So this year I decided to go back to Japan for two weeks over Christmas and New Year. I picked this time cause it’s probably the only time I can truly avoid my work and super conviently, the Japanese are not so big on Christmas so EVERYTHING is open. Christmas Day is a regular working Monday and I spent it hitting 4 different Hard Off stores.
For this trip I am not looking for any big ticket items. After my luggage debarcle last time where I overloaded both of my bags (I had already bought a second check in bag) I decided to bring some luggage scales this time and after 2 days my secondbag is already at 17kg. I don’t really wanna drop thousands of yen on some expensive items, this time I am looking for smaller things, stuff to to add to my coldcgio. I no longer need to buy 6 PlayStation’s because they only cost 80c 😀
Tomorrow I’ll write about my Hard Off visiting strategy but for now, here are the highlights from my first two days of scouring those glorious blue stores.
1. Spice Orange Gamecube with matching Game Boy Player
I have wanted one of these for a long time and when I saw a unit and Game Boy Player for 2000¥ (16€), I jumped at it. I already have a Spice Orange Game Boy Player but the more the merrier. I still need to find a Spice Orange controller which has a decent stick though
2. Another Spice Orange Gamecube
Cause why not. It was in the junk section and cost only 500¥ (4,5€). I haven’t had a chance to test it yet but I realised later it is actually a DOL-101 model which was a later revision which lacked the digital output port.
And if all that wasn’t enough for me to drop a fat 500yen, I opened the disc tray and found this inside…
Oh shit! An original Japanese copy of Super Smash Bros Melee, one of my favourite games and worth about 2000yen boxed on its own. Score!
3. Three Dreamcast Keyboards
I have wanted one for a while and I found the top 2 for 100¥ (80c) each so why not grab both! Plus the next day I found the other varient also for 100¥ so it’s keyboard time baby!
4. A Sony PSP
This was 1000¥ (7,5€) from the junk section because the analogue stick is broken off but it still works just fine (the stick and the unit). I bought a 4gb Sony memory stick for 500¥ and it’s a portable which is very easy to hack and load emulators on. Seems the WiFi switch is a bit borked and the machine refuses to make a connection but I think I can do everything I need by connecting it via USB.
5. Original Famicom in weirdly good condition
In Hard Off stores they always have baskets of new arrivals which they haven’t put out yet but you are free to rummage through and I found this. No idea yet if it works but for 500¥ (4,5€), it’s worth it for the casing alone. These things are the Japanese version of our Western original Nintendo NES and they are so old now most have yellowed plastic and even those go for a decent amount. So no idea why a pristine Famicom, along with that little red cover for the front port was only 500¥. The retro gods were throwing me an early win.
6. Clear-Purple Game Boy Pocket
Only 300¥ (2,6€), the screen looks burnt but I have a decent chance of finding a replacement screen and even better, I later found a matching Game Boy Camera for another 300¥
7. Sega Saturn Modem
Did you know the Saturn had a modem? So did the Dreamcast and the Gamecube too! This modem doesn’t absolutely nothing these days, there are no servers left to dial-in to but I have a weird love of this old Sega machine. Cost: 100¥ (80c).
8. Memory Expansion for the Nintendo DS
With this cart you upgrade the RAM of the unit I think. However, if a cart is already in the unit, how can you play something? Answer? I don’t know but for 300¥ I’ll take the punt.
9. Pilot wings 64 and Warioware: Smooth Moves, Complete in Box
I already own the carts of both of these and they are not rare but both of these are in perfect boxes and I couldn’t resist their gorgeous artwork. Also Smooth Moves was called “Made in Wario” in Japan.
First two day hauls are done. I’ll have some days off before I go on another Hard Off mission again, today was 12 hours and 13km of walking but that’s also kinda why I do this, cause I get to adventure around the Japanese countryside seeing what’s up and going wherever I decide next, because I know Google Maps always has my back and can find my way home.
I’m suffering jetlag and I have slept about 6 hours in the last 48 hours so I’ll go rest up eh?
If you wanna know what’s the vibe, here is my Instagram video for today