The Gashapon Department Store in Umeda, Osaka, and its Gashapon Toys

A Department Store of Gashapon Capsule Toys♪



Written by: フジ(fuji)

● What is Gashapon?

Gashapon Capsule Toys, image photo

Also known as “Gacha”, “Gacha Gacha”, and “Gachapon”, Gashapon are coin-operated vending machines that dispense miniature toys and trinkets in capsules.

Its origin is in gumball machines that were invented in the United States. After arriving in Japan, Gashapon has evolved over the years, with improved quality and larger variety.

Capsule Toy Machines at the Gashapon Department Store in Umeda, Osaka

Today, a wide array of capsule toys is on the market including ever popular manga, anime, and movie character figurines and miniature food items, as well as unique original toys featuring animals. Some are a product of amazing craftsmanship, aweing fans and others with their intricate, realistic details.

The biggest allure of capsule toys in my opinion is in finding your personal favorite. From the desire to collect the item to the thrill of waiting to see if you get your item as you turn the knob, the whole experience is akin to the excitement of winning a lottery. Cherished by kids as well as adults in Japan and elsewhere, one can say Gashapon has developed into a subculture in the recent years.

With ease of its transport helped by an increasing number of Gashapon machine setups at airports and commercial facilities, the popularity of Gashapon among travelers to Japan has also skyrocketed and has prompted our investigation into the world of Gashapon capsule toys!👍

●【Getting There】 Take Osaka Metro to the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE

HEP FIVE Entrance

Our destination is HEP FIVE, about a 5-minute walk away from Higashi-Umeda Station Exit No. 1 on Osaka Metro’s Tanimachi Line.

The Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE opened here in March 2023. From the most popular to the newest, a huge selection of various capsule toys can be found here.

We went straight up to the 9th floor to check out the Gashapon Department Store♪

●【First Stop】 Get 100-yen Coins!

Inside the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE

The Gashapon Department Store boasts one of the largest floor spaces and the highest number of capsule toy machines in the Kansai region. When we visited, some 600 machines lined the vast floor! Somewhere among the numerous genres presented, from character figurines to miniature food samples to animals, you’re sure to find your favorite capsule toy here👍

A change machine inside the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE

All you need are some 100 yen coins which most machines accept. If you don’t have any on you, you can cash in some bills for 100-yen coins at the change machines installed at the store.

●【Popular】 Manga, Anime, and Movie Characters

I was excited to explore the various selections of capsule toys they had. With 100-yen coins in my hand, I checked out manga, anima, and movie character figurines first♪

Popular Gashapon Collection of One Piece

Right away, I found ONEPI NO MI, a Gashapon collection of One Piece characters. Three-centimeter figurines of characters from One Piece, are contained in Devil Fruit shaped capsules.

I was hoping to get Chopper but got Big Mom, one of the Four Emperors!

I liked that the capsule itself is a Devil Fruit. I can keep the figurine in the capsule and put it on my shelf. It’d be nice to collect other One Piece characters, too.

Popular Character Capsule Toys

Other popular characters such as Chiikawa, villains from Disney movies, Sanrio characters like Hello Kitty and Pompompurin, and LINE friends were all there, their machines standing side by side.

●【Popular】 Intricate Replica of Food Items

Miniature Food Sample Gashapon

Foods you’ve seen and ordered at Japan’s popular chain restaurants like Saizeriya, Denny’s, and Mister Donut
Were represented in their miniature form and lined up like at—truly—a department store. The cute retro melon cream soda and Japanese custard pudding looked just as they do at a Kissaten, Showa era small coffee houses♪

Pasco Miniature Bread Collection

As a bread lover, I had to try Pasco’s miniature bread collection. Everyone’s favorites—melonpan (Japanese sweet bun with patterned cookie crust) and shokupan (Japanese milk bread, commonly served at breakfast in Japan)—are made into miniature key chains! I scored Pasco Choujuku Shokupan 6 slices♪

I was super impressed to learn that I could take the bread out of the bag! Slits of the sliced bread and the rough bread surface were all faithfully reproduced in the miniature Shokupan and it was even soft and squishy like the real Shokupan!

