The Tokyo branch is located in Akihabara, the district of the city known as "Electric Town" because of all the game shops and electronics stores. Mark and I were just talking about how we wished we could've seen Akihabara 20 or more years ago during the height of the video game craze.
|This way to old video games, please!|
Inside, the multi-floor, geeky-tourist destination holds all the old video games, systems, and books an otaku could want, including Famicom, Game & Watch, Super Famicom, Mega Drive, PC Engine, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Saturn, and lots lots more. It's pretty overwhelming, especially if you aren't exactly sure what you're looking for and extra-especially if you aren't familiar with the Japanese name for the game you want to find. Most everything is spined at the shop, so you can only see the games title on the side.
The Super Potato in Akihabara lets customers take pictures in the shop, so I definitely did just that as Mark spent his time looking through the games. There were a lot of foreigners in the store; like I said, this is definitely a tourist destination. The store is awesome to visit, that's for sure - but it isn't the end all, be all of retro gaming shops. (Other shops we liked were Mandarake, Trader, and a few mom & pop shops that Mark researched before we left.)
|Rainy day when we visited Super Potato.|
|The Club Sega you'll see when you leave the station.|
Ready to see what's inside?
Good, because I have a million pictures.
Arino! The first thing I saw when we went into the first floor was the Game Center CX display! There was a TV playing episodes of the show and featured games that he played in the episodes. Awesome.
I know this is a not so great photo, but I loved it. It's the character selection screen for Super Smash Bros, but with the Super Potato mascot edited in. Being in Super Potato is like being in your friend's basement; completely decked out with video game memorabilia, posters, and art. But, 100x cooler. There are TVs all over playing the start screen eye catchers of video games, retro game music in all corners, and a lot of playable demos. (I was happy to play the first levels of the NES version of Mario in Japan.)
But the best part was all the original art on the displays. The drawings were so cute and so awesome and so unlike anything you'd see in the chain stores of the US. I wish I could draw like that!
|I think I took this so Mark would remember to go back and find it next time he went.|
|Some drool on your strawberries?|
|Oh, I know you!|
|Look at all those strategy guides! There were art books, too.|
|How awesome, right? I think this is showing how they test and clean games before they sell them.|
|I LOVE THESE CATS. What are they saying? Someone please tell me.|
|This cat is even better!|
|These slimes kill me. Look at that big blue one.|
An example of the mini posters hanging from the ceiling. Nice and classy, not just leftover promo posters for boring video game releases. Also, I love Bubble Bobble.
There is a rating scale for the used games, but Mark wasn't as big of a fan of their system as he was of other stores. Other used game shops had an actual letter grade for the quality of the cart/box/other inserts, but the Super Potato rating scale is only shown through price differences alone. Sometimes there is a sticker saying if there is something wrong or missing, but it isn't as detailed as other stores.
Although it is a magnet for gaijin (myself included), I did see plenty of native shoppers with baskets full of multi-colored carts and video game related trinkets.
|Sneaky picture pointing to the front counter. You can see a working hunching over!|
|I love the stairs, but so steep. Yikes!!|
Can you tell how much I really loved all the drawings? Even that little picture on the Super Famicom tags.. what a cute detail that makes everything fun to look at.
|Dreamcast is the coolest.|
After a while, we were were finally done browsing. It was still early in the trip and Mark had gotten some idea of what he wanted to pick up (or do some price-comparing!) before we went back home. We had successfully warmed up from the rainy weather, but we headed back out in the wet gloom to figure out what was for supper!
|Mark buying a ticket back to Shinjuku at the Akihabara Station.|
So what did you think? I definitely recommend going to Super Potato once, twice or more if you are visiting Japan. Akihabara has plenty to look at, and if you walk past this shop, I'd definitely pop in to walk through the three floors.