Board games vary in type and difficulty, from simple games that are fun to play with children to strategic games targeted to adults. You might have played board games as a child – why don’t you rediscover the charm of board games at one of Tokyo’s finest board games stores, “Sugorokuya Jimbocho”? They have games with multi-language rule explanations and will show you the perfect match!
As a German, I grew up in a country world-known for board games. We never quit playing even after we become adults! It’s a part of daily life, so I was super excited to finally visit the famous board game store “Sugorokuya Jimbocho” – one of the largest board game specialty stores in Japan.
Game corners divided by age group or playing style
The inside of the store is divided into several corners according to the target age or situation. The titels on the shelves say “easy games for children”, “fun games for two people”, and “stratigic games for adults”. Some games are as short as a few minutes, while others are strategic games that take more than an hour to play.
The shop has two children’s games corners, one with simple games for playing with small infants and one for elementary school level that require more logic thinking skills.
I think I don’t need to mention that board games are fun to play, but they also have other benefits – especially for children!
Winning a game increases your motivation and boosters your self-esteem, while losing will help you acquire the life skill of dealing well with failure. Also, games strengthen your logical thinking, motoric and communication skills.
Games from Germany, a board game kingdom, are also very popular here in Japan. They even had a dedicated area for a long-established German publisher in the children’s game corner.
In the adult corner, there are many games that require you to think strategically or enjoy the “bargaining”. The shop offers games from all over the world, some with multilingual rule explanations.
All of the experienced staff are game experts!
Just like wine sommeliers, the staff at “Sugorokuya” will guide you to find the perfect match for you suits your needs. Since I am familiar with German games, I asked the staff to introduce me to board games develloped by Japanese creators.
The party game “Minna de ponkotsu peinto” seemed to be a lot fun. In this game, you have to express a word or topic (decided by the dice) by drawing only straight lines and circles.
There were also a lot of new and interesting-looking games. For example, “CARU UTA”. First, put on a plylist of your favorite J-POP music. Then, spread out the game cards on the table. The cards have words that often appear in songs written on them, such as “love” and “fate.” When you hear the word is actually sung in one of the songs, you have to try to be the quickest to grab the matching card! This will earn you one point.
“Karesansui”, which won an award in a Japanese board game contest, is a game about creating a traditional Japanese garden. You might think that this is a pretty unique idea for a game…but there also is the German game “Miyabi” that also has a Japanese garden theme. While the theme is similar, both game system are completely different!
Even with the help of the staff, I had trouble narrowing down to one game because there were just too many attractive games. In the end, I bought a board game by a Taiwanese creator called “Electropolis”.
Trying out board games!
One unique service of the shop is their game corner. Here, you can try out games recommended by the staff. Sometimes it’s nice to have the change to actually play a game because playing it makes you understand its appeal and if it’s the perfect fit for you.
First, I decided to play “Gobblet Gobblers” (by a French creator) which was a recommendation by the staff. The rules were extremely simple and easy to understand. But still…I just couldn’t beat the staff!
The next game was “Captain Reno” from Germany. It is a balance & strategy game where you pile up cards and putting a small figure on top of the stack. As a German myself, I couldn’t loose this one!
Playing a board game for the first time in a long time reminded me of how fun and fulfilling it is to play with someone. The staff and I immediately became friends eventough we’d just met. This reminded me of my childhood when you could made friends in an instand just by playing together.
Board games are great for a variety of situations, whether you want to play with your kids or at a home party. Board games are also great gifts! I love eSports and video games, too, but board games are just soething special. Why don’t you come and find the perfect board games fit for you?