Last week I discussed my trip to the GSL finals in Seoul, South Korea. Today, I want to talk about the amazing gaming goodness that flows from Korea’s neighbor – Japan.
We actually went to Japan first, starting in Tokyo before taking the bullet train to Kyoto. I had brought along my Switch and Vita for the flight over. I actually ended up watching several movies before falling asleep, so I didn’t make as much headway as I had hoped. Nevertheless, I knew I was flying into a place that was a bastion for gaming worldwide.
On our first day, we went through the wet and cold weather to my favorite spot from Steins;gate: Akihabara. For those unfamiliar, Akihabara has become well known for its vast array of electronics stores as well as gaming and anime/manga shops.
Our first stop was into a massive electronics store right near the train station. The place is huge and has multiple floors consisting of all types of goods, but mainly electronics such as cameras, computers, and other equipment.
The first floor I explored was the modeling/hobby floor. There were rows and rows of Gundam sets available in all shapes, colors, and prices. There was also a sizeable portion devoted to RC cars. I did find some company with the Warhammer display here, which was tucked in the back. The White Dwarf issues were in Japanese, but the boxes were not. I did not see the special edition Space Marines I had heard were sold only in Japan.
Next, we moved to the gaming floor. Right at the top of the escalator was a huge display of plushies, mostly consisting of Pokemon. They had a huge variety of Pokemon available, and had keychain sized all the way up to oversized pillow sizes. This floor was also jampacked with people.
On the other side of the Pokemon display was this big Star Wars figurine display. Each one was about the size of one of those “my size Barbies” that used to be a thing. The new Star Wars movies definitely had a presence in Japan.
Moving into the actual game section, I was immediately regretting not having taken Japanese back in school. There were rows and rows of Vita games – pretty much every game you could think of, along with a slew of games I had never seen before. This was a far cry from the pitiful half-shelf that Gamestop or Walmart puts up for Vita in the US. I wish the Vita had done better worldwide since I’m fond of the hardware.
Not far from the PS4 and Vita section was this Final Fantasy display for the new FF15 Royal Edition.
Over in the Nintendo area, an entire wall was full of nearly every Amiibo. I have not followed the rareness of Amiibos very closely, so I am sure I missed some sweet deal here since all of them seemed priced reasonably.
I was surprised to stumble on a little pile of board games, which looked to be some popular favorites translated into Japanese. The prices were a little higher on these compared to their Amazon counterparts however.
Part of the floor had arcade and claw games available. Like the rest of the floor, the place was jammed packed with people on nearly every machine.
Afterwards, we headed to Super Potato, which I had heard was a great store for retro games. The place was a little difficult to find since the entrance was quite small, but it contained several cramped floors of pure games.
The place had what appeared to be nearly every game for nearly every system. Here is the Super Famicom games, laid out in neat order and in good condition. This was only a small portion of what was available.
They had fully packaged games as well.
Various retro consoles were also setup throughout the winding corridors of the store. In addition, there was an ample supply of gaming accessories and memorabilia. Many of the systems had several people lined up to try them out.
Super Potato also sold full systems in what appeared to be decent conditions. There were fully boxed N64s and GameCubes among others. I looked around for a decently priced authentic Nintendo GameCube controller (for Smash on WiiU), but they didn’t have any other than those that came bundled with a GameCube console.
Many Final Fantasy figurines were on display. Sadly no Final Fantasy 6, 9, or 10 ones that I could see. The Sephiroth one looked awesome. A bit pricey though.
Also managed to find Splatoon gummies of all things. I haven’t opened them, which means I’ll just end up keeping them intact as a souvenir.
That concludes my little slideshow of some Japan gaming store goodness. If I could read Japanese, getting some of the Vita titles may have been worth it (although many appeared to be about $60). Japan certainly takes its gaming seriously, and living near Akihabara would make access to any system or game super easy.
Have you ever been Japan? Are you jealous at the absurd quantity of available gaming items? Comment below!