PACHINKO & Video Games, Tokyo
Arcades and Game Centers are very popular in areas like Akihabara and Shinjuku. The most popular game is the UFO Catcher (or crane game as we call them in the U.S.). The games are choke full of high quality toys and stuffed animals, unlike the cheap toys you get in the U.S. crane games. However, you could spend a fortune trying to obtain that cute toy when you could just buy it at the toy store! There are some toys that are EXCLUSIVE to the UFO catcher machines, especially the ones at SEGA.
While they are open in the daytime also, they seem to be most popular at night after dinnertime. Good luck!
The pinball-like game of Pachinko is extremely popular in Japan and can be found in many American casinos. The term Pachinko is derived from the Japanese word pachi-pachi, meaning the clicking of small objects or the crackling of fire.
While the origins of pachinko are unknown, it most likely descended from the "Coringth Game" which originated in Chicago, USA. The game appeared in Japan in the early 1920's, and the first Pachinko hall was opened in the Osaka Prefecture. Takeichi Masamura is known as the founder of today's pachinko for he developed the "Masamura Gauge", an arrangement of nails that became the basis for most of today's pachinko machines. In the 1980's pachinko machines became computerized and now have sounds and graphics that make the game more exciting.
I visited the Tokyo largest outlet in Shinjuku which shown on the picture.
There were quite a few casinos and arcades near where I was staying, and I was surprised how fun these were, especially after a few drinks! :)
Watching a man in a business suit playing the drum games or using an electric gutair is a sight to see, I tried the games and obviously these people have had a lot of practice because I couldn't carry a tune, I guess I need to play more often!
I found doing this a lot of fun, and the arcades usually have many floors to visit with a variety of games to play. The ones that are unique to Japan were great to try, and was a different experience and not something I would normally do at home, I guess being a block away from home changed that! LOL
Dress Code: Nothing special