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Saitama is located outside Tokyo. And like most areas surrounding giant cities, it gets a bad rap and has earned the nickname "Dasaitama" (ćƒ€åŸ¼ēŽ‰). That's a word play on "Saitama" and the Japanese word for uncool, "dasai" (ćƒ€ć‚µć„). I'd agree if there weren't ramshackle roadside arcades which are more than desolate and decrepit. They're endearing.


Japanese site Daily PortalZ checked out Saitama's 24 hour roadside arcades. The result is a bit of time warp, taking you back to a time when toasted sandwiches and lighters were sold out of vending machines, and when virtual reality was the future.

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The decline in the Japanese arcade scene isn't as noticeable in big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, where there are still huge game centers. However, when home consoles began to encroach on arcades, the impact was felt more acutely in the suburbsā€”or anywhere you had to drive to an arcade. It's amazing that these arcades are still open in Saitama. They're an example of a bygone era. They're an example of when time just stops.

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Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.