Japan Kofu

Second hand wonderland

Been staying indoors for a couple of nights at Reza’s place that time, spending the days packing six years worth of memories inside large cardboard boxes, sealing one by one with tapes and saran wrap. We were almost done.

Probably as a means to celebrate being halfway complete in packing everything up and probably sick of being inside his cramped two story studio, he asked whether we’d like to go to this bundle store he’d discovered with his mates recently. He told me that he’d been wanting to take me there.

Get it? A bundle store.

Now, why on earth would I go to a bundle store, especially when it’s almost midnight?!

Our response? His mom would rather be glued to the screen and on Facebook. From all the lifting and packing (and not forgetting how cold it was!), all I wanted to do that night was sleep. But I felt sorry because he seemed to really want to go out. I’d agreed to go. Couldn’t be bothered to lug a camera with me, grabbed my wallet and phone and off we went. About half an hour we arrived at the destination. The store was huge, like a warehouse – you’d have it mistaken for a livelier Tesco albeit at a smaller scale. The store’s open 24/7, explaining the number of cars present at the spacious parking lot.

Mandai Shoten
Mandai Shoten in another prefecture. Picture source here.

This place, Mandai Shoten, wasn’t exactly a bundle store! It’s considered a recycle store, or a second hand store selling everything under the sun. Things we found ranged from used Louis Vuitton bags, Tiffany & Co. jewelries and cufflinks, Panasonic Nano Ion facial steamer, sunglasses and watches from every other designer, cameras, PSP and Nintendo DS consoles, thousands of video games, comics and DVDs. That and many more random stuff. Not a fan of preloved items? No problem. Mandai Shoten’s a store that sells both used, as well as new and discounted items. Shelves and shelves of figurines.

Mandai 1

Shelves and shelves of Gundam, too!

Mandai 2

Spotted, too, a path leading to a discreet and hidden zone, covered with dark curtains with a sign clearly stressing that only those above 18 shall pass. Not surprisingly, only men were seen there. I’d be damned if I shared what I saw inside. Now we know why boys love this place, eh?

Anyway, I think we spent more than hour just going round and being amazed at the stuff we found. For example, I found a second hand Tiffany teacup and saucer set being sold at ¥3,500 (if my memory doesn’t fail me) – and converted, that’s about MYR115 at the time! Later told my mom about it:

“Kenapa tak beli?”

“Tempted, but I don’t need it”

“But it’s Tiffany”

-_-‘ Last but not least, I’d also discovered the area where they were selling CDs and DVDs (relatively older releases). For dirt cheap. Mandai 4

I’m an Aiko fan. If I hadn’t acquired her CDs from Tsutaya, I’d have ordered them from Amazon Japan. Even though the CDs are expensive, I believe in buying the original copies, hence the effort. But the Aiko CDs that I’d gotten for almost the full price at Tsutaya or on Amazon were only sold for ¥300 to ¥500 at Mandai Shoten WTH. That’s like 1/8 of what I paid for! See how cheap things are, over there?!

Anyway, just saying, if you’re ever visiting family or friends living outside of Tokyo, be sure to check whether they have Mandai Shoten around. Bring some money and give the store a visit, because you might be in for an adventure – people don’t post Youtube videos of it for nothing.

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  • Avatar
    May 21, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    I read the comments online saying it lags?

  • Avatar
    Cik Puan Nurul
    May 22, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    i’m back darling! will berdisiplin in blogging. hahah

  • Avatar
    March 25, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Hi Mia,

    Was wondering if you’d know any of the secondhand shops that sell designer handbags? Saw a few Instagram sellers selling preloved designer handbags from Japan – they are still in great condition and selling a at a much cheaper price! Am going to Tokyo in August so I’d love to go and see these shops myself!

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