Saturday, September 10, 2011

[OSAKA] Why You Should Not Go to Denden Town

If you grew up playing game consoles such as Family Computer, SNES, N64, and PlayStation, you might want to skip Denden, or prepare some cash because I am telling you that you will be tempted to buy something! I was lingering around that store for an hour or two just looking for familiar games and getting amused at how cheap everything was. A recycled N64, for example, only costs 2,980 yen, which would be less than 2,000 if converted to pesos. It comes with a free gray controller and the necessary wires. As for the games there is a wide variety of cheap options. Wave Race is just 180 yen, also recycled. An original Super Mario 64 is more expensive at around 1,000 yen, which would still be cheap when converted to pesos, considering how expensive those were when I was in high school! Of course the games will be in Japanese. It's actually a cool alternative method for learning that language!

A recycled PlayStation costs 1,980. They have a wide collection of games for that. There are around two or three stores at Denden that sell those old game consoles. Prices really depend on the model. An Atari, for example, costs a lot. I forgot how much but it is expensive because it is considered rare. It's like the grandma of all game consoles that followed it. Any game console freak will see Denden as heaven and will probably have a heart attack even if they had a healthy heart. In the end I decided not to buy anything for the sake of my future trips, and to avoid any form of hassle with the reptiles at the Customs counter back home. But now at least I have an idea where to go in the future.

The road going to Denden is a long one. If you are coming from Shin Imamiya, you just head north. Across the street you'll see a building with roller coaster tracks looped around it. I think it used to be part of Spa World, a giant multistory spa complete with water rides and slides aside from the usual massage facilities. I did not try that one out, which was sad but I simply had no time. You might want to include it in your itinerary. Walk farther north and keep your gaze to your right to see the entrance to Sinsekai which is a series of connected streets with a lot of food stalls and other stuff. It is famous for its blowfish lantern and the sight of the Osaka Tower located at the center of the area. The tower is not that cool but its observatory offers a good view of downtown Osaka, again for a fee.

There is a Matsuya and Yoshinoya branch before you reach Denden. These fast food chains will save your wallet. A Yoshinoya beef bowl is one of the cheapest meals you could get in Japan for just 350 yen. It comes with bottomless green tea. Days later I discovered Matsuya because of their large posters for gyudon (Beef Bowl) with large numbers on them saying 250 yen. For less than a hundred you get free miso soup and refillable water. Their gyudon is as big and tastes the same as Yoshinoya’s. Considering how expensive food is in Osaka, these are perfect alternatives for the backpacker on a budget. Yoshinoya and Matsuya will save you.

What else can you find in Denden? Porn. Lots of it. I’d like to think that the Japanese are not that porn crazy, but three floors exclusive for porn? Even then there was still a spillover on the ground floor, next to the clothes and the noodles. When you see girls in posters in a suggestive pose and smiling like they’ve just won the lottery, that would be porn. It would usually be accompanied by a curtain with a warning that you must be 18 years old and above. So, what do you see inside? No holds barred, breasts and vaginas everywhere. Most of the patrons there are middle aged men and could be found on the upper floors. The system seems to be clear, cheap porn means going up an extra floor. By cheap, I mean those that are less than a thousand yen. A typical porn DVD costs 2,000 yen and above.

These porn, however, are aimed directly at men. For women and the gay population, you have limited options. The only gay porn I saw comprised just two shelves, and they cost 10,000 yen. That’s not cheap. For women, the most risqué that I was able to find were those anime with effeminate looking guys in them that seem to be in love with each other. Most of them were comic books. I do not know if there are DVDs available. What am I trying to say here? For my female readers, you have limited options. For my gay and bisexual readers, there really is nothing pornographic for you at Denden unless you are willing to spend money, or are planning to go back to being hetero. Porn at Denden is mainly for heterosexual guys. You might want to consider buying electronics instead. Laptops here are cheap!

After a rather XXX rated trip focused on the female genitalia, I then set out to find my mother’s Hello Kitty component. I don’t know where she got the idea that such an item exists, but I’ve been trying to find it since day one but no store seems to have it. The only Hello Kitty electronics I found were water heaters and alarm clocks. I did not find any of those in Denden. Perhaps in Tokyo they have it but not in Osaka, and I am not going to Tokyo. Since I already had an early dinner at Yoshinoya, I just headed back to Shin-Imamiya to ride the JR Osaka Loop back to Momodani. Tomorrow I transfer to Hotel Toyo which is less than five minutes away from Shin-Imamiya. At least I got closer to Yoshinoya. Yipee!

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