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Visiting Japan: Games to Buy, Places to Visit?

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What else are you doing while in Japan?

--- Quote from: M.K.Ultra on February 23, 2023, 11:21:37 AM ---So DS is region free but 3DS is not. Can I play a Japanese DS cart in my US 3DS?
--- End quote ---
Yes, DS games from any region can be played on a 3DS from any region.

I visited Japan for about ten days in May. I flew into Tokyo and stayed in Akihabara for 5 days. Specifically I was staying at the JR-East Hotel Mets Akihabara, which is right next to the train station. This is a great hotel with full size beds and bathrooms and quite affordable. It is also right in the middle of Akihabara. Looking outside the window you can see the Namco arcade.

I visited the Namco, Taito, and GiGo (formerly Sega) arcades.

They are really worth a visit and while there is not that much selection, the games featured are different than what I see at a local arcade in the US. There is usually a floor of claw machines (UFO catchers). Sometimes a floor of Gachapon machines (toy capsules). Then, what seems to be the most popular in Japan, a few floors of rhythm/music games. These include DDR-like machines,

Rock-Band style cabinets (with attached peripherals),

and then button/touch screen rhythm games. My favorite was a keyboard style game that tracked your hands movement in the air above the keyboard making for some really cool gameplay.

The top floor would often be retro games with older arcade cabinets. There are also places that have floors of pachinko and slots and the whole Akihabara strip reminded me of a Vegas from a parallel universe where everybody is polite and everything is clean.
Seriously, the biggest shock in going to Japan and seeing that large crowds of people doesn't have to mean people are loud, rude, and messy. Apparently that is just how Americans are. I would be in a super crowded train or street and it would be dead silent, nobody would bump into me, and there is not a single piece of trash to be seen.

I also did a decent amount of browsing used game stores. I visited the famous Super Potato store (as recommended by BeautifulShy), which has such a great collection that it is almost a video game museum.

 I also recommend Hard Off and Trader (my favorite). Now, you might be like me and avoid used games because they are not in good shape, but in Japan, people actually take care of their belongings, so used games look brand new. The games I posted pictures of in the "last gaming purchase" thread were all used. Almost every game is CIB, even Super Famicom games and older titles. In fact, the DS and Vita games that were cartridge only were so depreciated, they were dispensed in a capsule machine!

The toy capsule machines are so popular you will find them all over the place in Tokyo, even outside the game centers.

I also visited the Nintendo Tokyo store in Shibuya, which was really nice and is right next to the Pokemon and Capcom stores. The Capcom store did not have that great of a selection so it was a little disappointing. The Pokemon store had hundreds of plushies for all the different Pokemon. 

If anybody ends up going to Tokyo Disneyland, they have a really neat Penny Arcade with a bunch of antique mechanical arcade games.

After five days in Tokyo, I went to Kyoto for another five days. There I spent more time out in nature at parks and shrines. Finding shrines all over does resonate after playing the newer Zelda titles. From Kyoto it is a short train ride to Osaka where I went to Universal Studios Japan. You still need a special timed entry pass to enter Super Nintendo World, but I managed to get them the day of, using the USJ app. It is super crowded inside but really worth it.

The place is so well decorated that just walking around is an attraction in itself. I did not get the express passes for the Nintendo rides (they sell out months ahead of time) and the wait times ar upwards of two hours (which is all the time you get with the timed entry pass), so I just rode the Yoshi ride, but it offers a great tour of the Nintendo area. I am hoping to ride the Mario Kart ride when I visit the park in California.

Again, the merch stores are awesome and it is easy to spend way too much money, but a great place to get gifts for others. I tried to focus on the video game aspect of the trip, but if you want to know anything else about visiting just ask.


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