Image: Taito

Another arcade is closing in Tokyo. Taito Station Shinjuku West Exit, which opened in 2018, will shutter on March 21. With fewer customers, and tourists banned, arcades are hurting.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.



I went to Japan 7 years ago. After a lifetime of lusting after the imaginary version of Japan found in American media I was so excited to go to the arcades, and then was scared shitless by how amazing literally every single person was at every game.

I ended up only playing one game, Pokken, and after barely losing by button mashing (and clearly frustrating my opponent because despite my obvious lack of skill/strategy it was a close match) I didn’t play another game.

I still went to a bunch of other arcades, just to marvel at the talent on display. I guess what I’m trying to say is this sucks.