Being a gamer that spent their youth in arcades, living in Japan is like taking a trip back in time. You see, unlike back in America, the arcade (or Game Center as it is known here) is still going strong in Japan. While the majority of arcades in Japan focus on modern music, fighting, and card-based games, there are some arcades that specialize in only retro-games. One such arcade is located in the heart of the Odaiba district of Tokyo, at the Deck’s Shopping Mall.
I first found 娯楽センター街, or Entertainment Center District, from watching it be featured on an episode of Game Center CX. It’s a little retro arcade that features everything from classic 60s pinball and pachinko games to Space Invaders, Hang On, and Wacky Gator (the alligator hammer game), just to name a few. Some of the other highlights include a Super Mario World pinball machine, a Street Fighter pinball machine, and Renegade, Mario Bros, and Twin Wolf coin-ops. There is also a large collection of classic Japanese coin games (think of an old-school ticket game) known simply as Jyuu-en Games, named after the Japanese 10yen coin used to play them. These Jyuu-en games have become something of an obsession of mine; before I know it I’ve dumped hundreds of yen into them until I win, or run out of money…whichever comes first.
If you ever find yourself in Japan and are a fan of retro-gaming, you owe it to yourself to take a trip to Odaiba and visit the Deck’s Shopping Mall to enjoy this wonderfully nostalgic arcade.