It's that time of year again! Tokyo Game Show is upon us, which means I'm here in Japan to cover it and bring you the latest news and impressions. While I'm here, I always like to explore and take in the atmosphere and get a sense of the video game scene in Japan. You should have seen how big I smiled when I saw a group of students huddled together on the train playing the Switch. Japan's enthusiasm for all things video games, anime, and J-pop is unmatched. You can just feel the pride and excitement everywhere you go. As I've said in years past, TGS is struggling. It once was a show with big announcements and first-looks at tons of games, and I'd love to see it get back on track. I don't think this year is going to be the one that does that, but nevertheless, I'm still excited to see what's ahead. 

You'll find out quickly that there's a store to celebrate just about everything. Here's a picture of the Jump Shop, featuring plenty of One Piece and Naruto memorabilia. 

VR is catching on in Japan. Here's a pic of Mario Kart VR from VR Zone in Shinjuku. 

I love stopping in arcades while I'm here, which are practically around every corner. I couldn't resist trying this Dragon Quest game. It uses actual cards to store data, so I walked away with a more powerful monster card in the end. 

Figures, figures, everywhere! Here's a look at some cool Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts ones.

As you walk through Akihabara, billboards are full of anime and games. I took this one because I'm currently watching the anime Gamers and I love it.

I love how you can just walk into a shop and see a section devoted to Danganronpa. 

Crane machines take a lot and patience and skill, but here's my proof that they can be beaten! Moogle flashlight, FTW!

Here's a look at the popular games in Japan at the moment...

This is in the middle of a regular electronics store. It had arcade machines and tons of gacha machines. 

The Nintendo love is strong. 

I was expecting a bigger Persona 5 presence, but it's been over a year since the game launched here. Still, I love that you can buy Ryuji's shirt. 

Super Potato is still the place to go to pick up retro games.

It's just a plushie world and we're living it. I own that Vivi, by the way.

Turn to the next page to see pics from the Pokémon Center...