Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays with Arcade & Crane Game Snaps from Kichijoji!

Kaiju Korner wishes you and yours a great holiday season! During the holidays people are out to have a good time with friends and family. In Tokyo, that often means heading to one of the city's hot spots. There are plenty in the city, and one that stands out is Kichijoji, a district in Western Tokyo about 15 minutes from Shinjuku.

Kichijoji has plenty to see and do, from huge electronics and department stores to tiny boutique shops and alleyway eateries. As we wind down 2013 and gear up for the new year, here are some snaps I took the other day in the area.
Like the sign says, coppice Nordic Christmas!

 Arcades, crane games, and Tommy Lee Jones after the jump:

Canned coffee is always a good time. I read somewhere that Japan has more vending machines than any other country, and I believe it!

Tommy knows what I'm saying.

 Let's head into an arcade.
The games are getting more sophisticated and interactive, with huge screens, touch panels, games for which you use trading cards to compete against other players in epic linked battles, and lots of other innovations. Even if you aren't a big gamer, it's worth popping into an arcade to see the new games in action. In fact, for the big interactive linked games, like the Gundam fighting game, arcades often provide a separate screen so non-players can watch the action.

These sit down games are fun. Some are now 4D, including goggles for the 3D action + effects like a shaking ride, puffs of air blown at you from little air ducts, and other surprises.

 Onto the crane games!
Ted has really caught on in Japan. You see lots of merchandise like this.

One of the stranger crane games I've seen...

Gargantuan boxes of Hi Chu!

Taking the candy game challenge. I hope they read my piece in the NYCC Clutter mag first...

Another challenge met! These guys were having a great time, and here's a fun note about Japanese culture. If you route someone on when they play a game, they'll often give you something after they're done. These revelers gave me a lollipop, and then I dug into my candy bag and gave them three Chupa Chups from my haul (see below). Smiles everyone, smiles!

All right, now we're talking. A Chupa Chups candy game. I'm pretty familiar with this arcade (on the B1 level of the Loft store building), so I know they don't make it impossible to win. (Well, the Ted game was really tough. No score there.)

Chupa Chups challenge met, and haul taken! (I'm going to give most of these away today.)

Restock the Thunderdome!

Challenge #2: Crane game with handheld video game prizes.

Score! This one was surprisingly easy. I think it took 4 coins (400 yen). A word about the arcade staff. Many of them are very friendly and will help you strategize. Of course they want you to keep playing, but they also give out good advice and will, on the more difficult games, actually open the case and reposition the item making it easier for you to win the goods.

And a final bow on our holiday snap medley. I hope you enjoyed our tour of some of the fun things to see and do in Kichijoji Many happy returns for the new year!
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