●【Unique】 From UNO to Utility Poles to Exercise Equipment

The Capsule Department Store has more than just classic character figurines and food items.

Unique Capsule Toys

…Like wooden puzzles, sets of zoo animals and their caretakers, 25:1 scale utility poles, and 12:1 scale miniature strength training equipment.
These unique items make you smile as you wonder “who in the world came up with this??”

Game Capsule Toys—UNO, Donjara Game, and Manner Beans

The one I thought would make a fun souvenir was game themed capsule toys.
From the world famous UNO to Donjara (kids version of Mahjong) to Manner Beans (how fast can you move bean size sushi or other items using chopsticks?), these toys would make your game night a special one♪

●【The New Norm】 Premium Gashapon

Premium Gashapon section at the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE

The Premium Gashapon section at the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE features the new norm of capsule toys, high quality “Premium Gashapon”. The price point is higher, between 800 yen to 2,500 yen, but the quality is superb.

※500 yen coins are required for Premium Gashapon. They are available at the Change Machine.

Hercules Beetles, the Diversity of Life on Earth Collection

The best-selling Diversity of Life on Earth Collection includes cumulative insects and reptiles! I got a Hercules beetle.

Hercules Beetle Capsule Toy

Look at this! The capsule contained the body parts of a Hercules beetle, which already looked very real.

Putting it together is simple, and the end product—the gloss of the exoskeletons, the delicate hind wings, how the leg joints and clawed feet feel—is so realistic, you’d think it’s going to fly away any moment.

Demon Slayer’s Sanemi Shinazugawa figurine
© KG/S, A, U

My personal favorite was the Demon Slayer Gashapon. This anime/manga has been such a global success and I know there’s a lot of fans like me out there.

I was able to get the figurine of Sanemi Shinazugawa, the Wind Hashira of the Demon Slayer Corps! I’m going to put him on my desk at work♪

© KG/S, A, U

●【Capsule Toy Collections】 Collect the Whole Set!

Animal Camp Capsule Toy Collection

Some people like to collect their favorite collection of capsule toys. The Animal Camp Collection piqued my interest. This collection is a set of cute animals—like a rabbit, a fox, and a bear—all enjoying camping.

Not knowing what will come out of the machine is the thrill of Gashapon. I wondered what I’d get this time… Shall we try together🎵

Operating the Animal Camp Gashapon

Animal Camp Capsule Toy Collection

I collected three animals. Look at them sitting around a campfire in their camping chairs, with a lantern and a mug at their side—so cute♪ You can almost hear their conversation.

I know they also have an elephant and a rabbit and will try to get them to complete the set when I find Animal Camp Gashapon around town!

●【Final Thought】 Fun Memories & Souvenir in One ♪

My Earnings Today

Ta-da! These Gashapon toys are my earnings from today’s visit! When I was a child, I longed to go freely from one Gashapon machine to another and collect as many capsule toys as I could. Today, I indulged in my childhood dream. What a satisfying day it was♪

Gashapon is a form of entertainment. The thrill of not knowing what will come out of the machines as you turn the knob is exciting and perhaps even intoxicating.

Come experience the thrill of Gashapon at the Gashapon Department Store in Umeda. If you have particular interests, the Store conveniently offers on their website an option to check the inventory for certain products they carry.

●Check the Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE’s inventory here↓

Make a fun memory of your Osaka trip and get the coolest souvenirs all at once!

※Please note the products introduced in the article were available as of November 27, 2023.

Spots Introduced

The Gashapon Department Store HEP FIVE

[Access] About 5 mins walk from Hitashi-Umeda Station on the Tanimachi Line
About 5 mins walk from Umeda Station on the Midosuji Line
About 10 mins walk from Nishi-Umeda Station on the Yotsubashi Line
[Hours] 11:00am -10:30pm (Last entry: 10:15pm)