Erik and I (Joey) just got back from our trip to Osaka, Japan. We spent a week eating, drinking and playing around in all that the Kansai region of Japan had to offer. In fact, we're currently sitting on a plane bound for New York in what's amounting to nearly a full day's worth of travel. As such, it's time to reflect on one of the sweet spots during the trip.
We went into Den Den Town, a small district in Osaka that's home to everything nerdy that you'd typically associate with the Japanese Otaku culture. There were tech shops, game shops, anime shops, manga shops, model shops, maid cafes and some of the most epically filthy, publicly viewable hentai we've seen. Japan doesn't run rampant with the stuff; however, if you know where to find it you won't walk away… disappointed?
Regardless, in between our trips to seedy manga shops and awesome tech stores, we found a little video game shop. Old, small, tube TVs lined the small windows looking out onto the main drag of Den Den Town. On them were some of the most awesome NES games we could remember playing. Mario, Ninja Gaiden, Tetris, etc. So, of course, we walked in.
What we found was a small shop absolutely brimming with classic gaming goodness. Everything from the old standards of the NES, the Genesis, the Super Famicom (Japan's SNES), the N64, PlayStation, PS2, Dreamcast and Saturn. We found staples that we remember fondly, games we absolutely despise and titles we've never even heard of. We could have walked away with a Super Famicom system and a stack of games for less than $40. We didn't because, well, we're dumb. We blamed the packing space needed to get the crap home, but we regret the decision entirely.
The whole shop was a playable tomb for the ages of home console gaming. It was incredible. And, aside from the tons and tons of software that lined the shelves and walls, the shop had gameplay trailers looping constantly on the old TVs mounted just below the ceiling. Surrounding those was an amazing collection of old school gaming goodies like Mario statues, Metal Gear action figures, Sonic plashes and replica Zelda swords.
Simply put, this shop was badass.