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The best 10 arcades in TOKYO (2024)

tokyo arcade

Here is our 2024’s edition of the 10 best arcades in Tokyo, including Mikado Takadanobaba and Ikebukuro, Akihabara’s Taito HEY and GiGO Akihabara 3, Game Newton, Shinjuku Sportsland Honkan, Game In Ebisen, Nakano TRF, Game Spot Versus. The legendary Shibuya Kaikan, Game spot 21, Gigo2 and Shinjuku Playland being closed appeared shaded.

MIKADO TAKADANOBABA

mikado-arcade-tokyo

Not including Mikado’s gamecenter on this list would be like ignoring the success of Undertale in the indie game field. Over the past decade, business owner Minoru Ikeda has grown it to be something of a giant in its own right, now running three locations in Tokyo (Takadanobaba, Takadanobaba 2nd with Natsuge Museum and Ikebukuro) and even a Spanish affiliate. They are often the first call when the media needs a representative game center, as shown in their countless appearances.

arcade in tokyo mikado

Upon entering the arcade, visitors can find a multitude of arcade machines from the 1980s and 1990s on the first floor. The collection ranges from the original classic Pac-Man, to the shoot-em-up game Darius, and the very first Metal Slug game. The arcade also boasts two Atari Star Wars arcade machines and even after 25 years since its release, Capcom’s Street Fighter II arcade machines remain popular among the visitors. Apart from these retro hits, the arcade also features some musical games and pinball machines, including the iconic Medieval Madness.

Type of games played : all type of games

Mikado Takadanobaba : 4 Chome-5-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0075, Japan

Mikado Takadanobaba 2nd (including Natsuge Museum on the 2nd floor) : 4 Chome-8-8 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 169-0075

MIKADO IKEBUKURO

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Since 2018 Mikado Ikebukuro, initially “Rumble Plaza”

Combining their quality game lineups and consistent event organisation – as well as shrewd business planning in the face of decline with successful crowdfunding campaigns, recent collaborations with fashion brands such as Hardcore Chocolate, and heavy involvement in the popular Hi-Score Girl animated series on Netflix – it’s not hard to see why Mikado have became such well-known custodians, preserving the idealised game center experience.

Type of games played : all type of games

Mikado Ikebukuro : 1 Chome-41-16 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo 170-0013, Japan

Mikado’s twitter : https://twitter.com/babamikado

Taito Hey

tait hey arcade in tokyo akihabara

Such is their gravitas, Taito are one of the Japanese arcade giants that should still require no introduction, even with their output slowing in more recent decades. Whilst they continue to boast one of the most well-loved branded game center chains in the form of the Taito Game Stations, as well as the diversified Exbar and Megarage barcades, these facilities are jettisoned here in favour of the true jewel in their operations crown, HEY. Want to visit the best place for shooting game in the world ? Taito Hey is it.

taito-hey tokyo arcade in akihabara

Inside the Hirose Entertainment Yard it earns its namesake from (sandwiched between two more prominent amusement spots on the iconic Akihabara strip), HEY offers a veritable gaming feast on just a few floors, wider than those found at the taller Akiba gaming towers. Many Egret candy cabinets inevitably take pride of place, as well as newer titles and a selection of dedicated Taito experience classics, from Night Striker to Tetote X Connect. The floor is filled with cabinets dedicated to STG (shoot them up games) as the company is mainly known historically for his shmup games (Space Invaders yes for sure). Traditions never die. So be prepared to find a lot of Caves, Toaplan, Psykio games !

Type of games played : all type of games but huge selection of Shoot Em up

Taito Hey, 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 1 Chome−10−5 1階~4階 廣瀬本社ビル

GiGO Akihabara #3

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With the 2020 buyout and subsequent rebranding of Sega’s amusement operations to the pre-existent GiGO name, as well as the closures of some of its most world-famous locations amidst this, you could easily believe that the remnants are easily written off as done for too. All is not lost, however – the first and oldest of the iconic Akiba buildings hosts a basement full of Gundam EXVS2 cabinets, and Guilty Gear Strive weeklies on a row of APM3 setups.

