Shosen Book Mart in Jimbocho
Pictured: Cards from the boardgame Warrior Knights by Fantasy Flight Games
It's a big bookstore building, on the main street from Ochanomizu
Station and Meiji University.
The second floor serves a good collection of board games and RPGs,
as well as TCGs. If you are confident with Japanese, you can also
look for games guide books in Japanese.
This shop covers lots of the games that YS in Shinjuku doesn't.
Along with those games is a good collection of picture books ;-)
--Yuji from a post at the JIGG Forum
Former JIGG President Mike Montesa ways in on Shosen Book Mart
These days, if you want a good selection, Shosen Bookmart in Jinbocho beats Yellow Sub hands down. The only reason I would go to YS is if it were close by. Prices are about the same but Shosen carries a *much* wider range of stuff.
I was there just last Thursday and saw several new items I don't expect Yellow Sub to ever get in. For example, they had Guardians of Order's "Game of Thrones" both the regular version and a copy of the special collectors edition. I'm not a D20 fan but if you are, their shelves are choked with D20 stuff, and you can find all the major publisher's releases, Stuff from Green Ronin and Malhavoc Press. They have "Warhammer FRP", "Call of Cthulhu", Eden's "Buffy" and "Angel" RPGs, FanPro, etc. They also have a load of Steve Jackson Games, White Wolf, Fantasy Flight, and things from the indie publishers even. They're got Ron Edward's "Sorcerer" and Luke Crane's "Burning Wheel".
There are plenty of boardgames too. My god, they even had the utterly amazing 3D Settlers of Catan set (for a whopping ¥67,000!) In the bargain bin, they've got some cool stuff as well - I saw a copy of Mutants & Masterminds in there for ¥900, some old R. Talsorian Cybergeneration stuff, Kult 2nd ed. and a truckload of D20 dross from ¥100 ~ ¥800 each.
Not to mention all the boardgames and old school wargames (SPI stuff, at true collector's prices - ouch). The only thing Shosen doesn't do in the way of games is minis (but the Games Workshop Tokyo store is just down the street from Shosen, if you absolutely must) and their selection of CCGs is limited to the Japanese versions of the popular games - I think (Magic, etc. - I don't really pay attention to these).
Strange thing is, Shosen is a bookstore, not a dedicated gamestore, yet whoever does their buying seems pretty clued in. I've been going there for almost 15 years and they've never let up on their stock of imported games. They always seem to get the new releases out on the shelves pretty quick.
To get there, take the Sobu or Chuo line to Ochanomizu and go out the exit for Meiji University. Just walk down the hill, all the way until you reach a huge intersection and you'll see Shosen across the street. Games are on the 2nd floor, in the back next to all the softcore porn photo books (Shosen has always known just what kind customers gamers are.
by Mike Montesa
How to Get to Shosen Book Mart
From the TOZAI-SHINJUKU Subway Line, get off at the JIMBOCHO STATION and take exit A7. When you step outside, turn walk 2 meters past the vending machines, turn
right,walk 4 meters and turn right again. You are now on YASUKUNI DORI
aka "Booksellers Street". Follow the main road for 3 to 5 minutes (how
fast do YOU walk?) and you'll pass many small bookstores and one large
one (SANSEIDO BOOKSTORE). The SHOSEN BOOKMART just after it on the
right hand side (across from VICTORIA SPORTING GOODS and VICTORIA GOLF).
> Floor 2, near the girly calendars.