Visiting Super Potato in Akihabara is usually a key reason why many die-hard gamers want to venture to Japan. The flagship Super Potato store (of the eight total in Japan, according to its Twitter) is nondescript, yet its shelves are covered wall-to-wall in rare yet reasonably priced games and consoles. It’s a magical place that’s a store-meets-museum. It’s fun enough to just look around, but if you’re a collector, there aren’t many places left where you can walk in and pick up a Virtual Boy headset or find a cache of Sega Dreamcast games that never released outside of Japan.
My point is that you absolutely should go at some point if you can. But thankfully, going there in person isn’t the only way you can peep the store’s vast collection of retro Japanese video games. Per IGN, the beloved store has taken at least some of its wares to eBay, and you can shop your heart out without leaving the country or your computer seat.
Many of the games listed are for the Famicom and Super Famicom released in Japan, so they’re in Japanese. (Note: if you have an NES, this affordable adapter will let you play imported Famicom games on it. For SNES, this YouTube video walks through breaking two tabs in its cartridge bay to let Super Famicom games fit inside.) Super Potato’s online store currently lists games like Final Fantasy I + II for the Famicom, Super Metroid for the Super Famicom, as well as Japanese versions of the original Game Boy and Nintendo 64 for a fair price, I might say.
Shipping to the US for most items costs $20, which is also reasonable. I’d expect Super Potato’s eBay listings to change frequently, so it’s a great site to bookmark, especially if importing games is a hobby. Who knows what you’ll find tomorrow or the next day?
Tourism has sharply declined around the world during the pandemic, and since Super Potato likely relies on gaming-obsessed tourists for a chunk of its revenue, branching out to eBay seems like a smart way to give gamers what they want. But once the pandemic ends, I highly suggest visiting the store in person if you have the opportunity. Then take as many pictures as you can so you can remember the store — or in my case, to put them in articles like these.
Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge