Wangan Midnight is a typically epic Japanese comicbook streetracing story that ran from 1990 to 2015. Older gamers grew up with it like a sibling. To younger gamers it’s more like a parent – present since before your world existed. Just a fact of life, presumably eternal.
Something I love about Tokyo is the prevalence of handmade signs. It’s totally normal even for high-end department stores to stand staff-constructed cardboard beside the till with laminated announcements and explanations. But this is just silly…
Japanese arcades are dripping with tar and nicotine. In fact, it’s said that the reason nineties candy cabinets keep going so long is that the plastics have transformed into a super-strengthened resin after decades of suspension in cigarette tar.
I love seeing these bell-and-basket city bikes parked at this strip-mall Sega. Despite being specifically located for car access – drivable by an economically viable catchment of residential suburbs – for someone, this is the local arcade.
Check out this huge Sega logo stretched across the ceiling in Sega World Funabori. Funabori is a seriously old-school Sega: a large out-of-town premises with colourful, family-fishing Sonic signage and top-floor karaoke.
Arcade pilgrims to Japan expect Disneyland: a grand culmination of a ceremonial journey. But while the Magic Kingdom gates are marked by fronds of palm, the line between Arcade and notArcade is so fine it disappears.