Winter Holiday in Japan: Game, Toy, Anime Edition

I was in Japan for two weeks and I just returned last night. I didn’t do much gaming there because I placed more importance on other activities. I did take a lot of pictures and bought a bunch of stuff, though.

This is one of many used goods shops (recycle shops) I visited. The majority of items in these shops are in good condition, even the games. Most of the games, especially for the past two generations, come with boxes and manuals in good condition. This particular shop sells used toys, …:





Used/vintage games, …:




As well as many other second-hand items, such as CDs, records, clothing, and random assorted sundries.

I spent some time wandering Akihabara in Tokyo, looking at/for toys and games. Akihabara is one of the major places to go in Tokyo if you are looking for anime, toys, and games (new and vintage). Here are a couple of pictures:





I also went to Shibuya, also in Tokyo. If you’ve played The World Ends With You, this sight may be familiar:



A Final Fantasy: Dissidia advert at the Shibuya train/metro station:



Konami, known for the Metal Gear Solid, Castlevania, and Silent Hill series of games, also runs a chain of gyms in Japan:



The following was taken in Den Den Town in Osaka. Den Den Town is a section of Osaka where many game, anime, and toy shops are located, kind of like what Akihabara is to Tokyo.



If you’ve played Mirror’s Edge, the next few pictures may be of interest. The Mirror’s Edge developers have stated that the nameless city in the game is not modeled after any one particular city, however during my travels in Japan, many urban spaces reminded me so much of the architecture within the game







One of the interesting things about the Japanese games market is how varied the player base is, and consequently the types of games released. This is particularly true for the DS, but the PSP is also marketed as a portable console for all gamers, including women. For example, I found marketing advertising targeted specifically to women, in which the PSP was presented as a friendly and stylish product. On the subway, there were many types of people playing portable consoles. I saw more women playing PSPs in Japan than I think would be the case in the West. Judging by what is played on the subway, the PSP is performing well in Japan. For the DS, you can find games for (left to right) training/exercising your face (it comes with a camera so you can see your face on the DS screen), selecting wines for all types of meals (there is also a bartending/mixed drinks DS game in the same series, both published by EA), and practicing your kanji brush strokes (complete with a ‘brush’ stylus!):




I’m a huge Studio Ghibli film fan, and one of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Ghibli Museum:



This is a sampling of the goodies I came home with after the trip (there are other purchases I haven’t shown such as my modest haul of J-music CDs and yet more Animal Crossing plushies). Click through to the Flickr page for notes about the picture:


The most expensive piece was a boxed, Limited Edition Mother 3 GameBoy Advance Micro:




I haven’t played Mother or Earthbound, but my partner is a huge fan, and I have always wanted a GBA Micro, so it all works out. I just have to be extra super careful when I use the Micro.

So there you have it, a pictorial review of the gamer/anime/toy aspects of my holiday. All my pictures from my holiday in Japan are located here.

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