TacoCat’s Travels #164 (Japan 8.0 - Kawasaki): Gaming in Cyber Dystopia or Creepiest Arcade Ever? 😨

in Pinmapple8 months ago

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Hey Hive!

If you missed the last couple of posts, I started recounting my trip to Kawasaki when I went to visit Sean in Japan at the end of May 2019! He was doing an internship with Fujitsu in Tokyo then for about a month or so but we missed each other so much he booked me a flight to go and visit him!

So last week, we finally got to spend some time sightseeing together and we went to visit the mini version of the Fushimi Inari shrine right here in Kawasaki! Called Keihin Fushimi Inari, it felt like a small neighbourhood version of the actual Fushimi Inari and even had these compact torii gates that were so cute!

I ended the post after we left the shrine and went to get snacks at the nearby mall but that wasn't the end of our day; we also went to visit a very special place that I teased at the end of the post. So here we go!

2 June 2019. Sunday.

Sean had heard of this place in Kawasaki called Kawasaki Warehouse which is a pretty unique arcade and possibly one of the biggest in Japan! And naturally as gamers we were really intrigued so we wanted to go check it out!

Just outside Kawasaki Station was this town square-looking place which was holding a little carnival/expo of sorts? There were a few booths with samples and stuff.

And even this Minion balloon! It was pretty warm out though so everyone kinda look disinterested in whatever was being advertised.

We were following Google Maps since the place is kinda out of the way and not near anything of interest. And after about 10 minutes or so from Kawasaki Station, we found it!

So the building and the interior is designed to look worn down and like the former Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong, and the designer actually imported some props directly from Hong Kong!

In our research we thought it was a themed amusement park at first because of the design and stuff, but I wouldn't say it's a conventional amusement park like Disneyland or Universal. Mostly because its only 1 building albeit being five stories tall, and doesn't have any rides or roller coasters. And more importantly, it's totally free entry! Which was really surprising to me. 

There were a bunch of people standing outside because it looked a little scary to enter but we saw some people go in and knew what to expect.

It was still pretty shocking though since there'd be a blast of mist at you to scare you and the entry way is quite dark and creepy-looking. Here's a video! Excuse my scream of shock when we pass through the mist.

Just pass the entry there was also an exit into the neighbouring carpark across this creepy moat that really gave haunted house vibes.

Here's what it looks like from the other side:

When we took the escalator up it wasn't so scary anymore because we arrived at the arcade! The walls, floor and lighting were still on-theme with the whole run-down dystopian look so most of the lights were from the many different arcade machines in there. Here's another video!

It was a little surreal to see these semi-modern machines and technology in such an old run-down looking place. But the aesthetic was nice and just worked somehow.

The arcade was also very neatly arranged and was pretty spacious! There was a section of retro games, crane machines and a dance game section that also had chairs and fans! I'm not sure if those were here since the start but it was nice that they had the players' interests in mind when designing too.

But just look at the design of the boarded up stalls and dingy walls, with "exposed" wires and pipes on top. I'm not sure if those are functional but I have a feeling the pipes are for ventilation and air-conditioning. A lot of shops have trouble making their ceilings look nice because of all the pipes and lights but here it was perfect because of the aesthetic.

This was probably my favourite part of the arcade since the design was really on full display here.

There were some tabletop games and I think those people were working on some puzzles with pen and paper? I'm not sure what it was for but it looked interesting.

There were some older games here but I was busy admiring the background with all the old signage and the worn out posters!

There was even a fake roasted meat stall that looked so real with the dingy and gross-looking floor. I didn't really want to go in there because the dirt looked so real I was scared to touch anything.

Even the functional vending machine and this old crane machine looked a little haunting! I don't know how they did it but it looked just like a horror movie!

You can tell they must've spent a lot of time, money and effort in designing this place. And hats off to them for doing such a great job! If it wasn't for the arcade machines I could've sworn we were in an actual haunted house, or the set of a horror movie.

They even had this sign to show that it was indeed inspired by the Kowloon Walled City in HK, which was originally a Chinese military fort that turned into an ungoverned and densely populated Chinese enclave in 1898 and even more so during WWII. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by local triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug abuse. (Source: Wiki)

While Sean played a few games of DDR I went looking around at all the other machines they had here, and there was a lot! This was the racing and music section:

There was also all these other machines. While the building was 5 stories tall, each level was actually really wide and spanned a large area to put all these machines.

After we were done playing and looking around the arcade floor we went to check out the others. Each floor also had a slightly different feel.

But I think I'll leave that for next week! Sorry for the abrupt end but this post is getting a little long. Stay tuned for the next post when we explore more of Kawasaki Warehouse!

Note: this place has closed down since Nov 2019 just months after we visited so we were really lucky to have gone there before it did.

Thanks so much for reading!

To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!


Check out my previous post in this series!

TacoCat’s Travels #163 (Japan 8.0 - Kawasaki): Frolicking with Foxes in Tiny Torii Gates! 🦊⛩


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Hiya, @lizanomadsoul here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made it into our Honorable Mentions in Daily Travel Digest #1572.

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thanks so much for the honorable mention @lizanomadsoul! ^-^

Congratulations @taco.cat! You received the biggest smile and some love from TravelFeed! Keep up the amazing blog. 😍 Your post was also chosen as top pick of the day and is now featured on the TravelFeed.io front page.

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oh wow thanks so much for the top pick and feature @smeralda! really appreciate it! ^-^