Friday, July 8, 2011

Decks Tokyo Retro Mall and Arcade

Recently, a bit of pinball at a Shibuya arcade kindled an old passion for the beautiful game. Back in the day, Pinbot (Now I see you!), Addams Family, and other classics blissfully sucked up my time and money. I even used to have a Star Trek TNG table in my apartment. Anyway, I haven't found any of those glorious games in Japan (yet), but I have discovered another classic: Lord of the Rings.

After playing a few games in Shibuya, I Googled "Tokyo pinball" and came up with some shreds. Apparently the biggest pball hall closed its doors two years back. But I did come across an intriguing pic on a German blog. A Deutscheballer wrote about an arcade with a bunch of retro games in the Decks mall, in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. (Big Sight is also in the neighborhood) I tracked the mall down online, and since I was in the area today, I headed over to check it out. What a find! From vintage games (pinball and arcade) to old skool candy and goody shops, and even a haunted house, this place is rockin.

I walked to Decks from the Big Site. Word of warning: the Odaiba area is HUGE. (It took nearly 30 minutes just to walk between those two spots.) I think it's all reclaimed land, and the pedestrian walkways, bridges, and plazas are gigantic. (Lots of grand plans for the area apparently fizzled out after the economic bubble burst 20+ yrs ago.) My sense is most crowds cluster around the train stations, and not too much goes on in between stops. Anyway, here are some shots from my walk. Some nice views, and a relaxing break from the bustling city.

More after the jump, including lots of arcade pics!

Here was the ultimate destination: Decks. You can get there on the Rinkai line (Tokyo Teleport station), or you can take the Yurikamome monorail to Odaiba Kaihin Koen station.
Joypolis (located inside Decks) is where I thought the arcade was. I asked an attendant, and she said they have no pinball machines. Damn! I nearly gave up...

Turns out Joypolis is a multistory amusement park run by Sega - and not a cheap one either.

Since I was already there, I decided to have a look around the mall. I went up the first escalator I saw and VOILA! There was this big arcade and all kinds of other things to see. Shame the Joypolis attendant was clueless that there were a dozen pinball machines not 100 feet from where she worked....
The key theme to the floor is retro. They really went all out in the look and feel for the design. Some of the games here, though still working, could well be in museums.

A beautiful site!

I mentioned I played LOTR in Shibuya. Well, I thought I had, but playing a table in pristine shape like this makes all the difference. The game play is night and day. Huge props to the staff for keeping everything in excellent shape.

I tried out this vintage table. Gotta say, it was good fun, but I'll stick with more recent games.

Now THIS is an old school UFO machine!
Check out all these other vintage games.....

 Some vintage pachinko machines:

 Tabletop arcade games!

When's the last time you saw Crazy Climber? Amazing!

Garamon was just hanging out in this display case.

Cool carnival style shooting gallery
 Plus there's lots of old skool shopping and food chomping to be done at Decks!

Boop boop de boop!

Remember stores with candy cigs?


Feed the lion coins, and it does a dance and fetches you a fortune.
 Haunted house:

This is on the OUTSIDE of the house. Wouldn't you think it would freak out a 4 year old walking past?

Or this one?
 Check out this living room window display - like looking in on a house from the 60s.

The TV is always running. Such a nice touch.

Part of the Taco (octopus) "Museum" on the same floor. It seems to mostly be a lot of octopus serving food stalls.
To Tokyo, and beyond....

And a cityscape night shot to wrap things up. If you're in the area, I'd definitely recommend the mall. Thanks for reading, and good night!


krakit said...

Man, what an awesome place
to discover! I would want
to spend an entire weekend
there tasting all the candies,
playing pinball, doing terrible
on the old video games. I even
remember Crazy Climber.

That haunted house would have
given me the willies if I saw
it as a tiny child.

When I was around 10 years old
I had a friend who owned a
pachinko machine. Seeing those
brought back memories.

andy b said...

Yeah I definitely want to head back but it might be a few months because of the location.

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