Store closings

After coming back to Japan from the states in late July, one of my first outings was to my local Takarajima. I had only in about the last eight months realized that they had such a huge stock of used games from famicom forward, and had been enjoying spending too much time looking through shelves for oddball stuff. In early June before I had left for vacation there was a ‘all stuff half off’ sale and they had extra un sorted boxes of stuff just laying around. I thought maybe another location had merged with this one.

On my return I found the whole half of the store that used to have old games totally empty, and I asked the clerks what was up. This and all other Takarajima were getting out of retro games. I called around to see if there were any that hadn’t already finished clearing out, to no avail.

The volume of stuff was just huge. My imagination has run wild thinking of where it ended up, or if they ended up just going down to 99% off and shuffled into peoples possession. It being a traditional Japanese company, nearly no official info is online. It’s a real shame, because the browsing experience is lost. Hard off seems to be the only chain selling anything pre-DS at this point (in the Nagoya area aside from downtown).

I’ve since taken it upon myself to go to any hardoff I can to browse. Japan doesn’t really have the boutique used game store culture that is arising in the states, so I feel like this ability to browse is just on a timer. There is something nice about an unsorted shelf to just get a sense of what is around, what was printed a lot / very little. Encountering something unknown is a big part of what I enjoy in the hobby (just found hatena satena randomly having never heard of it and also having gotten deep into picross recently - it’s wild and has great stage making tools).

Anyone have experience tracking stocks of places after they shutter? Or any other stories of store closings you’d like to share?

There was this building near JR Kanda station in Tokyo that got torn down circa 2017. It boasted to be hosting “Japan’s first 3D adult video booths”. I love the big [color=#FF2222]3D[/color] and the proud and jumpy little [color=#FF2222]日本初[/color] next to it.

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By some fortuitous coincidence, the tone of the daylight, every single person on the picture and even the truck and vending machines might be mistaken at first glance for a late 70s / early 80s composition but I took this photo around 2015 or 2016, thinking (rightfully) this might be the first and last time I’d see this building.

I tipped a professional photographer friend to get more from the building but unfortunately, by then (late 2017 if I recall correctly), it was already gone.