Trip to Japan

Thread in 'Discussion' started by TGGC, 22 Jun 2018.

  1. I'll be on a trip to Japan from 15.7 on for 3 weeks. I'll stay somewhere around Ikebukuro, so I already planned visiting the Game Safari Arcade and likely Ebisen, too. As its my first time to Japan in general, and I know multiple people from here have already been there. Feel free to give some advice, what to do (or not do) there and what else I should not miss.
    K, Qlex and Tomek like this.
  2. I'll write up a long post when I have a little time.
  3. Well, you needn't go overboard with it, but any info is appreciated!
  4. If you don't want to have to travel all the way to Game Safari Arcade, check out HEY (Hirose Entertainment Yard: in Akihabara. It was the best place to play TGM2 I found when I went 2 years ago. It's 100 yen per play so a bit more expensive but the TGM area has very little cigarette smoke (most times zero, other times only minor, I went multiple times over 2 weeks). Everywhere else I went was so smoky I could only play once or twice then have to leave to breathe (and shampoo and launder all my clothes lol).

    Buy some of the filtered face masks too if you go somewhere smoky.
  5. Thanks! We likely have to pass Ikebukuro station every day, thats why i selected this one. But a day in Akihabara is also planned!
  6. Dude, get hype! :D
  7. The best place to play TGM2, is Pier21 on tuesdays, I think you get double the plays. They have a token machine there that gives you 3 tokens for 100¥ iirc, so any other TGM game is 3 plays for 100¥.

    Hey arcade is great, has tons of shmups, fighters, and all the TGM's. For some reason all their TGM cabs have both a sanwa and seimitsu stick on either side, so playing doubles or vs kind of sucks.

    There are a few used game stores too like Super Potato if you're a collector. Lots of CIB jp games and consoles.
  8. K


    It's been almost 10 years i haven't visited japan but my small advises :
    - Hey in akihabara is a really good place. Take some ear plug though ! Visit each floor (except the basement : you pervert) if you want to watch crazy dudes on others games genres (especially SHMUPS).
    - Pier21 isn't close from Tokyo, so you better go there for a whole afternoon/evening. You will not likely meet any japanese TGM player until you come for the masters event.
    - You can visit kabuki-cho and see some (you pervert)
    - DON'T plan to visit the "Royal palace" : the garden gates are only open 2 days a year. You will just waste your time seeing nothing.
    - if you go visiting other major cities of course you can do the combo Osaka, kyoto and Nara..
    - i don't know if still like that but : japanese don't use credit/debit for paying in shops : always have enough cash with you
    - except for umbrella, Japan is pretty safe, so don't fear to carry lot of cash with you instead of everyday withdraw (beware the international bank fee wich might became crazy).
    - Go and eat real sushi's : it's nothing compared to the shit we eat in almost every west country restaurant (follow some guide and find small local ones).
    - IF the tsukiji fish market is still open to public go and visit there on very early morning : you can also eat the freshest sushi here (yes in the morning).

    sorry for engrish
    TGGC, Echo, Qlex and 1 other person like this.
  9. More to come later.

    Staying in Ikebukuro is a really good idea if you aim to hit game places as a lot are easily accessible from it (and Ikebukuro itself is a fun spot to hang out in.


