Monday, 23 June 2008

Going Off!

After the shock surprise of the only inner Tokyo Hard Off gone AWOL, I decided to find some more as yet unexplored "Off" stores.

Conveniently today there's one not too far from Tachikawa, in Hachioji.

That's the good news. The not so good news is that there is approximately a twenty minute walk from the station. What makes this particular outing enticing is that there's not just a Hard Off.

Oh no. No siree!

What we have here is a Hard Off, Mode Off, Off House, Hobby Off and Off House all in the one area.

The first that appeared on the horizon (well, around the corner) was Mode Off.

What you'll find here are used men's and women's fashion apparel. I looked here briefly hoping to find some old Oakley Frogskins. No luck I'm afraid.

Walking a little further up the road I saw a warehouse with the words, "Hard Off" and "Off House" proudly displayed.

Off House is quite similar to Mode Off in that it had much of the same items. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Oh, maybe an interesting Mickey Mouse watch but how many do I really need of those?

Hard Off is pretty much the same as all the other Hard Off stores I've visited so far. I felt a little bit of deja vu coming here. There was nothing that made me want it so badly that I had to have it.

Finally I went to Hobby Off (There was also a Book Off, but unlike the other stores, these are all over the place in Tokyo). This is kind of like a junk yard toy shop.

I did find some "Game & Watch" games. I tried a Donkey Kong II and a Bandai "Dr Dental". Although in good cosmetic condition, the DK's LCD had faded sprites and two small black blotches of liquid crystal.

Dr Dental's screen looked slightly better but still faded. The gameplay was not as good as I remembered it, but with faded LCDs it took away a bit of the joy.

I asked the clerk if they had any others and he said no. I think he misunderstood, because after I tried these games I noticed quite a few others right behind me! Damn you Japanese!! There was even an "Astro Wars"!

Because time was running out I didn't have the chance to test it for old time's sake. Maybe a good thing. I probably would've bought it. My abort time had passed, and I still had to get back to the station to get to work at Tachikawa.

I made it to the station in reasonable time. I was cautious getting on a special rapid service and asked a man, "Tachikawa?" He just grunted, so I jumped off to catch a local service. I should've known better. The next train was ten minutes later, closing my window of opportunity to get to work on time.

I had to run, but somehow I managed to punch in with one minute to spare.


After work I decided to get some Krispy Kreme.

There was a small line but I wasn't offered a freebie. At the counter I noticed others been given a donut before placing their orders. When I got there, she just took my order and was about to take me to the checkout. I pointed at the complimentary tray, and she thought I wanted a box.

For now I'll give the benefit of the doubt, and not say it was a Japanese discrimination thing, but I wasn't happy about it. For that, I just bought four instead of my usual dozen.

It won't be the last Krispy Kreme, and something tells me it won't be the last Hard Off just yet either.