Help Sonic tour in Japan (tips)

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by karlafalves, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. karlafalves

    karlafalves

    Gaia Gate Guard Member
    11
    2
    3
    Brazil
    Hey, buddies!
    I'm going to Japan later this year and, since it'll be my first time there, obviously I want to visit some Sonic-related places in the country.
    Do people who live or have visited there know the must-see locations I should go? I read something about a SEGA Joypolis in Tokyo.
    By now, my travel plan includes Tokyo (of course), Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto.
     
  2. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

    I like Sonic Advance Member
    806
    46
    28
    France
    Learning how to draw, studying Japanese
    I didn't get the chance to visit joypolis when I was in Japan, but that's surely your best bet. I can't think of another place you'll be able to find Sonic stuff easily.

    As for Tokyo...
    I found literally 0 Sonic related things in Akiba. None whatsoever. So, you probably shouldn't bother searching for Sonic stuff here, despite its reputation as a pop culture heaven.
    All the Sonic stuff I found was always with the western merchandises (MLP, Adventure time, ect.)...people aren't kidding when they say Sonic isn't popular in Japan. Japanese people themselves don't seem to think he's Japanese, apparently.
     
  3. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  4. trakker

    trakker

    The guy that's been warned! Member
    1,909
    1
    18
    I haven't been to tokyo, but i have looked around various research, and it kinda seems that the only Sonic's you are likely to find are literally surprise Sonics, you'll just be walking around and BAM, there is a random Sonic statue outside or inside a store, or BAM, maybe a Sonic gatcha machine, or some merch in a claw machine.
     
  5. Aesculapius Piranha

    Aesculapius Piranha

    つづく Oldbie
    4,203
    12
    18
    Unknown
    Diva
    Sega arcades are pretty common on Tokyo. I know Sega HQ moved offices not too long ago from Tokyo so no clue on how accessible that would be, and as others have said Joyopolis. Definitely do Joyopolis.
     
  6. SpeedStarTMQ

    SpeedStarTMQ

    Here for The Hedgehog. Member
    2,343
    18
    18
    UK
    I’d love to visit Japan and go on the search for cool SEGA stuff. It really does seem like Sonic’s not a thing in Japan, but still they seem to get all of the coolest stuff. The MegaDrive wasn’t even their most popular 16-BIT console and yet they still got all the awesome accessories for the MegaDrive Mini.

    Japan’s got a strange market for niche stuff and I’m not sure how these companies make one-off products for the market and manage to make a profit without extending internationally.
     
  7. Sir_mihael

    Sir_mihael

    DON'T TRUST THIS MAN Member
    See, whilst I agree about the merch side of things (I found a Classic Sonic keychain in a pre-owned store and that was it!), I found that Sonic still had a good deal of presence in the SEGA Arcade in Akiba, as well as the SEGA cafe - In fact at the time I was there they were doing a big SEGA x Love Live crossover using Sonic and Rin which got a figure and various tie-in artworks and bits and pieces.

    Also the SEGA FES event in 2018 and 2019 which was being advertised in train stations and all around Akiba using Sonic for the logo and promotional posters and also gave away unique Sonic merch as seen in the vid.

    UPDATE EDIT: Looks like some people are better at Sonic Merch hunting than I am. Here's a bunch of stuff found in Summer 2019, including things from the FES event.


    So yes, whilst Sonic isn't as big in Japan - he is still certainly there and given respect for his role as a SEGA mascot. I just think a lot of western fans act like Japan completely dismisses the character purely for not having the same level of impact as Mario over there, but this isn't true. He's just one of many cool characters over there who sadly gets second priority amongst Game/Anime fans for not being part of an Isekai Light Novel or Idol Group/Gacha Game right now :V

    Although this might be an obvious one, check out the retro game stores - especially the favourite Super Potato - in Tokyo and Osaka. Both of which had a big collection of the Japanese Sonic titles for sale. I was able to pick up the JP Game Gear releases for not too much yen at the time. Not sure what the exchange rate is now though...

    Osaka (around Shinsaibashi and Minamibashi) also has a lot more hidden game stores that western tourists tend not to know about compared to Akiba, so well worth a trip anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  8. Vangar

    Vangar

    Member
    Not sonic related, but if you're visiting Sega arcades (Game Centers) in Japan make sure to try out games like Maimai and Chunithm, etc. A lot of the music arcade machines are only available in japan as they run an online-only service.
     
  9. karlafalves

    karlafalves

    Gaia Gate Guard Member
    11
    2
    3
    Brazil
    Hey guys, nice tips and discussion. That's really sad to know that Sonic's not big in Japan as I thought it would be. So, for now, Joypolis is the best place to be!
     
  10. Neo Geo MVS

    Neo Geo MVS

    Giga Power Pro-Gear Spec Oldbie
    30
    10
    8
    Yes, and another good place to look is Book Off. Despite the name, they have plenty of games and music CDs there as well, so it is likely that some Sonic stuff will be there.
     
  11. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

    I like Sonic Advance Member
    806
    46
    28
    France
    Learning how to draw, studying Japanese
    That's funny, I don't remember seeing any of these things. Sega definitely had a huge presence in Akiba, but it mainly amounted to anime stuff- all the Sega arcades machines I found there only had stuff from love live or some random vocaloid. I also found one with nintendo plushies in it(not making that up lol)

    The Sega FES event is one I wish I attended. Hope they keep doing these, cause I might be coming back next year.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  12. Gryson

    Gryson

    Member
    75
    5
    8
    Sonic (and sadly, even Sega these days) is declining in recognizability in Japan. That said, I think you have a better chance of stumbling across random Sonic merchandise in Japan than anywhere else in the world.

