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Thread: Local game stores, Japan style (lots of pics!)

  1. #1
    Pac-Man (Level 10) smork's Avatar
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    Default Local game stores, Japan style (lots of pics!)

    I promised a few months ago that I would take some pics and write about some of my local game stores. I've finally gotten around to starting this and will try to update this periodically.

    I'd like to start with the store closest to my apartment, Urayasu Kanteidan.



    This store is a bit of an enigma. They are less than a 15 minute walk from my house and are open until 2am, and they have tons of selection (I got my Towns Marty here). They are very disorganized and pricing is almost random, so it's a bit of an adventure.

    The store carries all sorts of stuff -- games, music, porn, movies, toys, manga, even some used clothes. The games section is probably the biggest (along with the porn and manga).



    The first section you see is the console and accessory section. Some of the consoles are ultra minty and complete (like my Marty was), others are more well-worn. Pricing takes condition in to consideration, though.

    It's hard to tell, but amongst the PS1s, Saturns, and GCs are an SG-1000, a PC-FX, and a Super-Grafx.

    They have consoles stuffed everywhere -- look on top of the case in this picture:



    And way-y-y-y up top in this one (I have no idea how one would retrieve a console from up there):



    Here's some more, a little closer to ground level.



    That's a boxed Super-Grafx, a Loopy, a Pico, a boxed front loader NGCD, and a boxed Twin Famicom, among others...

    Stuff is fairly mixed together. Here's a section with GC hardware, N64 carts, Hu-cards, GB carts -- and an Aura Interactor (!)



    This is their 'showcase' -- I use the term liberally since half the time the entire case is buried behind boxes. There's some good stuff in there (old handhelds, etc) but who can tell for sure?



    Here's a wall of FC and SFC carts. There's some random stuff mixed in there as well, like a few Neo Rom carts, some PC-FX, and who knows what else.



    Along the back wall there's a bunch of loose carts:



    A bunch of bargain bin FC/SFC games. That's hentai manga in the back -- this is Japan, after all:


  2. #2
    Pac-Man (Level 10) smork's Avatar
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    Here's a bit more that wouldn't fit in the first post.

    This place has a bunch of current-gen and last-gen stuff, too. There's also a big strat guide section.



    And finally two racks of bargain packs. There's all sorts of gold in here, usally. There's a some MSX and even some x68000 in there:





    There are more retro game stores very near me, this is just the nearest. I'll post more stores later!

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    Very cool, thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing more stores.


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    I always love seeing posts / pictures like this . Even better that you are looking at local stores instead of just the same big akhibara names. Nice post ! Looking forward to more.

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    I am impressed !!!!!!


    Those stores are one of the most important reasons for me to travel to Japan; wanna go there in my honeymoon next year ...
    Las calles no son basurero, POR FAVOR TIREN LA BASURA EN SU LUGAR !!!!

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    Good lord, the sheer magnitude of selection in that store is staggering. Oh, the hours I would happily invest spelunking about..

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing.

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    I really need to get myself back to Japan some day.

    Aaron

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    Pretzel (Level 4) Clownzilla's Avatar
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    Lol, how can anybody find anything in that place!
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    As much as I enjoy looking at all those wonderfull games, the devil in me suddenly wondered how long it would be to sort them. All of them. Still, nice stuff! Good to see a few big box games in the shots I actualy have. That Love Hina game's as big as a suit case!

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    Smork, I will get ahold of you to get this info on the site. At the moment I am rehauling it.

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    Mega Man (Level 19) The 1 2 P's Avatar
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    I am so jealous of you smork. Well, jealous of were you live. I'm also sending you a pm about something related to the thread.
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    Damn, that is some beautiful inventory.
    Currently catching up on PSN, WiiWare, Wii U E-Shop and Xbox Live Arcade exclusives I missed.

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    Whoa, motherload! Great pics. I'd love a store like that over here..

    video game bead sprites I made.

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    That's awesome. This is just giving more reason for me to get my ass in gear to continue my studies and head on over to Japan to study abroad and then possibly working over there after college. Nice work, Smork, and I'm looking forward to seeing more pics from your local stores.

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    Dude... next time I'm in town, we GOTTA hang out and need you to show me around just a little!

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    Holy shit! I want to live in Japan now. ^_^

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    This further proves my case that local stores are awesome.
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    That's a great store! Where is Urayasu?

    I also live in Japan and have a couple of stores like that near me, I'd always thought it was because I lived in the country so stuff stayed on the shelves for longer than they would in some of the more famous collectors spots.

    I was in Takarajima earlier and saw one of the guys I recognised from a local store wheeling out their entire stock of Dreamcast/Neo-geo/MSX/Saturn etc. games which he'd obviously done a deal as a job lot with.
    It explained a lot as to how his store had ended up looking like this one does.

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    That looks like it would take hours to look through there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Okagawa View Post
    That's a great store! Where is Urayasu?

    I also live in Japan and have a couple of stores like that near me, I'd always thought it was because I lived in the country so stuff stayed on the shelves for longer than they would in some of the more famous collectors spots.

    I was in Takarajima earlier and saw one of the guys I recognised from a local store wheeling out their entire stock of Dreamcast/Neo-geo/MSX/Saturn etc. games which he'd obviously done a deal as a job lot with.
    It explained a lot as to how his store had ended up looking like this one does.
    Urayasu is in the Tokyo area. Disneyland is in Urayasu, for reference sake. Maybe 10-12km from Akihabara, just over the border in Chiba. It's not out of the way at all for someone visiting the east side of Tokyo... There's another decent game store a few blocks from that store, though the prices tend to be a bit on the high side there.

