It has been a really long time since I was last in SF Japantown alone. My objective today isn’t to hang out with friends, but to pick up a couple volumes of manga from Kinokuniya.
Before heading inside the mall, outside was a man playing with his dog.
I’m not sure when it happened, but only on this day did I noticed that JPN Toys had closed down. To be honest, they lasted longer than I had expected. It was a store that I didn’t even bother with entering, ever since they stopped selling figures or dakimakuras. I bought my first dakimakura from them back in December of 2009, and I still sleep with it everyday. Easily, one of the best things I have ever bought here.
Speaking of places closing down, the store saturated in pink is gone too. Selling Japanese merchandise that sometimes could be quite expensive to the general public is quite a difficult task to do sustainably. You would need to be very knowledgeable about what sells and what doesn’t sell.
With that said, I can imagine that the hobby shop downstairs might close down in 5 years or so. They certainly have been around for a long time, but unless they own the space itself, they have to compete with the prettier, better organized, cheaper shop upstairs.
After a quick walk around, I bought some onigiri and took a break to take a photo of my loots so far. I got the two specific manga that I came for, in addition to something my sibling asked me to get.
So I’m starting to be really fed up with Kinokuniya being my only source for manga. I don’t live in San Francisco and I don’t even live in the Bay Area anymore. For just a couple books, I have to get an 1.5 hour ride down to the Bay Area, then take a number of buses to SF Japantown, so that I can pay premium prices for books that I waited a entire month for after release. And then guess what, some dumb damage probably due to the employees’ poor handling.
Once again, I’m reminded of where I should really be instead. And all this, just a single reason among dozens.