    And yes, you'll find a bunch of Sonic stuff in the store at Joypolis: https://tokyo-joypolis.com/shop/jpstore.html

    I know you weren't specifically asking about merchandise, but the official Sonic merchandise site can give you a sense of what you might stumble across (most of this is only sold online, but boutique shops might have some).

    Sega HQ just moved last year to a new location, and the old site in Ootorii (near Haneda airport) is already demolished. So that doesn't make for a very good pilgrimage.

    Be warned that Kyoto has become tourist hell in the past few years - the number of tourists has risen like crazy, especially from China. The city is in crisis mode. This article is an informative read.

    A lot of the retro places in Akihabara seem to be catering mostly to foreign tourists now. Prices can be a bit crazy. But it's still fun to browse.

    Osaka's Den Den Town (Nipponbashi) has some good stores and is worth visiting.

    My favorite shop is Mandarake, which has the most amazing collection of retro toys, games, manga, magazines, music, and other collectibles. I've only been to the one in Osaka (Grand Chaos). Definitely worth visiting if that's your thing.
     
  13. TheInvisibleSun

    TheInvisibleSun

    OVER THE TOP TECHNO-BLAST Member
    1,479
    15
    18
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    Sonic 1 Color Contrast
    The Mandrake in Nakano, Tokyo was awesome as well. There was some Sonic stuff, but not a huge amount. I did manage to get a boxed Sonic 2 for a reasonable price (although I can't play it at home without modding my console, which I don't want to do). They had a really good deal for old manga when I was there too, if you're into that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  14. karlafalves

    karlafalves

    Gaia Gate Guard Member
    11
    2
    3
    Brazil
    So, gathering all the tips, the best shots are Sega Joypolis, the famous Sonic Statue (that would be difficult, but I'll try) and Sega Arcade Games Center.

    I'm really not looking that much for merchandise, I'm not a collector type of fan, but thanks anyway for the merchan stores tips, I'll go have a look for sure (maybe I change my mind, once I'm there ahah).

    One question: what/where is Akiba? I googled it and it returned "Akihabara" to me. Is it the same thing?

    Would a visit to one of SEGA offices be worth? https://www.sega.co.jp/english/about/address/ Afterall, I grew up in the 90s, so all my childhood was spent playing SEGA games (can't wait for Streets of Rage 4).
     
  15. Nova

    Nova

    オ カ エ リ ナ サ λ Site Staff
    That is correct. :)
     
  16. camcommunicates

    camcommunicates

    Member
    20
    7
    3
    I went a few years ago and did some SEGA related things. Joypolis is a good day out. I spent about 6 hours there which felt like enough. They have exclusive merchandise and arcade games, and you can get a chilli dog for lunch. The Sonic treadmill game was fun.

    Other than that it is kind of random. You will most likely find SEGA arcades by accident, at least I did. I definitely would recommend going to a few, I played a few games I never thought I would get the chance to play in an Arcade. Even just to watch the general public play is great. I’ll never forget the Japanese lad who bashed the screen after losing at Puyo Puyo with a cigarette in his mouth.
     
  17. SuperSnoopy

    SuperSnoopy

    I like Sonic Advance Member
    806
    46
    28
    France
    Learning how to draw, studying Japanese
    To be fair, the AI in Puyo can pull off some disgusting shit sometimes.
    Also, they have Puyo arcades? I know that's how the series started, but I didn't know they kept making them.
     
  18. camcommunicates

    camcommunicates

    Member
    20
    7
    3
    I think it was Puyo Puyo 2. One of the SEGA arcades I went to had a floor with older machines, mainly 90s Capcom and SEGA games. It was worth visiting for that floor alone.

    Although I did play a modern Puyo Puyo game that was touch screen based, but I can’t remember the name of it.
     
  19. Gryson

    Gryson

    Member
    75
    5
    8
    Probably don't visit their business offices - they don't offer tours and you don't want to be one of those crazy foreigners on Youtube that tries to raid the Nintendo HQ and gets security called on them.

    Sega just opened a new game center in Akihabara in July last year called "Akihabara Go-Gou-Kan" (Akihabara No. 5) that has a collection of retro Sega arcade games on one of the upper floors. That's probably worth seeing since you won't find many game centers in Japan with original Hang On and Space Harrier cabs and such. That's also the location that sells those taiyaki sweets shaped like the Sega logo that you can see all over Twitter now.
     
  20. RyogaMasaki

    RyogaMasaki

    0xffffffff Oldbie
    Sega was never super popular over here outside of game centers. Nintendo is king in Japan.

    edit: I suppose I should give some actual advice:
    - The most Sonic you're going to see is in used games shops and in some advertising related things at Sega game centers. Like I said, it's just not popular here.
    - Akihabara is a super overpriced tourist trap. If you want to do shopping for older used stuff in particular, go to the far more interesting Nakano Broadway building on the other side of the city, though even that's becoming overrun with tourists now too. If you're going to Osaka, definitely check out Nippombashi aka Den Den Town, as it still has some of that back-alley charm Akiba used to have.
    - In fact, everything is overpriced if you stay in the comfy "we have English menu!!" tourist areas. If you're ever outside of the Big Three (Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto), try to find a Book Off/Hard Off/House Off for some interesting shopping.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020