A Visit to the Nintendo Tokyo Store
Nintendo is an entertainment conglomerate that is perhaps second only to Disney when it comes to having a portfolio of renowned characters and franchises that are beloved across the world. Mario is as recognisable to children as Mickey Mouse and combined with mega-franchises such as Zelda, Kirby, Animal Crossing and many more, Nintendo holds a rich history that was such an integral part of so many of our formative years. With nostalgia having a commercial resurgence in recent years and Nintendo continuing to find success in the videogame market, it makes sense for Nintendo to leverage its IP across as many different avenues as possible.
With the rampant success of countless Pokémon Centre’s across the globe and one official store New York, it was only a matter of time before Nintendo expanded their retail offering to include more Nintendo stores as has been done with Pikachu and pals. Last November Nintendo did exactly that, opening an official Nintendo store in Shibuya, Japan. The store rests on the 6th floor of the Parco shopping centre, surrounded by a Pokémon Centre, a Capcom store, a Shonen Jump store and more.
Earlier this month I finally fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting Japan, and a trip to the Nintendo Store Tokyo was high on my list of must-do activities. So a few days ago I hopped on the train to Shibuya and walked over to the Nintendo store on my last day in Japan to get my hands on a selection of the thousand-plus items from the Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing and Splatoon franchises, many of which are only available at this location. My excitement was palpable, to say the least.
I had monitored the store’s Twitter page over the last week to monitor waiting times to enter the store, which typically appeared to be around an hour. My excitement was somewhat quashed upon my arrival at the store as it quickly became evident that the wait for me on this particular day was going to be closer to two hours. The line weaved out the store and down into the fire stairwell. It kept going, and going…and going.
The line that began on the 6th floor wrapped down the stairs all the way to the second basement floor and then continued back up the stairs on the other side once it couldn’t go any lower. It was certainly a long wait, but a couple of hours later…
…I made it.
The store is split into several areas for Mario, Zelda, Animal Crossing, Kirby and Splatoon merchandise, in addition to an area dedicated to Nintendo Switch hardware and software. There is also an section highlighting the Nintendo Store Tokyo signature motif that is splashed across a variety of different merchandise in the store. The design features Mario, Inkling, Isabelle, Villager and Link walking across a white background with the Nintendo Tokyo logo within a red strip across the bottom. It adorns many of the most coveted items in the store as they are exclusive to this location.
Speaking of exclusive merchandise, you’ll also find the 8-bit Scramble range which features Mario game images inside pixilated Pokémon. You can find the reverse of this where Pokémon game images appear inside Mario items over at the Pokémon Centre just a few metres away.
For Nintendo’s first official store, it’s an impressive set up that will undoubtedly house dozens of items you’ll be desperate to get your hands on and will test your will power and buying restraint. There’s a huge variety of items available from plushies, stationery, apparel, laptop bags, food and confectionary, and so much more. There are giant shopping bags available to pick up as you enter the store – you’ll definitely be wanting one of these.
A couple more quick notes. There’s a check-in station for your Nintendo account where you can pick up a random Nintendo sticker, so be sure to do that. There are several Nintendo Switch units set up to try out games, one of which is connected to an enormous screen (currently sporting Brain Training). There’s a giant 8-bit Mario and “?” Block outside the exit, so make sure you pop your head out there after shopping. Lastly, the wait times appear to be much shorter in the afternoon than in the morning, and much quieter during the week than on weekends, so plan any potential visit accordingly.
As a lifelong Nintendo fan, it was simply a lot of fun to peruse the store and pick up some fantastic goodies. I may have gone a little overboard bringing back things for myself, family and friends.
Anyway, that’s enough talking from me! I’ll let you peruse the rest of the pictures, which cover almost the entirety of the store and every single shelf. If you have any questions on what something is or if they have sold anything in particular, feel free to hit me up on Twitter @drowningthunder. Enjoy!