Alongside a respectable lineup of more contemporary rhythm action and trading card titles situated on the levels below, the retro floor of GiGO Akihabara #3 – now known as Retro:G – has been massively expanded in recent years, boasting an impressive lineup of candies, experience games, and offbeat treasures, regularly updated and maintained.

Type of games played : all type of games

GiGO Akihabara #3 : 〒101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 1 Chome−11−11

Shinjuku Sportsland Arcade

shinjuku-sportsland-arcade-tokyoWhilst numerous other legendary spots in Shinjuku have closed their doors permanently, some still stand tall. And of those that remain, you’d be hard pressed to find one more frequented to this present day than the likes of Shinjuku Sportsland Honkan. The small chain’s most famous location continues to run in one of the areas hit hardest by recent game center closures, with even Taito giving up some of their Game Stations located nearby.

At a time when another ex-Sportsland affiliate has all but ended much of its fighting game legacy, the now-GiGO rebranded Club Sega Shinjuku West Exit, the Honkan branch has held out. Above the UFO Catchers still drawing others in, it has defiantly kept a sizable selection of candies, and suitably flyer furnished surroundings for a sense of place. As of writing, Shinjuku Sportsland Honkan has most recently seen strong playerbases for the likes of BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, with regulars not only on Central Fiction 2 and Strive, but several older versions of the latter too, particularly Xrd Rev2 and ACPR.

Type of games played : all type of games

Shinjuku Sportsland Arcade : 3 Chome-22-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan

Game Newton (Itabashi & Ooyama)

game-newton-tokyo
Yasuaki Matsuda, Game Newton owner and Tougeki Co-founder

Topping off this round-up is one of the most storied independent fighting game spots in the capital ever since the 1990s. With branches based in Itabashi and Oyama, Game Newton pride themselves on being a “Friendship & Community Space” – doubtlessly providing one of the core, justified functions that a game center should really serve and be valued for.

As one of the first ever Japanese locations to distribute their events on early livestreaming avenues such as Stickam and Ustream, they have cultivated a unique reputation for themselves, steered brilliantly by veteran scene figurehead and co-founder of Tougeki SBO, Yasuaki Matsuda. Game Newton remains one of Tokyo’s arcades to be admired.

Type of games played : mostly fighting games

Game Newton Itabashi : 3 Chome-24-3 Shimura, Itabashi City, Tokyo 174-0056

Game Newton Ooyama : 25-8 Oyamacho, Itabashi City, Tokyo 173-0023

Game In Ebisen

gameinn-ebisen-tokyo-arcade

Gamecenter renowned for its shoot em up competitions (take a look at the hand-made weekly tournament boards), this one welcomes Japan’s greatest danmaku players. The retro atmosphere is indescribable. We hope to see it go on for a long time!

Type of games played : mostly Shoot’em Up

Adress : 1-75-12 Asahigaoka (Yazima Building 2F), Nerima, Tokyo

Nakano TRF

nakano-trf-tokyo-arcade

Located in the Nakano Broadway shopping mall in Tokyo’s Nakano district, this arcade is one of the best in Japan, catering almost exclusively to fighting game players. A must-see only if you’re a fan of the genre.

Type of games played : exclusively fighting games

Nakano TRF : 5 Chome-52-15 Nakano, Nakano City, Tokyo 164-0001

Game Spot Versus

game-spot-versus-arcade-tokyo

Tokyo’s legendary fighting room. Featuring weekly SF2X (Street fighter turbo) tournaments, this retro-style venue welcomes the most experienced fighting game players from Tokyo and all over Japan. Not a huge arcade, it can be a bit cramped on event nights, but the competition is extremely strong for every game there. Go just to admire ;)

Type of games played : exclusively fighting games, escpecially SF2X

Game Spot Versus : 〒116-0013 Tokyo, Arakawa City, Nishinippori, 5 Chome−15−10

In summary, the best arcades in Tokyo for shooting games are Taito Hey in Akihabara and Game in Ebisen in Nerima, when the others are more for fighting games fans : Game Newton, TRF, Game Spot Versus, Sportsland. If you love all type of games, Mikado’s arcades & Gigo #3 is the best choice ! 

 

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