By Jodie Langford / February 28th, 2013
Picture a Winter’s morning in Japan. You’ve decided to go to Nipponbashi with your friend, who has told you to bring your money as you’ll find everything you’ve ever wanted. At first I didn’t quite believe my friend, Nick, when he told me he managed to find everything on his wishlist the first time he went. I mean, at home, when we write a wishlist for video games we spend what could be years just finding those games; that’s not even considering how costly some titles would be, like Mother 1 + 2.
But on a Sunday in Winter, I too was able to find my heart’s desire in Nipponbashi, from original NES games to Xbox 360 games. It was just endless rows of Japanese games in all these stores. The shelves were fully stocked with games; rows upon rows on the shelves. The stores were packed with Japanese locals looking for new games, and foreigners looking for those games they just could never get their hands on at home. In short, it was a gamer’s paradise.
Nipponbashi is much like Akihabara; just the one street containing a lot of shops. The difference between Akihabara and Nipponbashi is that Akihabara is a much wider street and is more colourful because of the anime and manga stores that dominate it. Nipponbashi, on the other hand, is more electrical and gaming-based. But be careful, as a long entrance or plastic hanging from the entrance of a store means it is likely an 18+ store, if you get what I mean.
Both Akihabara and Nipponbashi attract cosplayers as well, but you’re more likely to see them in the warmer months as Winter gets too chilly for them. Both streets have maid cafes though, so don’t worry if you made the trip and think you’re missing out on the girls. Nipponbashi also has toy stores like KiddyLand that feature Pokémon figurines and puzzles on the first floor. But as you climb the levels of the store, they slowly change into model cars, ships and trains. Seriously, this store was not just made for the kids; anyone with a passion for model cars, ships and trains would have had a ball in here.
There were also a few anime and video game merchandise shops, where I was able to indulge in some Monster Hunter goodies. They even had Gundam mecha replicas for those enthusiastic fans out there! You’ll definitely find something you like or love in Nipponbashi. I’d say with confidence that you wouldn’t go home without seeing something you liked, if you didn’t already have it.
Head over to the next page to check out my loot!
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