How Did I Get Here?

Taito Hey: the blue-lit legend arcade on Akiba‘s tower strip.

Ride the jammed-in Metro with its get-out ads: job search / love search / self search. Bodies all touching.

Spill onto the Akiba platform; wonder which way. Don’t really get to choose. Wonder whether this is the right way. Whatever.

Daylight blasts and megaphones are yelling sell sell sell. Skyhigh Segas. Lowdown tourist trash.

Highstreet’s a six-lane motorway. Cars, cabs, buses, suit-and-ties crossing, trains roaring over. People actually living their lives in this place.

Hey. Old and orange. Not really trying with the frontage. Doesn’t have to. Girly cartoons pointing at dodgy porn shit downstairs. Escalator up.

Blue lights. Row upon row of scanline-sweating candies. Smacks and rattles of buttons over the blare. Suits and slumps and slouches.

Hit the change machine. Splash.

Pull a stool. Space Harrier checkerboards in 90s colourways. Taito ashtray; someone else’s ends. Bubble Bobble control strip; snap a hundredyen down.

Welcome to the fantasy zone: get ready.

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