in the bigger stores they also sell lots of other secondhand things. If you're looking for older Johnny's books, magazines, cds, dvds, you should definitely go here. It's secondhand, but I've always found the goods to be in perfect condition, only often the first-press bonusses would be missing. But in return, you can get them for great prices. For example, I bought several Kis-My-Ft2 concert pamphlets (brochures) for only ¥100 to ¥400, while new they were ¥2000 to ¥3000.

Book-Off stores are to be found all over the country, I'm sure there are already 10 of these in the Osaka area, from small bookstores to huge bazaars with secondhand clothing. The one I linked here is in a shopping street, you can't miss the big signs.


3. ジャニランド (Johnny's Land) Osaka
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

This is the real place to be for Johnny's goods. They sell anything, cd/dvd/books but also all the concert goods you can imagine, t-shirts, towels, uchiwas, penlights, clearfiles, older shop photos, etc. For this store I would also advise to go on a weekday, because it can get awfully crowded with schoolgirls otherwise. I'm not exactly sure, but I think these goods come from people who bought them at the concert/stage play/event, and then sold them to this store. So I guess you can say they are "new". The goods are mainly sorted by group, and for this particular shop the Kanjani8 area was definitely the largest (probably because it's Osaka). You can get the older stuff for fair prices, but I've seen many of the newer, more rare goods to be sold at more than double the original price. So if you go here, be prepared to spend a lot of money!

This goes for all stores, but especially this one: don't expect anything to be in English or anyone to speak English. Prepare yourself well and be respectful for the Japanese manners. If a staff tells you not to take pictures, don't (you see I sneaked one in there lol). The other customers might not be very friendly to a foreigner in here, but I it all works out if you just mind your own business.
The store is conveniently located at a short walk from Shinsaibashi station and Yotsubashi station. It's away from all the big stores, in a more residential area where you would never expect such a store to be. And then bam! You suddenly see the blue-pink flags outside the store popping up out of nowhere. So make sure to look up the location before you go, this one is harder to find.


4. ジャニランド (Johnny's Land) Kobe
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

This store is absolutely hidden. While browsing Kobe's Sannomiya Center Gai shopping street, I suddenly ran into this store, even though I couldn't really find any info about this on the internet. It's the same store as the one in Osaka, only much, much smaller. However, they often have different goods than the big store in Osaka, so if you are in Kobe anyway, this is worth checking out.
About halfway through the Center Gai street, you can enter a big shopping mall right next to and above the Center Gai. Make sure to take the escalator up onto the second floor of the Center Plaza (not the San Plaza or Center Plaza West, these are other wings of the shopping mall!). When you get off the escalator, take a few steps to the right and turn left (so enter the alley almost right in front of you when you exit the escalator). Follow the alley when it makes a turn to the right, and in that alley you will find many secondhand stores (a lot of them were closed when I was there). After a while you will find a secondhand book store, which covers an area both left and right of the walkway. On your right hand side, there is one aisle filled with Johnny's goods (see picture above), and you might even see the blue-pink flag outside. If you come from another direction in this shopping mall - it's really easy to get lost here - look at the signs and make sure you're on the second floor of the Center Plaza wing, and grab one of the area maps near the escalators. Here you should find 清泉堂書店, the name of the secondhand book store you're looking for! It's also on the plaza map here, at number 23 and 38.


5. JaniJaniFan OPA
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

This is another store I stumbled onto by chance. It is located in the OPA shopping mall, also right outside the Osaka/Umeda station. When you go down the stairs to the B1F floor, you'll find a little mall where many shops have their own area. One of them is JaniJaniFan, which you will recognize by the colorful Johnny's uchiwas. I didn't buy anything here so I don't actually remember the prices, but I think the goods were secondhand. I remember there were some goods of non-Johnny's groups here as well. If you're in the area, give it a chance!


6. Mandarake
(website) (location)
(not my photo)

I have never actually been here, but a friend told me that you may also find some Johnny's goods here. It's actually a secondhand manga and anime store, and it can be found in several cities throughout Japan. Keep your eyes open for it?


7. Regular book/cd stores
(not my photo)

Of course you can get all the newest cds, dvds and monthly magazines at the regular stores, such as Tower Records for cds and Tsutaya for books. One of my personal tips would be to look out for the TV guides, they are more reasonably priced than the idol magazines, and often contain photoshoots and interviews with Johnny's as well.


8. ろの屋敷 (Ro no Yashiki) Himeji
(location)
(not my photo)

I know this post is supposed to be about Osaka, but I wanted to add this shop in Himeji. When you plan to visit Himeji Castle, you'll pretty much walk a straight road from Himeji station to the castle. Just before you cross the last big road to get to the castle grounds, you will find some souvenir shops and cafes on your left. One of them is marked "ろの屋敷". Here you can find your usual ninja souvenirs (also much fun!), but there was also a select area of Johnny's goods! Here I bought my keychain.

I wouldn't make the trip down here for Johnny's goods, but when you visit the castle, make sure to stop by this souvenir shop.



That's all for now! Next year I will spend one year in Tokyo, and I hope to find many Johnny's stores there as well!
If you have anything to add to this information, please leave a comment, and don't hesitate to contact me with any questions :)