I’ve recently come back from a two week vacation in Tokyo, I went there with 5 other friends and we had a blast! ^_^
While in Tokyo I took the opportunity to go hunting for some retro games of course! I’ve been to Tokyo quite some times now, but I’ve only ever found Super Potato where I could buy retro games. This time however I got a friend from instagram to show me around Akihabara to all the best retro game shops! ^_^
Here’s a map I’ve made of the places I went to:
The two Sega buildings that I pinned on the map are easy to find. After you take the Akihabara Electric Town Exit just go right, out into a square, if you look to your left you will see the first giant SEGA building:
Once you get closer to it you will see the second SEGA building as well:
So first off is Super Potato, this place is a bit pricey, but it’s a must-go for all retro gaming enthusiasts! It’s located on the street behind the two SEGA buildings. It’s kind of hard to find the entrance since it’s quite small and you won’t really see the signs for it unless you look up (or can read japanese). It’s down on this street, I’ve located it with a circle, however if you go on the route of the map it will be on your right side instead of left.
You will have to go into a corridor and take the elevator up:
Super Potato has 4 floors, first floor is mainly cartridge games (famicom, super famicom, sega master system, mega drive, pc engine, game boy etc). Second floor has some newer games like playstaytion, dreamcast etc. The third floor has mainly strategy guides to retro games and the fourth floor has retro arcade machines where you can play puyo puyo, pac-land, final fight, ghosts n’ goblins and a bunch of other old classics ^_^ Everything is very neatly displayed and they also have a bunch of merchandise.
One thing that bugs me about Super Potato is that they have two giant shelves filled from top to bottom with famicom games and most of them are doubles. You will see the same game 10 times in a row sometimes, it makes it hard going through it all.. and time consuming. They have however put end labels on the plastic wrap of each game, but it’s written in japanese.
Next up is Mandarake Complex, I didn’t spend too much time here, but they had loads of retro games at reasonable prices! And so many boxed games in great condition ^_^ I saw a mint CiB Recca and I really wanted to buy it, but that game is almost just as expensive in Japan as it is on eBay… :( At Mandarake Complex all the games were in hard plastic cases, it made it a bit dull to look through it all, and hard to spot the games you were looking for..
They also had an assortment of Neo Geo games, I really would like to start collecting for that system, but damn those games are pricey! The most expensive one I saw was 220.000 Yen, which is over 2000 USD… o_O
I did however spend more time at another Mandarake store in Nakano (Nakano is just one stop from Shinjuku station with the JR line, or three stops if you don’t take the chuo rapid line). (Note that this store is NOT located in Akihabara and not pinned on the map above..). Mandarake Galaxy is located on the second floor inside Nakano Broadway, a mall that is just straight ahead after exiting the station.
This one wasn’t very big but they made use of their space by only displaying one of each game instead of triples (like in Super Potato). Their games were also really neatly displayed in a way that you could easily browse through them ^^ And it was very reasonably priced! :D This is how happy I was at the Mandarake Galaxy store in Nakano ^_^
They had a lot of gems and I bought loads of games here, including Gimmick! ^_^ They also had another cabinet inside where they had stuff that wasn’t for sale, just for show >-< Like the Sega Mega Drive Tetris!!
Next up is Trader in Akihabara, this is located just a bit further down the street from the two SEGA buildings.
Just like in the Mandarake Complex in Akihabara this store had all it’s cartridges and boxed games in plastic cases. This makes it kind of hard to browse through loose Famicom carts.. I bought a few games here though.
I found a boxed Altered Beast for Game Boy Advance, I regret not getting it since it was so cheap >_< 3500 Yen is approximately 34 USD…
They also had a bin filled with loose carts that all cost under 100 Yen! The cheapest I found was 19 Yen, which is less than 20 cents ^_^ There was no guarantee that they would work though. However, all the five games I found in the bin has worked perfectly ^_^
You could also get Neo Geo games here and other rarities. However they were not displayed, only by advertisements all over the walls. I guess you would have to go to a counter to order them.
Now the last shop my friends took me too was so cute! It was run by this old lady and her husband, and it was called FRIENDS ^__^
It was very small, but it was crammed with retro games! ^_^ And it was mostly very cheap :) It was really easy to browse through the Famicom carts, and they also had a bunch of bins filled with cheaper carts, around 100 Yen.
Apparently there was also a second floor, I didn’t have time to see it though. I was told they had Sega Saturn games and stuff like that upstairs.
I would recommend all of these shops for retro game collectors that visit Tokyo ^_^
And if you’re not into buying games, there are also loads of places to just play games! :D Here’s my post about the Arcades of Akihabara ^_^