    - Game In Ebisen in Ekoda (10 mins on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line from Ikebukuro station) is a one of a kind location; if you didn't already know it was there you'd never find it because there is basically no indication from the outside that it exists. A major chunk of all arcade records over the last ten years have been set there, and I can't recommend it strongly enough. It's almost never busy, and you can rent cabs by the hour for the more grindy modes for 500 yen. Otherwise, everything is 50 yen. They have about 20 cabs but have an extensive selection of PCBs that they will put into a cab if you want. TAP usually has Seimitsu sticks but they can swap in a Sanwa panel for you in like 5 minutes (I recommend DMing them on Twitter in advance if you have any Japanese speakers with you because they might not just be willing to randomly do it if you show up and they don't know you). Ti has a silent JLF on 1P side and a regular one for 2P. TGM1 usually isn't in a cab but they will put it in if you ask (even on the spot). They can also record videos for you if you bring an NTFS flash drive (make sure it's a decent one) or DVD-Rs for some games. This place has a pretty eerie atmosphere but it can be a refreshing break from the sound assault of every other arcade. KAN's arcade of choice.
    - Pier 21 in Kodaira (maybe 30 mins or so on the Seibu-Shinjuku line from Seibu-Shinjuku or Takadanobaba station) has 4 TGM1 cabs, 2 TAP cabs, and one TGM3. All play well and if there are any problems just let them know and they will immediately fix them. Pier21 can also do recording and even live broadcasting if you want. It's also incredibly cheap...3 games for 100 yen and half that on certain days! Be aware that all the cabs except Ti 2P use JLWs instead of JLFs, so it might a little getting used to. Not a problem like Seimitsus or anything, they just feel a little different.
    - Daytona III out in Warabi, Saitama has TGM1, 2, and 3. All cabs play well, and they seem to be able to record video and broadcast )(although you'd have to ask Hebomai for more info on that as I haven't tried it out there). Hebomai's arcade of choice.
    - Anata no Warehouse in Kawasaki is one of the most insane places I've ever been to. As I'm sure you know, it's the arcade themed like the Kowloon Walled City. In addition to this gimmick, however, they also have a TON of cool games in good condition. This includes Rad Racer and Outrun deluxe cabs and the original pressure sensitive button SF1. They have all 3 TGM games running in New Net City cabs with USB video recorders, so make sure to not forget your flash drive if you want to try that out. There is also a second Ti cab that doesn't have recording set up. NIK, the Sakura WR holder, likes to hang out here. Don't bother asking him to give you a demo however as he doesn't play that mode at all anymore and hasn't in a long time. All TGM games are 50 yen here.
    - HEY in Akihabara is an absolute treasure trove of rare games in mint condition Egret 2 and 3 cabs, but unfortunately is both insanely loud, filled with the worst kind of gaijin (who will interrupt you and snap photos of you while you're playing and shit), and also not really a spot to play TGM. They have TAP and 2 Ti cabs, but TAP's cab wobbles and only has a Sanwa in the 2P side while the left Ti likes to lose your save data and the right one has a kind of crappy monitor. Also everything is 100 yen so don't waste your money on TGM there. An awesome spot for shmups and pretty much everything else (except music games), so definitely worth at least a trip or two even though I haven't given a great impression of it.
    - Natsuge Museum in Akiba has tons of cool cabs and is generally quite a pleasant environment, no TGM but absolutely worth a trip as well.
    - Mikado in Takadanobaba is one of the premiere arcades for fighting games and retro stuff in all of Japan, but honestly their cab maintenance outside of the stuff that has a big community kind of sucks. Don't bother with their TGM1 or TAP. Could be worth checking out no matter what, however, as there's no shortage of cool working suff still.
    - Taito Station Shinjuku South Exit's 5th floor is home to a good chunk of the best IIDX players in Japan. If that's your thing at all, you gotta go there for the people watching (and the perfect cabs).
    - Game Versus right next to Nishi-Nippori station has a huge amount of fighting games and also a decent music game selection. This is pretty much exclusively a fighting game spot, and they have weekly SF 3rd Strike tournaments that are attended by many of the best players in the world.
    - Game Safari (Ikebukuro) has TAP in a New Net City but with Seimitsu sticks so forget about playing there unless you can handle that.
    - Ramble Plaza (Ikebukuro) has TAP in a pretty good cab in the basement; I've set some insane times there. They also have a few shmups and a bunch of Shanghai and mahjong games in addition to a few other JAMMA era games. The first floor has your standard modern arcade fare and then upstairs there's a bunch of fighting game cabs (it seems to be a spot where quite a few people play). There's also a TGM1 in an Egret 3 with a totally fucked monitor; I didn't go this trip but it's been fucked for years so I doubt they've fixed it.

