Bandai Namco Arcade Akihabara


2023.06.11

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Bandai Namco Arcade Akihabara

Affectionately known as Electric Town, the main thoroughfare of Akihabara is Tokyo’s most prominent electronics and pop culture hub. Whether you’re in search of retro gaming consoles, detailed figurines bearing the likeness of our favourite anime characters or some of the city’s best kebabs, Akihabara has something for everyone.
From the moment gaming arcades started popping up in the area decades ago, Akihabara was dominated by Sega, the Japan-based video game developer. Everywhere you looked, Sega’s bright blue lettering adorned the face of multi-level arcades, and like a beacon in the night, drew in gamers until all hours. At least that was the case, until 2020 when the pandemic made hands on attractions like gaming arcades a tough sell. Unfortunately, this time of great uncertainty was a storm too much for Sega to weather, and one by one their arcades began to close their doors for good.

  • Spread out across six floors, Bandai Namco Arcade has a challenge to suit all gamers.

    Spread out across six floors, Bandai Namco Arcade has a challenge to suit all gamers.

    Fast forward to today and there’s a new player in Akihabara: Bandai Namco. Much like Sega was in their prime, Bandai Namco is a titan of international video gaming and has long been responsible for publishing some of the world’s most beloved titles. Looking to expand further into the physical world of gaming, Bandai Namco have now opened their very first arcade in Akihabara in what was once Sega Building 4, bringing their renowned IP to the neon-lit streets of Electric Town.Fast forward to today and there’s a new player in Akihabara: Bandai Namco. Much like Sega was in their prime, Bandai Namco is a titan of international video gaming and has long been responsible for publishing some of the world’s most beloved titles. Looking to expand further into the physical world of gaming, Bandai Namco have now opened their very first arcade in Akihabara in what was once Sega Building 4, bringing their renowned IP to the neon-lit streets of Electric Town.

  • 02

    Basement Brawlers

    Spread out across 6 floors in total, the Bandai Namco Arcade makes use of every square inch of space, beginning below ground with the arcade video game room on the basement floor.

    A combination of retro-style arcades and modern-day gaming, the arcade video game floor brims with fast-paced action.

    A combination of retro-style arcades and modern-day gaming, the arcade video game floor brims with fast-paced action.

    Dedicated to one of Bandai Namco’s longest running and most successful franchises, Mobile Suit Gundam, the arcade video game floor is filled with machines running one of the latest iterations of the series, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. 2 XBoost. While the name might be a mouthful, the concept is far more straightforward: pilot a high-powered mech warrior to victory against other players in fast-paced, action-packed style of gameplay that often sees the room burst with player’s excitement (or despair) as the bouts play out.

    Here, state-of-the-art gameplay combined with arcade cabinets reminiscent of popular 80s and 90s beat ‘em up games creates a unique way to play that simply can’t be found on home consoles. Do be aware though, the game is predominantly in Japanese, so be prepared to fumble your way through a few menu screens depending on your language level.

  • 03

    Cranes and Claws

    Moving up through the building to the first and second floors, the pace slows down with a variety of claw machines and crane games with which to try your luck.

    From home grown Japanese characters to international favourites, there’s plenty of crane game options to try your luck.

    From home grown Japanese characters to international favourites, there’s plenty of crane game options to try your luck.

    Once again leveraging the sprawling catalogue of Bandai Namco IP, here players can find machines filled with toys and detailed figurines of their favourite anime and manga characters, as well as items from other famous franchises such as Star Wars. Typically priced at 100 yen per attempt, change machines located throughout these floors will gladly accept your bank notes in exchange for a fistful of coins, which depending on your level of skill, can run out quite quickly on some of the more difficult games.

    For those who’ve worked up an appetite, some machines are stocked with unique candy and savoury snacks as well. Just be sure to keep track of how much you spend trying to win.

  • 04

    Feel the Beat

    Next up on the third floor is the music video games. Popularised in the late 90s by titles such as Dance Dance Revolution, music and beat-based games exploded in popularity across Japan and are some of the more physically demanding games in existence.

    Inspired by the traditional taiko drum, Taiko no Tatsujin is a crowd favourite throughout Japanese arcades.

    Inspired by the traditional taiko drum, Taiko no Tatsujin is a crowd favourite throughout Japanese arcades.

    While styles and gameplay vary, some requiring players to trace musical patterns on screen with their hands and others based on hitting coloured buttons to the beat of a high-speed techno track, there’s no doubt that the most popular and spectator friendly of all rhythm games is Bandai Namco’s Taiko no Tatsujin. A drumming game based on the traditional Japanese taiko drum, Taiko no Tatsujin sees players use drumsticks to hit a drum to the beat of onscreen prompts. With a multiplayer option making use of the two drums per machine, it’s the perfect game to enjoy with friends and even sees competitive tournaments held from time to time.

  • 05

    A Small World

    Originating in the 1960s, the Japanese style of capsule toys known as “gachapon” have long been a staple of collecting in Japanese pop culture, and the fourth floor of Bandai Namco arcade has one of the better collections you’ll find throughout Akihabara.

    The hundreds of capsule toy machines on offer make choosing just one collectible almost impossible.

    The hundreds of capsule toy machines on offer make choosing just one collectible almost impossible.

    Gachapon, an onomatopoeia for the sound that the machines make when dispensing the capsules, are typically based on the miniaturisation of real-life objects ranging from cars and computers to instant ramen and even café furniture. Filled from floor to ceiling, the fourth floor of Bandai Namco Arcade is home to hundreds of unique capsule toy machines, with the containers of collectible goodness ranging in price typically between 100 and 500 yen. Do be warned though, collecting pint-sized versions of everyday objects is highly addictive.

  • 06

    Top Floor Trading

    Reaching the fifth and final floor of the Bandai Namco Arcade, visitors are met with a space dedicated to the world of trading card games. Here, not only can you purchase booster packs to improve the depth of your favourite Bandai card game decks, but tables set amongst a vibrant atmosphere create the perfect spot to relax with friends and play a hand or two.

    Also located throughout the trading card floor, display cases show off some of the rarest and sought after cards from the various Bandai franchises, giving avid collectors something to aspire to on their hunt for the perfect deck.

    The Bandai Namco Arcade located outside Akihabara Station’s Electric Town exit.

    The Bandai Namco Arcade located outside Akihabara Station’s Electric Town exit.

  • 07

    Location and Operating Hours

    The Bandai Namco Arcade is located directly outside Akihabara Station via the Electric Town exit. To reach Akihabara Station, visitors can take the Yamanote Line from Shibuya bound for Shinagawa/Tokyo.

    Entry to the arcade is free on all levels, with payment only required to play each game.

    Address: 101-0021 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Sotokanda, 1-15-9

    namco (Namco) Akihabara
    place
    Tokyo Chiyoda-ku Sotokanda 1-15-9B1F-5F
    phone
    0362607400
    View Allarrow

    JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA

    1-17-4 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

    Agoda
    • JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA
    • JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA
    • JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA
    • JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA
    • JR-EAST HOTEL METS AKIHABARA

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