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The 13 Coolest Japanese Arcades You Have to See to Believe

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Vote up the coolest Japanese arcades that just shot to the top of your Japanese travel to-do list.

Your local arcade may have boarded up its doors a few decades ago, but in Japan, arcades are as popular as ever. It should come as no surprise you can find some of the coolest arcades in the world in Tokyo, a gamer’s paradise. With its neon lights, endless sprawl, countless nooks and crannies, and chaotic crowds, Tokyo itself feels a bit like a video game.

Though Tokyo is the center of Japan's arcade culture, most Japanese towns have at least one arcade, known as a gesen (a shortened, Japanized version of the English phrase “game center”). After a long day at work or school, many head to the arcade to play a game of pachinko, take pictures with friends at the photo sticker booth, or reclaim their high score at a favorite game.

Whether you’re looking for a casino-sized arcade with vibrant lights and the latest games or a quiet space housing vintage favorites like Pacman, Japan is your go-to place for some of the best arcades in the world.
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