Board-/Card-gaming in Japan

Well, here I am again after another long hiatus – surprise surprise – and thus, we can certainly establish that I now how to procrastinate. Rather than ramble on about all that I’ve done in the last 6+ months, today I shall talk about a topic that is of renewed interest to me. I have rather recently started attending a couple of game circles and have also visited a game café here in Sapporo, and overall the experience has been stellar. I cannot wait to go back for more!

I have bought and otherwise acquired a few games over the course of the last half year or so, but I’ve never really had anyone to pay them with. I had previously looked up board game cafés in town, but I’ve been leery of going to them because of the language barrier. Also, at the one gaming store I have been to, on multiple occasions the small playing area was populated almost exclusively by Magic the Gathering players, with not a single board game in sight.

I did actually find a list of a few board game groups that meet at monthly intervals in Sapporo, and this last month I finally bit the bullet and attended one. It was a lot of fun! Yes, almost all the participants are not even remotely close to fluent in English, but that suits me just fine as I want to learn Japanese anyway! And there were so many games! In addition, one of the guys there runs his own game group and I was invited to attend. So that’s already two game groups, with the next session this Sunday.

I also went to a tiny board-game café this past weekend. It was a little expensive… not terribly so, but not something I can afford to do regularly. The reason I went is that they organise 1-day game events. When I first learnt about them, I was very taken by it. But since I didn’t know whether I would enjoy it, I went to the café to see what it would be like. And it was totally worth it. Again, everything is in Japanese, other than some of the games proper, But I have been more than a year now so that is becoming less and less of an issue.

In the following posts I will detail experiences at each individual game group and at the 1-day event. And whenever I travel I will make a special effort to find and play with the game groups.


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