Retro Game Hunting in Japan – Hard-Off Hiratsuka, Shinomiya

I was up for an adventure today, so I decided to go all the way out to the little town of Hiratsuka, Shinomiya. It’s west of Tokyo and even west of Yokohoma, close to the town of Odawara. From the train station it was about a half hour walk to get to the store, but you could always take a bus if you’re not in the walking mood. It was nice out, a little hot, but I was ready for an adventure. I got off the train, checked the direction on google maps and went for a walk.

Money in the case!

Right off the bat when entering the store you get a money case with some Famicom Disk system games in it. Some of the covers were a bit faded, just check out those Zelda games on the top row and you’ll see what I’m talking about. The prices for these games are okay, cheaper than the ones at Super Potato but you have to make sure you get a good copy. Just take your time and really look over any of the games, compare the colors of like games if you can. You don’t have to make a purchase just because they have the game you want. Look at the bottom, another boxed copy of Rockman 5, so it seems like that’s one of the easier Famicom Rockman games you can find.

Some more money case goodness.

Another money case and another copy of Rockman 5! At least there’s a copy of 6 here as well, along with a loose copy of Rockman on the row above. These boxes were a little beat up so I wasn’t having any of it. I’d rather pay a little more for a nicer condition.

Super Famicom loose and boxed copies.

The Super Famicom section wasn’t the best. Then again, I’m really only looking for certain titles now. I have almost all of the base Super Famicom games that I wanted to have in my collection. Especially the really popular titles that you’ll find at every Hard-Off you go to. So I’m basically out there looking for those good finds, which may just be one or two games at a store. So no Super Famicom games for me today.

N64. Boxed Starfox on the bottom.

Check out the pic above and below this one to see the small Nintendo 64 collection on display. Not that many games to choose from, it’s a little disappointing how hard it is to find a lot of these games for sale. I did end up buying Yoshi’s Story, Diddy Kong Racing, and Kirby 64 from this store though. They were all complete in box copies and cost between 3 and 5 dollars. You can really get some good deals from these Hard-Off stores if you’re willing to look. I’m not at the point of getting loose carts just yet, but if I ever do, I will definitely hit up Hard-Off to stock up.

The boxed Nintendo 64 games.

Some of these boxed Nintendo 64 games are ridiculously cheap. The only issue is that you tend to find the same few titles at every Hard-Off you visit, so if you’re looking for a Mario, Zelda, or Wave Race game you’re all set.

Another money case!

The hits just keep coming at the money case in this store. Rockman 2 is going for around 100 USD, but I believe it’s missing the manual. A little rich for my blood especially with the condition it’s in. It’s nice to see so many money cases in this Hard-Off, usually you only get one, maybe 2 at a location.

The rare US version of a game showing up at a Hard-Off! NFL Quarterback Club for the Super Nintendo making an appearance. US games always sell for a lot of money in Japanese stores, so If you’re already coming from the States, don’t even think about buying Western version of games out here. Some loose Hue cards are also available if you’re into that.

I don’t own a PC Engine just yet, waiting for Analogue to release their version which I’m thinking of picking up. I would be interested in these copies of R-Type II and Gunhead though. I would not want loose copies of these Hue cards, I really don’t understand collecting those loose, if feels like a thing that should be in a case.

Mega Drive and another money case!

These Mega Drive sections are always so small! At least I was finally able to find a copy of Sonic which I picked up for about 10 USD. What a surprisingly rare console to shop for in Japan.

Boxed 3DO.

Here we have a boxed 3DO and some of the games they had for that system. I still think I probably should have picked up this console, I’m not even sure why I want it. I just think it would be so weird to finally own a 3DO. What would I even play? Way of the Warrior or Gex or something? I just find it fascinating to find these complete in box consoles laying around Japan.

A few of the 3DO games they had.
Another money case! Again!

I had to show of this final money case just because of the ridiculously priced Turtles in Time game. The box was a bit beat up, which seems to be more common at Hard-Off then it is in Akihabara.

This store was a bit middle of the road. They had a surprising amount of money cases for video games. Their console selection wasn’t the best, but I do want that boxed 3DO and I think I may go back down that way to pick it up if it’s still there. Are people actually looking for those to buy?

The main issue with this store for foreigners is the location. If you’re staying in the Tokyo region it is definitely not worth your time to take a train all the way out here just to have a look around. You’re better off sticking closer to the city and hitting up the many game stores there.

I have plenty more stores to visit though, so until next time!

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