All About Japan

Retro Gaming in Tokyo

Gaming Shopping Tokyo Akihabara Kanto

While the rise of home game consoles in the 1990s spelled doom for arcades in America, they can still be found in Japan. Modern "game centers" (ゲームセンター)—as they're called locally—usually feature purikura (プリクラ) photo booths and crane games (UFOキャッチャー・UFO catcher) on the first floor, while the upper levels are full of the latest games. However, Only in Japan decided to avoid the most modern offerings, and instead headed out to Takadanobaba and Akihabara to check out two retro gaming centers.

Mikado (ミカド) in Takadanobaba offers a cornucopia of truly retro games, from 1986's Out Run to the original 1983 Star Wars arcade game—and, of course, the requisite Street Fighter II.

Mikado Address:
1F-2F Oasis Plaza Bldg.
4-5-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Mikado Hours:
10 a.m.-midnight

Another retro gaming haven is Super Potato in Akihabara, where you buy retro game systems from the Atari 2600 to the Sega Saturn. You can also play select games in-store, and there's a small retro arcade on the top floor.

Super Potato Address:
Sotokanda 1-11-2
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Super Potato Hours:
11 a.m.-8 p.m. (from 10 a.m. weekends and holidays)

Tokyo is still a time capsule of classic otaku obsessions—if you know where to look!