Game on! exciting game centres of TokyoCulture
Unlike many other countries, Japan still has a thriving scene when it comes to gaming. No matter if you're looking for a trip down memory lane with some retro games, or to try out the latest and most fabulous VR creations. Tokyo has a plethora of exciting game centres where you easily can spend a long night out.
Japanese arcades, or “game centres” as they are mostly referred to in the local lingo, are still alive and kicking. For those of you who still remember the era of pumping coins into an arcade cabinet, and the atmosphere of gaming together with others, a visit to a Japanese arcade is sure to bring back good memories. Here is a roundup of some of the most exciting arcades that Tokyo has to offer.
Retro - Mikado
If you are into old-school gaming, this place will be right up your alley. Entering Mikado is like stepping 20 years or so back in time, and their game selection includes most classics from the '80s and '90s. The second floor also contains a good selection of retro games, but it's also a hotspot for fighting game fans. Competitions in various fighting games, both old and new, are held here regularly.
Nearest station: Takadanobaba
4 Chome-5-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku City
VR Park Shibuya
This arcade, managed by the major chain Adores, has probably the best selection of Virtual Reality games and experiences available anywhere in Tokyo. Visitors pay a flat-rate entrance fee, and can then enjoy as many games as they want within the time limit. The games are replaced and updated regularly, and some of them can only be experienced here. But we don't recommend going here after having a few drinks, as Virtual Reality gaming can be quite nauseating, especially to inexperienced players.
Cost: 3300-3500 yen for 90 minutes of unlimited gaming.
Nearest Station: Shibuya
Udagawacho 13−11, Shibuya-ku
Fighting and Shoot Em Ups - Taito HEY
This arcade has a somewhat unassuming entrance that is quite easy to miss, despite its location on Chuo-Dori, the main road in Akihabara. But it's worth looking carefully, as this place has perhaps the biggest selection of games at any game center. Here you'll find several floors fully packed with everything from retro classics to modern immersive games like Gundam and Densha De Go.
But where this place stands out, is in the selection of fighting games, with more or less every major title released throughout the decades, as well as a fair share of lesser-known niche fighting games as well, available.
Their shooting section is equally impressive, with perhaps the best selection of retro shooters, as well as most Cave shooters, available on their second floor.Nearest station: Akihabara
Sotokanda 1-10-5, Chiyoda-Ku
Music and Rhythm Games - Taito Station Shinjuku Game World
Rhythm games are another genre of arcade games that enjoy a strong following here in Japan. While most arcades offer at least a few music games, like a Taiko no Tatsujin or Dance Dance Revolution cabinet, Taitos chain of game centres is particularly well-stocked. The best of them all is probably their shop on the east side of Shinjuku station, where you will find an entire floor entirely dedicated to the genre. Here you'll find pretty much any major music game title. And better still, often so many of them that you rarely will have to wait long in line until it is your turn.
Nearest station: Shinjuku
3-35-8 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku
Digital Amusement Park - Joypolis
For a unique experience, we strongly recommend a visit to Joypolis in Odaiba. This place, operated by Sega, is an exciting fusion between game centre and immersive amusement park. The attractions consist of a mix of regular videogames, full-scale racing simulators as well as virtual rollercoasters and other games where your entire body takes part in the experience.
Nearest station: Tokyo Teleport (Rinkai Line) or Odaiba-Kaihinkoen (Yurikamome)
Daiba 1-6-1, Minato-ku