Arcade Tokyo Coin-op Release Chart 1970-2010
Source: KLOV

The arcades will be gone one day.

Arcade Tokyo is the top-floor box room of Freedom Yokohama’s tiny tower, where all the smoke collects from the floors below. ¥50 stickers over ¥100 credit prices on 90s games.

Arcade Tokyo - Freedom Yokohama coin slot and 100-yen coins

Arcade Tokyo is the clean, date-friendly Chinatown Sega, with wholesome attractions, uniformed staff, and those special two-player games that take place on dark bench seats behind curtains. “Let’s Go Jungle” indeed…

Arcade Tokyo - Sega Chinatown Yokohama facade

Arcade Tokyo is the same-old, any-town Taito Station. Trendy and presentable upstairs; twinkly UFO catchers at the doors. But the basement: horse betting, smoke-scorched candy cabs, self-serve ashtrays on a rack, tate CRTs and vending machines for light.

Arcade Tokyo - Taito Station Game sign reflected in Akihabara building

Arcade Tokyo is the Kawasaki Warehouse, built like Disney’s Frontierland from fibreglass with over-egged props imitating signs of life, but modelled after a Hong Kong slum. It’s the cleanest arcade in Tokyo, pretending to be a ghetto. A no-smoking ghetto with classic Sega sit-ins.

Arcade Tokyo - Anata no Warehouse Kawasaki retro corner and Kowloon decor

Arcade Tokyo is Game Spot 21 in Shinjuku, whose owner aims no higher than the good-enough income of last year’s fighters. Bills over the urinal show months-old new releases and CCTV stills of bags being snatched under the Print Club curtains.

Arcade Tokyo - Game Spot 21 Shinjuku toilet posters

The arcades will be gone one day, so I’m bottling them here.


Arcade Tokyo on Instagram
Some re-edited images from the site and some unique to Instagram. All original work by me and the arcades of Tokyo.

Arcade Tokyo on Twitter
Guess I should have a Twitter account…
My other site, on videogame critical theory (mostly).

Tokyo Game Centre
A collection of posts on arcade games in Tokyo.

The author

This site was created by Roland Ingram. You can contact me by email or through the links above. Thanks for reading!