Who hasn`t had nightmares about GW`s dreaded Orcs? Great Guitar Lessons: March 2007

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Gamers` Market every March or April in Asakusa, Tokyo

It seems like it'll be the next March or April... It's regularly so.
You'll be surprised to see the whole collections from the antique simlations
from Avalon Hills to some brand new ones both from the largest makers
and some Komike Otaku fellows. I was really surprised to see Gundam Seed
RPG and Saint Seiya Card Game created by those fellows.


You may also be surprised by how the prices may rise in some auctions
of games, such as Gamers' Market. It takes place once a year in
Asakusa,and you see quite a good collection of the kinds of rare games
(from the points of view of Japanese gamers), which may be dealt with for 20,000
or 30,000 Japanese Yen!!!

I think some Japanese gamers, especially collectors, treat those games
as antiques. Maybe we should ask games production companies to be
long-lasting in their products.
Yuji --originally posted at the JIGG Forum


Hobby Shops in Tokyo

Hobby Shops in Tokyo

The area between the three stations of Ochanomizu, Akihabara,
and Kanda, is worthwhile to look into some manga, used books (even
in English), CDs of all genre (of course, especially rock'n roll),
musical instruments (especially guitars), games, etc.



For modeling kits and miniatures as well as the Yellow Submarine Game Shops and the like you would probably be best off wandering around Akihabara.

Akihabara is on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo. This is the circle line that runs from
Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station. Take your time, wander around. You can literally
spend a day here going through the shops. Some have floor after floor of miniatures
like the ones you would find on Pepsi bottle caps. There are model shops as well
as computer software and game shops. There are many video game shops too, not to
mention shops selling electronic equipment.


The Games Workshop Store in Tokyo

The Games Workshop Store in Jimbocho

Note: It is closed every Thursday.

Games Workshop has a store in Jimbocho not far from Shosen Book Mart here is a link
to find them:


"...the store is in JImbocho station and you will find it
easily using the underground exit A5."

--ciao Giovanni Posted at the JIGG Forum

It is a small shop when compared to GW stores in North America. However it is a nice little shop with a gaming space upstairs. You must use GW games and miniatures.
The staff is knowledgable and helpful.


Orion Miniatures in Jimbocho, Tokyo

"By the way, has anybody checked out the shop at 8F of the big Sansheidan (sp
??) bookstore just before Shosen bookstore in Jimbocho? It's called Orion
miniatures and sells ... miniatures (indeed). They have a very nice
collection of home-made dioramas, of excellent quality. In addition they
have lots of bits and pieces of real word war II equipment: tank tracks and
wheels, the top end of the gun (is there a word for that?) of a King Tiger
and a Panzer IV. The piece de resistance, for me, was an almost intact MG42
(or maybe MG34) machine gun. It is fed by an ammunition belt and I had to
resist squeezing the tigger :). Of course, the fire mechanism has (probably)
been disabled, but it's not behind glass or so. Very atmospheric detour
after buying Combat Commander...."

How to get there:
Exit Hanzomon Jimbocho station and walk to Shosen bookstore. Just before you
enter the store, you have to cross a side road. Just before this side road,
there are one or two bookstores to your right, one quite large. I think it
is called San sheidan or something. Orion miniatures are on the eight floor.

--Nick posted at the JIGG Forum


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.


Monday, March 26, 2007

Warhammer 40k International Tournament

Pictured: The Orcs of Warhammer Fantasy, the table top wargame

Games Workshop Japan is pleased to announce the start of the 2nd Warhammer 40K International Tournament on the 15th of April.
This event will be held in English, French, Italian, Japanese etc. and you will be able to use all officially published codex.
It will be a 1000 points tournament open to everyone, please check for further details on our web site http://jp.games-workshop.com/community/battlearena/events.htm

Or call our office 03-3296-2722 asking for the International Tournament.
There are only a few places available, so do not hesitate.
For registration please e mail to: il.crea@libero.it

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

You Need your Hobbies in Japan!