    I love these sorts of jumbled up local stores. They are so interesting, even if the prices aren't fantastic (though I've found most of them to have great prices on most things). My all-time fave is this one I used to go to down in the Osaka area when i lived there -- they had stuff shoved everywhere, and some damn fine finds. At one point they had a pile of loose Twin Famis for something like 3500yen, boxed Neo CDs for 2000 yen, NEW Neo Pockets for 500 yen. Obscene! They even had a pile of Dreamcast Karaoke systems (a pile = at least 20). Last time I was there maybe 6 months ago they didn't have anything special like those deals, but you can imagine they'll have them again.

    Where are you in Hokuriku, anyway?

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) smork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daft Punk View Post
    That looks like it would take hours to look through there.
    It does. I always find something I want buried behind something else, or in a crate in a corner. When I found my totally mint Towns Marty there maybe a year ago it was after being in the store for ages -- and even then I only found it because I happened to be looking way, way up at the pile of consoles stacked on top of the shelves.

    I'm convinced half the things I am looking for are in that store, they're just hidden somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smork View Post

    Where are you in Hokuriku, anyway?
    I'm in Fukui. It's a pretty unknown prefecture/city, not famous for much other than nuclear power stations and beaches, but full of collectors stores where nothing much moves off the shelf and I can sometimes find some great deals.

    I go round the stores and markets with a Japanese friend of mine who manages to make a bit of cash buying stuff from shops just to sell on Yahoo to Tokyo. Strangely enough the stuff which he is looking for to sell domestically is very different to what is in demand outside of Japan.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Dreamc@sting's Avatar
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    Thats pretty insane, I'm going to Japan next summer and I been saving up, I know if I find a store like this I will be broke..quickly
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    So....

    I finally had a reason to drive to Chiba last week, and I decided to check out a few of the Kanteidan stores, including the Urayasu branch that Smork posted photos of.

    Whilst they had a nice selection, they had a tendency to overprice anything that even had a hint of rarity, AT LEAST a good 25% more expensive than Akihabara. Most items were pretty dirty and discoloured too. I ended up buying nothing.

    Seriously Smork, why did you make out that these stores were cheap? I wasted money on petrol, and time, thanks to you making out that the stock in these stores were cheaper than those in Tokyo. It's not such a big problem for me, since I live in Tokyo, but I'd hate to imagine someone travelling thousands of miles to Tokyo, and wasting their time on a one and a half hour journey out to one of these stores only to find that the stock is ridiculously expensive.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) smork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mimi Nakamura View Post
    Whilst they had a nice selection, they had a tendency to overprice anything that even had a hint of rarity, AT LEAST a good 25% more expensive than Akihabara. Most items were pretty dirty and discoloured too. I ended up buying nothing.

    Seriously Smork, why did you make out that these stores were cheap? I wasted money on petrol, and time, thanks to you making out that the stock in these stores were cheaper than those in Tokyo. It's not such a big problem for me, since I live in Tokyo, but I'd hate to imagine someone travelling thousands of miles to Tokyo, and wasting their time on a one and a half hour journey out to one of these stores only to find that the stock is ridiculously expensive.
    Mimi, if you're going to bash me in my own thread, could you at least have the decency to PM me instead? I really don't like arguing in public.

    Since the door is open, I best close it. To clarify what I thought was clear at the top of this thread, this is not the "Tourst Guide to the Best Game Stores in Japan". This store happens to be the closest to my house and, as I said, an enigma due to weird pricing and very odd (but fulfilling) finds.

    Urayasu Kanteidan isn't a store I normally spend alot of money at -- they have high prices on their modern games (as do most local-style stores), some of their stock isn't all that fantastic, and their "showcase" doesn't look to have been opened in 10 years, even on the chance you can find it. But no deals? I suppose if you don't think boxed Twin Famicoms for 10000 yen (they go for 12-13000 loose in Akiba), a boxed SuperGrafx for (I think) 3500 yen (at least 10k in Akihabara), 4000yen pristine Towns Marty (who knows what they cost in Akiba, I've never seen one there in the 6 years i've been viisitng). I'm haven't even mentioned their boxed SFC games for 200yen or the disc only DC games for 10-50 yen

    There's a style difference at work here. To use a US analogy, it's the difference between shopping on eBay (usually has what you want, prices are known variables within a range of values) versus hunting in Flea Markets, Pawn Shops, and garage sales. If you want a copy of Rez, you go to Gamestop or shop on eBay as they're more likely to have it and you know what it'll cost. But maybe you want to find that good deal --- instead you rummage through the garage sales for that nugget in the rough, the kind of deal that makes you say "YEAH!" (I had one of those with my Koi Koi Mahjong that I found at a local store for under 200 yen. If you find it in a collector store it's more likely to be 20000 yen)

    For me, the enjoyment of collecting isn't just in the acquisition. If I liked only that I could stay at home and buy everything off Play Asia, Amazon, or Y!J. The real thrill is hunting for that something special, that great find you can't wait to come home and tell everyone about.

    Also for the record, I wouldn't recommend alot of the Chiba Kanteidan stores, even to locals. The Soga store is one of the most pitiful stores I've been to, the Chiba Kita branch is WAY overpriced on everything (though I got my Hello Kitty DC for the same price as a regular DC there), the Minami Funabashi branch is only worthwhile at the holidays (when they sell EVERY loose console for 1000-1500 yen and sell tons of games at 2-1 or 3-1). I get the warm fuzzies only at the Shisui and Funabashi branches, but even then you need to wade through overpriced Hu-Cards and weird accessories to find what you want at a good price). Togane is just too damn far. The point, though, is these stores are FUN to dig through, and even if you can't find what you want one time you may the next.

    As far as visitors go -- none of these except for Urayasu Kanteidan and the Minami Funabashi branch are within a whiff of public transportation, so none of this applies to visitors anyway. My only point to the thread is to show my local stores, good or bad.

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