Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Return to the Fukuoka Famicom Shops
I just got back from an overnight business trip to the place where this blog began: beautiful Fukuoka!
I was there for a couple of meetings on Tuesday, but Wedensday morning and early afternoon I had to myself and decided to drop by good old Mandarake to see how things have changed there since I left.
I would have loved to have been able to do a thorough revisit to all the Famicom shops I described in loving detail in numerous posts on here back when I lived in Fukuoka but it wasn`t possible to do so with the time I had. Sadly my favorite shop that I used to visit 3-4 times a week, Omocha Souko, went permanently out of business last year so the one place that more than any I wanted to see on my return could not be paid a visit.
Another issue was simply the fact that as a visitor to Fukuoka I did not have a bicycle, which was really instrumental in allowing me to visit all those awesome retro game shops, many of which were not easily accessible by public transport.
Anyway, I made sure that I would at least visit my favorite surviving Fukuoka Famicom shop on this visit and even booked a hotel (the Green Hotel if anyone is interested) that is literally next door to Mandarake.
Despite their no-photography policy I decided to take a few pics this time since even if they kicked me out its not like I visit there that often anymore.
A few copies of Thunderbirds and Tomato Princess in the Salad Kingdomthere:
Oh and what is that at the end of the aisle?
Get a little closer:
The glass case with all the good Famicom stuff in it!!
About half of this stuff I remembered from my last visit, loads of CIB games for the Famicom and Super Famicom. They have a CIB copy of that really rare silver Hot Scramble Z which they are selling for about 900 bucks.
Basically all that stuff was out of my price range, but I did pick up a few Famicom games. Mandarake generally has pretty good prices, at least at their Fukuoka branch, so I am always glad to walk out with a few new purchases. I picked up CIB copies of Binary Land and Highway Star, which will go nicely with my collection.
The only other Famicom-related place I got a chance to visit was a Book Off next to Hakata Station. I had actually profiled that one on here a couple of years ago in a post that consisted mainly of complaining about their outrageously high prices.
I was hoping they might have changed that problem and got a bit excited when I saw that they had moved the `old soft` section (which is where all pre-PS2 era games at Book Offs are kept, if they have any) and tidied it up a bit:
Unfortunately despite the facelift the prices were the same as usual. They even still had the exact same copy of Devil World priced at 1550 yen (about 2-3 times what its worth) that I had complained about in that post 2 years ago:
That will probably always be there!
Anyway, it was nice to go back to Fukuoka, I really do miss the place.