Hardoffing: Urawa, Japan

6 01 2012

One of the great things about Japan is that old games come cheap… well, usually.  One of the best places to get used games, from current generation systems to the classics is called Hard Off.  I talked a little bit about them in my post here.

The Hard Off in Urawa, Japan, seems to have good days and bad days.  Some days I walk in and find magic, like a Playstation debugging unit, some days it’s just… meh.  Here’s a little look at the Hard Off in Urawa:


Welcome to Hard Off! Where you can get a copy of GTA4 that won't work in your Japanese 360 (it's European)!


I think it’s pretty cool that you’re greeted with a mix of newer and older games.  You can see the three Neo Geo cartridges there on the top.  World Heroes 2 Jet is way overpriced at Y2100 ($27).  There’s a so-so PC Engine game, Emerald Dragon, as well as an excellent PC Engine game Xanadu 2 (I bought that new when it came out for $65… guess I should have waited).  In the middle there is Panzer Dragoon Saga for the Sega Saturn, which is a little high at Y1680 ($22).  Below that are a mix of PC Engine, Mega CD, Dreamcast, and GameCube games.


If you need Final Fantasy of Dragon Quest, this is the place to go.


Here’s a look at their selection of Playstation 2 games.  They’re sorted by genre.  The PS2 was pretty RPG heavy, and you’ll find an abundance of Final Fantasy games everywhere you look.  They’ve priced all their PS2 Final Fantasy games at Y1680 ($22), regardless of title.  It’s not uncommon that a Hard Off will have a random price that they just stick on games… you’ll see a lot of games, both popular and unpopular, for the same exact price; but that price differs from store to store.  It’s like every store has one lazy guy who works there that eventually gets tired of looking at what the correct price should be for things and just canvases everything with a blanket price.  Sometimes that man works in my favor, other times… not so much.


Poor PS Vita... someone already gave you the boot.

Who doesn't want a Virtual Boy with things taped to it?


Here’s their systems isle.  It’s running a little low at the moment.  In the foreground you can see a Neo Geo CD complete with box, 3 games, and extra controller for Y8400 ($109).  Even with the extra stuff, that’s a little high.  The Virtal Boy price might seem off-putting, but it’s actually not that bad because it comes with four games, one of those being Mario Clash which easily sells for Y3500 ($45) by itself.  That makes the Y12,600 ($163) price tag a little easier to swallow, being that Virtual Boys usually go for around Y10,000 ($130) for the unit alone.  You can also see a boxed Family Basic set (that’s the programming cartridge and keyboard for the Famicom), Some Wiis, a 3DO, and a Mega Drive waaaaay down there at the end.

Now for the part you’ve all been waiting for.  Here is a video tour I filmed of the store, mostly focusing on their “junk” section.  That’s usually where you find the good stuff.  Making this taught me a very important lesson: never again will I film a Hardoffing video with my iPhone.  And yes, that means more episode of Hardoffing are to come.  It only get’s better from here, so stay tuned.



4 responses

6 01 2012
James Bacon

Awesome piece, Charlie. I love these “slice of life” editorials.

6 01 2012
Mark E

Hopefully the afformentioned lazy guy won’t mind you walking around the store with an HD video camera in hand… 😉

6 01 2012

Wait a mintute… Did I see Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Eye of the Beholder in that bin of Super Famicom games? Was that available here? I totally missed out on that.

6 01 2012

Yes, it was actually published by Capcom for the SNES.

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