Sega Kawaguchi

Like a bigtop in a forest clearing. Great! But why is it there?

I caught the wrong bus to Sega Kawaguchi. I caught it in daylight and arrived by foot in pitch dark, with an open beer from an out-of-town supermarket on the way.

It’s not somewhere people arrive at by foot. It’s down an oilblack street from a bulldozer factory and adjacent a flat lot of midnight blue powercranes.

Inside, it’s not what a Tokyo arcade looks like. It’s goofy and gaudy, painted in circus-tent stripes, with the customer-begging grin of an icecream seller on a mountaintop. Roll up! Roll up! To the emptiest show on Earth.

Although I prefer a grimier arcade, the UK scene compares more painfully with this. I remember British arcades just like Sega Kawaguchi. Why can they survive out here?

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people