I’m often asked of where in Japan would I go to buy import Japanese video games for a good price.
While you can find many places that sell video games new and used all over Japan (such as the plethora of BookOff Stores), in Tokyo, my favorite are the Trader Stores in Akihabara. While Trader 1 store is in Shinjuku, the Trader 2, Trader 3 and Trader 4 stores are located in Akihabara.
And the reason why I like visiting each of the trader stores are because if you can’t find one game at that store, more than likely the game can be found at the other. And for some reason, prices differ depending on the stores you visit. And last, what may not be there one day, visiting the next and you’ll find those games in stock.
I happen to use video games to help me advance my reading and comprehension of Japanese and each time I go there, I find limited edition box sets to hard-to-find games sold for a great price at the location.
The locations also specialize in Blu-ray or DVD sales as well.
And they also take American credit cards, which makes it all worth it.
As for the differences between the three Akihabara stores, store 1 in Kotokuda has six floors and features all video games including retro games, overseas games, figures and Blu-ray and DVD’s. Store 2 in Sotokanda has three floors but does not sell figures or retro games. Store 3 is where many of the used games, Blu-ray and DVD’s, trading cards, idol photo cards can be found. Trader 4 in Shinjuku features four floors and specializes in video games, Blu-ray and DVD’s but also gravure videos.
But of the three stores in Akihabara, I recommend visiting Trader Store 3 (next door to the Taito Station Akihabara building) and then working yourself to Trader Store 1 right after, just one street over, across the street (they are probably 50 yards from each other, so they are close). Trader 2 is south and I usually make my way there last before heading back to Akihabara Station.
It’s important to note that if you are looking for super old school games, you will also want to check out Super Potato in Akihabara, in addition to Trader Store 1, but if you are looking for games that were released within the last 15 years, definitely give the Trader stores in Akihabara a chance!