Pictured: The boardgame Lunar Rails, distributed by Mayfair Games

by Kevin Burns

You have left your home and your family. You have no friends. Your apartment closes in on you and the cockroaches are huge, black, and they fly; your boss is a jerk who cuts up goldfish to feed to his piranhas. You need to get your mind off things. You need a hobby!

Some of the greatest people I have ever met in Japan have been the friends I have made through playing games. I enjoy historical simulation games, usually called wargames. These are games about history or military history, that are played on a board or a table.

Before you run away from your computer sceaming war monger! Let me just say that most of the wargame players or "wargamers" I meet are some of the most peaceful people on the planet. Usually they are pacifists in stance, or at least anti-war. Perhaps because we have studied war in detail, we may be more aware of how terrible it is than the general public. Indeed, some of the most kind, and caring folk to grace our planet in fact, are game players:
role playing game players and wargame players.

I have also played role playing games, but I don`t like these nearly as much. Dungeon and Dragons is perhaps the most famous roleplaying game. It has received a lot of bad press from a sensational media and some players with obvious psychological problems. However, roleplaying is in no more dangerous than acting. To some extent roleplaying is like putting on a drama. You each take on the role of a character and go on some kind of a quest. You probably need to play a game to see what I mean.

We also play boardgames. Some of the games we play are: Settler of Catan and the whole
series of Catan games, Puerto Rico, Axis and Allies and that whole series, Games Workshop
or GW Games, Chess, games made by the companies: Fantasy Flight, Eagle Games and
Milton Bradley. There really are too many to list. Come on out and see.

One dear friend I met about twelve years ago is Steve Brown. Known to his fans as "Stan!" He is a great guy. The man is intelligent, funny, creative and a great humanitarian. He can always make me laugh and think. Steve taught English in Shizuoka Prefecture before going back to the states to design games and write. He still does so at present. He proudly showed me the books he authored when we went to Chapters in Vancouver. He now works as a manager for a game
and comic book company in California. I hope he continues his writing and cartoon work as he
is talented!

Steve and I started a games club called JIGG: Japan`s International Gamers Guild in 1992 and it is still going strong.

Link here: http://greatpowers1.googlepages.com/jigg%3Ajapan%60sinternationalgamersguild

Here are links to our two main forums for JIGG though we have forums for members in
most parts of Japan, check the homepage for a link to a club near you.

JIGG Tokyo: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JIGG

JIGG Kanagawa: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HisSimSouthKanagawa

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Band of Brothers -- TV Series

Photo of halftrack from a model show in California, courtesy of Chris Zellana

This series was great! I have a new-found respect for what
American soldiers did in World War 2.

Growing up in Canada, and having a very knowledgable History teacher
from England, perhaps biased my opinion too much against what America
accomplished in World War 2.

I grew up hearing from my father who fought in the Mediterranean, and
sometimes talked about how late it was until America finally got into
both World War 1 and World War 2. There was a lot of bitterness
about it in Canada and Britain.

My History professor Barry Leach emphasized that the Germans faced
a couple hundred divisions on the Eastern Front, whereas the
Russians faced nearly 200 German divisions or some incredible number
like that, The British, Canadians and Americans faced only about 15
ill-equipped German divisions in the West when they finally invaded
in 1944.

All that aside, and ignoring the Hollywood hype of some of the
movies that have been made, Band of Brothers brought home to me,
that although the bulk of the German might was not facing our
Canadian or American boys, it was still a huge sacrifice by all on
the Western Front and they often gave it in blood.

So Mr. Spielberg and Tom Hanks, my humble hat goes off to you, and
indeed to the soldiers of Easy Company, as well as the Canadians
who (you rarely if ever hear about), and to the Britons too who
fought and lost their lives, bringing freedom for people like us

Kevin Burns

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