During my trip to Japan I visited two main places for some retro game shopping, Akihabara, famous for being the Otaku centre of the world, the home of all things geeky! Including Anime, Manga, Figures, Games, Technology, (so much cheaper than over here!!) and everything else you could possible want! I also visited Den Den Town in Osaka (basically a smaller version of Akihabara!) As well as a few other shops in Tokyo. This post will show you all the best game shops I found along the way!Anyone looking to buy some retro games from Japan, I hope this post helps you out!First of all, a word of warning! Although Akihabara may be known as the place to find pretty much any game you could ever want, don’t go too crazy as the prices are inflated massively to catch out tourists with more money than sense… unfortunately, I fell for their trap on the first day and regretted it later when I visited some of the lesser known (but equally amazing) shops outside of Tokyo. Imagine my surprise when I found out I could have literally bought about 10 games for the price of one! Also, while you’re in Akihabara, don’t forget to check out the many amazing arcades! Full to the brim with every arcade game imaginable and plenty of claw machine and other prize games too (With prizes actually woth winning!) They are an amazing experience and really fun too! Be sure to check out one of the Taito Station arcades as well as Sega’s huge arcade! All about 7 floors high! There are also some smaller ones with a great selection of Shoot’em’ups, Fighting and Puzzle games for the more hardcore audience!
A quick hint before I start going through the list of shops. Don’t just go in shops along the main street, most of the good shops, (for games and figures) are hidden in the smaller streets or up several flights of stairs! There was one really cool one which happened to be in a small room on the 6th floor of a building, no idea how I managed to find it but im glad I did! (SFC and Gameboy games for 50 Yen each!! Sadly no photos or name of the place so good luck finiding it…) Look for signs outside or on the walls with pictures of games on!And don’t forget to relax in a Maid Cafe after a long day of Retro Shopping! 😀
Japan has several Super Potato stores, the biggest of which is right in the centre of Akihabara and has three floors including an arcade room in the top floor. They sell everything you could hope to find for a range of retro systems, although their prices can be a little crazy, its definitely worth a visit just to marvel at its selection of hard to find games and collectables! I also love the homely feel these shops have, with gaming merchasndise all over the place and very friendly staff that will do their best to help even if they cant understand what you’re trying to ask them!
The arcade room is decorated in cammo and guarded by a full size Solid Snake statue!
A giant Mario statue greets you as you enter!
Sadly I don’t know the name of this place (edit- Found out its called Retro Game), just look for a long thin shop at the end of the main street before a curry house (we walked past it a few times! Listen out for NES music playing from a CRT in the window!) Once you do manage to find it, you wont be disappointed! The shop really crammed a lot into such a small space, the walls were bursting with great condition boxed Super Famicom games and a huge selection of loose GameBoy games lining the wall on the other side of the shop, and many other systems towards the back. At the back of the shop you can find a great selection of loose PC Engine games! (wish I had known I was going to buy one later in my trip else I would have spent some more time looking!!) They were also selling portable snes consoles which I went back to get later on!
So overwhelming when you first walk in! take some time to take it all in first!
Wish i’d bought some of those PC Engine games! REGRETS!!
This shop was not so much focused on Retro as the others, but it still had a great selection, especially worth noting was its good selection of boxed GBA and Gamecube games. I picked up two of the GBA Starfy games and Kururin Squash for the Gamecube. I was also temped to buy a Famicom Gameboy micro, I decided to leave it and come back later, a decision I later regretted… several times.. I did however, go back here on the last day and decided to go all out and buy the Miku edition PS Vita and both Project Diva games! (Sorry wallet!) I also watched someone infront of me in the queue but BOTH the famicom gameboy micros!
Not entirely dedicated to games. This one was a bit harder to find, thankfully I had looked it up before going, and good job I did because this was easily the best place I’d been so far! Row upon row of boxed SFC games, all graded for condition of box, manual and cart, and quite reasonable prices. The store also had a huge selection of Saturn and PS1 games and some really amazingly rare games in the cabinet at the back.. including one of the very few gold Rockman 4 Famicom carts! And a Famicom Gameboy Micro, which, i once again decided not to get, and proceded to watch a person buy it right infront of me for the second time…
All graded by condition and alphabetised. Pretty much all the games were in mint condition!
The extremely rare (Only 8 in the world!) Rockman 4 cart!
After this amazing tour of the shops of Akihabara, I was lucky enough to meet up with a friend from a retro gaming community on Google+ to visit some shops further out of Tokyo, including one shop I had been dying to visit for years… It’s definitely worth considering taking a train a bit further out of tokyo to find some cheaper games!
Full of retro games and hundreds of consoles all stashed away in plastic boxes filling the shelves, this place was a dream come true. A fantastic selection once again of SFC games, all at much cheaper prices than in the touristy areas. Consoles for the equivalent price of a meal here in the UK. (Managed to get a loose PC Engine Duo for roughly £30!) as well as a handful of games to play on it!
Hard Off 2.
We went to a second hard off store a little further away, this one had
just as amazing selection as the first, with some extremely cheap SFC
games and even more consoles for incredibly cheap prices! Such a shame
I was running out of suitcase spece by now else I could have easily bought
a few more systems! Oh well, theres always next time! We also found a
new shop that had recently opened which had a good selection of SFC
games! Sadly no photos though.