There is the quaint little retro gaming store in Japan that sells the odd Famicom cart, the occasional Saturn disk, or even a few systems or two, then there are super-ultra stores like the one I am going to show you today.
This particular shop is about 20 minutes from my house, and it’s one of the biggest places I’ve ever seen here for retro gaming gear. There are others that are similar in size, but this shop actually has prices you want to pay. It is almost set up like a supermarket with isles, a little basket to carry around, and even a taster section with four or five systems setup for people to play.
Before I put any photos up, it has to be said that people managing stores in Japan are very reluctant to have photos taken. I took as many photos as I could, but it was impossible to get photos of everything. I missed not only the hardware section, but also the PS2, Gameboy, Megadrive (Genesis), MegaCD, Saturn (the list goes on actually) and most of the boxed games sections.
Anyway, now onto the photos….
I would love to get my hands on this giant Mario – Hmmm that sounds slightly odd now that I think about it. 😀
One of the loose Famicom cart Isles (pictured bellow). Yes I say ‘one of’, as there are a few. You can see at the end of the isle there part of the boxed games section for Famicom too.
Another really great thing about this place is there is a GameCenterCX section if you want to play the games that are featured on the show. If you are wondering what GameCenterCX is, then I suggest taking a look on Youtube. It is one of the coolest retro game shows anywhere! Unfortunately I couldn’t get any photos of the GameCenterCX section.
Mind boggling range of Super Famicom carts. Again, this is only one of the Super Famicom Isles.
Again I couldn’t get great pictures of everything, but what you see here is just a part of the cased PCE games they have on offer. You can pretty much find everything here.
Bellow is just a part of the DreamCast section. If you’re wondering, that whole top row is for NeoGeoCD, and you may notice that there are some big empty spaces in the NeoGeo section – this is mainly because I bought 20 odd on this particular day. 🙂
This terrible photo (bellow) is trying to show you one of the toy racks dedicated to game related merchandise. They have all sorts of gear here, from recent Mario themed board games, through to figures of Ken in Street Fighter.
A closer look at the boxed Famicom and Super Famciom section (bellow).
I really wish I could have shown you everything. Just looking through the pictures there is so much I missed. This place has so much stuff that I know it will bring a tear to any retro gamer’s eye – specially the guys I know back home who feel great joy just finding a dozen or so carts in the wild.
And just before I go. This place doesn’t only sell games too! There are huge sections for toys, clothing, electronics, and pretty much any other type of used goods you can think of. Not bad considering I actually live in rural Japan! 😮
Holy crap! *sells house and moves to Japan*
Love the way everything is displayed and bagged etc. The few much, much smaller second hand game shops we have here are nowhere near as professional or courteous with their layout and presentation. Games are literally thrown in a shelf and you have to sift through them all.
What’s a rough idea on pricing in there? Do they tend to know what they are selling and price accordingly? Any Highway Star carts in there? 😛
I just wish I could have gotten more pictures to really show you how extensive it is!
They do tend to know what they have, but even so the prices are very reasonable. Occasionally though I will walk in and there will be bargains you cannot believe. I remember one day just stopping in and not planning to buy anything, and then walking out with 4 Neogeo CDs, two Saturns, two Famicoms, and a bunch of games.
You remember that 300yen Sonic Saturn I talked about in another post? I got that from this shop. 😉
This week I was excited when I visited a Game Traders and they had 10 boxed SMS games on a shelf, and another 5-8 or so on the shelf underneath, most of which were available at reasonable prices.
I thought that was mildly exciting, but then you go and show me pictures like these. It’s mean, but in the best way because it looks so awesome 😀
Walking into a place like this is an amazing feeling there Sean. There have been trips where I literally fill the car with gear and drive home very carefully. Nothing can match it at home.
Nice hollo, that’s the stuff dreams are made of
. It’s probably good you didn’t get to the hardware
Isles, I don’t need to torture myself any further!
Thanks man, loving the blog.
Hey Tim, Thanks heaps! Yeah, there is only so much the human brain can handle. 😀
Great post, I do these type of game shop posts on my blog too and I love to see what other people`s `hunting grounds` look like. Yours actually looks like it has a better selection than my local one which, sadly, is about to go out of business. Like you I have walked into there on numerous occasions not intending to buy anything and been so shocked by the bargains they had just tossed out that I ended up leaving with more than I could carry.
That’s what it’s all about right – the hunt!
If you’re ever up my way (Ishikawa) I’d happily show you around. Unfortunately though, places are starting to close down around here too… Still have the Hard-Offs/Comp-Offs, but many seem to be getting less and less gear. Damn, I’m talking myself into doing a run again! 😀
LOL, it is easy to convince oneself to do just one more run isn`t it? The Hard Offs in Fukuoka have also gone downhill recently and don`t turn up much good gear anymore either. I guess once word gets out everyone descends on the good ones and clean them out pretty quick!
All too easy! I was planning on a run today actually, but a chunk of our roof blew off!! The weather was completely nuts here… How was Fukuoka?
Super Ultra store, indeed! Heaven is a retro games shop… but seriously, that is amazing, almost gives me chills just looking at it. Fantastic.
Also: Just got your comments on my blog. Thank you. 🙂
Amazing right? Yep, gotta love Japan when it comes to game culture!
And no problem about those comments. You are doing a brave thing reviewing every NES game made! You should check out Sean’s Famicomblog if you haven’t already to take a look at the Japanese titles too.
Wow, a chunk of the roof? We had some bad wind here yesterday and I nearly got toppled over while trying to ride my bike, but our roof held! I hope it was not an important part of the roof (ie the part directly above your game collection) that went!
We lost a reasonably big section off the first floor and many bits and pieces from the second, and yes, some were over my games room! Spent a few hours wrapping gear just in case there were leaks, but luckily we had some brave guys come before the heavier rain came in and we were safe. Restless night to say the least though.
AH, sorry to hear about that, it must have been an unpleasant night! Glad to hear that your games are all in one piece though!
Great post! Where abouts in Japan in this store?
This place is in Ishikawa, but it sure looks different to those pics now though….. Since this post the place has pretty much closed down it’s retro section and concentrated into card games and more modern consoles. Having said that though, it’s still possible to grab the occasional disk or cart, but the good ol’ days are long gone. Sad times indeed…
That’s a shame.. I’m heading back to Tokyo and Kyoto in April and keen to hunt around for some old consoles. I’ll definitely be going back to Akihabara but if there’s anywhere else I should check out please let me know 😀
I went to Osaka a few months ago and didn’t find much at all – for good prices anyway. The same goes for most of the big cities…. This doesn’t mean you won’t find anything, but you may just have to pay a little more than I would here. Definitely try and get out to the smaller towns on the fringes and enjoy the hunt. 😀
Cheers 🙂 I cant wait!
I was in Japan the other week and found that many of the cool retro shops had closed since I last visited in 2005. Such a shame as the stores there were so well stocked. Akiba still has shops, but you just have to wander around a bit more since all the anime stores and maid cafes have taken over.
Yep, they’re closing up pretty quickly. In just the past year I’ve seen three places that I used to go to all the time shut the doors. 🙁
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