I have already admitted (perhaps more than once) that I have been bitten by the Lego bug.  That is undeniably true.  What I failed to mention, or perhaps concealed from you, is that I found a way to stave off the call of Lego.  Not surprisingly, that way comes from Japan(my other home, and source of many of my hobbies.)

They are called Nanoblocks.  Basically it is Lego, only smaller.  When you think about it, it is no surprise that these blocks come from Japan.  They made everything else smaller, so why not make something that is similar to Lego, only smaller.

I saw these things first either on or on BusanKevin’s YouTube page.  Yes, surprise surprise I do check out Amazon Japanoften enough to spot what is new and happening in Japan.  Some family members call it an obsession, even a sickness.  Others think I was Japanese in a past life.  Either one might be true, but that doesn’t really matter.  I like hobbies, and truth be told, Japan is a country which really caters to the hobbyist.

yes, they are that small

Back to Nanoblocks.  The upside is that they are small, and even a large box doesn’t take up so much room when built.  I have built five pieces so far and they don’t take up very much room.  In fact, the marketing for the ones that I have done (famous landmarks) is that you can have the whole world on your desk.  Looking at my photo you can see that is true.

Now, they are indeed small.  Even though I am into N scale trains (the second smallest scale) I found these things to be rather small.  This isn’t such a big problem unless you

a) drop them on the carpet–in which case search and rescue could take some time

b) have slender nimble hands–which I don’t
This is what comes in a typical box
c) have absolutely no patience–I have enough, fortunately

Of all of the ones I have built the castle was my favourite. It was a large, challenging, and came with a fantastic instruction book.  The instruction book set out how many of each type of piece was needed per step.  This was good because the box had more than 2000 pieces.  I enjoyed building it, but it took quite a bit of time.  I think the end result was a good model though.

This was the deluxe kit–and it was spectacular
Nanoblocks are readily available through in the US (you lucky people) and here in Canada, Scholar’s Choice sells a few (a few, my advice is to call before you drive there–I had to get them taken from one store to a closer one before I could go and pick them up)   As far as the price goes they are not horrendously expensive.  Granted, I did get the Castle (which is called HimejiCastle) sent from Japan–this is the deluxe one, a smaller one is available.

Once assembled, there are a few pieces left over.  I decided to organize mine in a Stanleyorganizer–perhaps it is not the best use of space.  I have done five and I could probably put what is left over into a small box.  Why on earth did I choose such a big organizer….I am thinking long term.  Someday I might have way too many of these tiles for even that huge organizer….someday.

okay, so I haven’t reached storage capacity yet.
If you have some Japanese ability, you will be able to find some great examples of what artistic people can do on the Japanese homepage   Typical of Japan, they hold yearly contests, and some of the work is unbelievable.

If you want to know more, check the English home page at

As an addition to my family of hobbies, it seems to fit right in.  It was creative, fun, challenging, and from Japan–see, perfect for me.

3 thoughts on “Nanoblocks

  1. wow…
    that's really awesome…

    But, certainly you have to follow the manual to build these things. I know about a pc game or software that you can create whatever you want, it's 'Mine Craft' or “Minecraft' the name.
    I think if you search on Youtube something like “japanese castle minecraft”, probably someone already created it on this software. If you have pacience and really know the Japanese architecture, you should try it.


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