The Japan Toy Museum is located about 10 km northeast of Himeji city. This is not a favorite tourist spot, but I decided to have look as I used to teach kids back in my country.
The museum is dedicated for old-fashioned toys from various countries, although there is a section for new toys as well. The museum possesses about 80,ooo toys from 140 countries.
The usual visitors are children accompanied by their grandparents, so the receptionist was a bit curious about my visit. A brief self introduction (that I am a traveling student insterested in toys and kids :o)) resulted in a personally guided tour by the director of the museum, Mr. Shigeyoshi Inoue.
Inoue-san is a kind and nice person. He explained to me how he built the museum starting from his personal toy collection, and many other things.
After I finished seeing the toys, Inoue-san had a few presents waiting for me: two books written by him about toys, and two Japanese dolls (one of which belonged to a very old collection).
Sorry for the lack of close-up photos; flashes are not allowed inside the museum. Please visit the official web site for more details. If you are interested in toys, this place is definitely worth a visit.
Finally, one guideline for traveling in Japan. Travel off the beaten track, and talk to people!