Shosen Grande

Jinbocho Adventure

I finally got the chance to drop by Jinbocho again over the weekend. Known for its numerous book stores, it’s easy to spend hours there if you’re a bibliophile.

Sugorokuya

Sign for Sugorokuya Jinbocho

There’s now a Sugorokuya branch on the seventh floor of the Kanda Kosho Center. Brightly lit and clean, it has a number of well organized board games. The staff appeared both friendly and knowledgeable. I was looking for TRPGs, though, so headed off to Shosen Grande.

Shosen Grande

Jinbocho, facing Shosen Grande. The big blue sign at top reads "Hobby Bookstore" and the smaller one below it "Shosen".
Jinbocho, facing Shosen Grande. The big blue sign at top reads “Hobby Bookstore” and the smaller one below it “Shosen”.

In contrast to Sugorokuya’s bright colors and orderly display of games is Shosen Grande. The genres covered are impressive: military; simulation; imported and domestic board games; imported and domestic TRPGs; and more. For the imported games, though, it is a bit of a treasure hunt.

Military games.
Military games.

Import board games and TRPG books.
Import board games and TRPG books.

The prices on domestic games are all standard, but imported games can be pricey. The selection is good, though. For domestic TRPG books, they’ll sometimes have special freebies. For example, when I previously picked up the Sword World 2.5 core book, a reference card was included. This time there is a special freebie of postcards (with 1,000+ yen purchase) or clear files (with 3,000+ yen purchase) when buying indie books.

Indie TRPG books, mostly Call of Cthulhu supplements
Indie TRPG books, mostly Call of Cthulhu supplements.
End cap of import board games.
End cap of import board games.

As I mentioned in my Sanity in the Taisho Era post, Cthulhu is massively popular in Japan. To give an idea of the extent, the top three shelves are exclusively indie Cthulhu content.

TRPG book section
TRPG book section. Role & Roll books are top left, with a book series about various fantasy related topics bottom left. Further in are other games like Sword World and Cthulhu. There were also a number of topic books, like “SF for scenario writers”. The furthest shelf in the back was game magazines and related books.

I didn’t buy much this time, but picked up the latest issue of Role&Roll Magazine and snagged a small 2020 TRPG catalog from the same publisher. I’ll post more about both soon, but in the meanwhile, here’s a video of Shosen Grande.

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