    A few non-arcade things that you should know:
    - If you haven't already done it and plan on taking even a single shinkansen on your trip, GET A FUCKING JR PASS. You will save so much money, but you have to do it before you leave the country. There are many sites that will either overnight one to you or send it in 3 days.
    - The JR pass only covers JR lines and services; for everything else (like the Seibu lines, most buses, etc) you'll want to grab a Suica/Pasmo card from the charge machines at any station and just load that up. Tap on anywhere, tap off. No fucking around with tickets (seriously the only people that do that are the worst kinds of tourists). You can also use them to pay at most convenience stores, some restaurants, vending machines near stations, and even many Taito arcades. Suica and Pasmo are functionally more or less identical (as are Pitapa and Icoca and all the other IC cards) so just grab whichever you stumble into first. Just about every machine that charges or accepts any of them will charge / accept all of them.
    - There are basically no actual trash cans on the streets...EXCEPT at convenience stores like Family Mart, 7/11, and Lawson so feel free to run into them and throw out actual trash or use their actually nice bathrooms even if you're not buying anything (Japanese people also do this).
    - Basically don't expect anyone anywhere to speak English, because they probably won't outside of chain restaurants in extremely foreigner heavy areas.
    - Late night food: once basically everything else is shut, you have a few options. Late night ramen places are usually pretty decent, or you can become a true salaryman and get wasted and order 5000kcal of food for probably $20 or so at Saizeriya. The other big family restaurants (Denny's, La Pausa, Jonathan's, Bikkuri Donki etc) are not quite as cheap but will also satisfy you. Many McDonald's are basically 24 hours for takeout too, so grab something off the "Ura Menu" if you feel like it. Avoid Matsuya and Yoshinoya (mostly Matsuya).
    - Google Maps is your friend for figuring out how to get from point A to point B at any time. It's not perfect but at least in Tokyo it's very very reliable and won't usually fuck up so much as just not give you useful information or lead you slightly astray at a station entrance / exit.
    - You can't get a phone SIM that makes voice calls on a tourist visa, but there are rental phone companies if you need something like that. The data only SIMs tend to suck and are pretty much exclusively astounding ripoffs; use these guys instead: I usually pick up from their store in Akiba because I know how to get to it, but if you can't get there without data assistance then you might want to do airport pickup. The leftmost choice on that page is insanely fast but has a lower data cap, so choose accordingly. They're all pretty cheap IMO and are very solid.
    - English menus suck donkey dongs often, so if you have any Japanese speakers with you (like literally any Japanese knowledge at all) try and get a JP menu too.
    - Akiba is seriously hell and absolutely fucked pricing-wise. Unless you are extremely into the most degenerate idol and moe shit, pretty much everything cool there can be found somewhere else (like Nakano Broadway).
  10. Thanks for all the infos. Its probably more than enough for serveral trips and should be pinned.

    I make sure I do not miss Ebisen. I am now seriously considering going to Pier21, too. I found on their twitter The Masters date in July is 7/21 and I realized its not that long of a train ride as I initially thought.
  11. Yeah, I figured I'd just get it all out there. Hitting Ebisen and Pier21 sounds like a good plan, although I definitely encourage you to head down to Kawasaki and hit Warehouse as well if you can, since it's a nice relatively quick train trip and you can turn it into a fun day trip down to Yokohama (which is really nice! Check out Oosanbashi pier!) as well. Of course, if you run into any problems or need help with anything while you're there, don't hesitate to hit me up. Same goes for anyone else.
  12. I will have an eye on all the recommendations here and try to hit everything nearby if we have some time left. We will definitely explore everything around Ikebukuro Station. I am pretty sure we will be close to HEY, Taito Station and some other mentioned at some point in time.
  13. K


    Juste a small information complement to clarify thing about transportation after reading Kevin's post, that I remember :
    JR is the Japan Railway. It's the main official company transportation. But LOT of other companies run their own lines.. Tokyo is a mixed spaghetti plate.. you might have to change several companies through your journey commute, and as said Kevin, you don't want to deal with the ticket because the price depend on the station you wanna go. That's why the SUICA card is fucking convenient because every companies accept it. Also, you'll often end up dumb in front of the station map because there is no latin character :
    So keep a map with you with kanji/Latin latin name
  14. Just one quick thing, is it in general ok to snap a quick picture of you/ your friend playing or your screen in an arcade? Or should you always ask one of the employees first?
  15. If you ask the staff even at places that don't care they'll say no, so just do it and don't be too obvious about it. You probably won't run into any problems, and definitely not at Ebisen or Pier. If some staff guy comes up to you just say you didn't know and it'll be fine. :)
  16. So after first week:
    -have been to Rumble Plazza for some Tetris and Streetfighter (KevinDDRs third place on the board there...)
    -played some Shmups at HEY, a lot of stuff to see
    -TGM2 at Game Safari, only 50 yen, played fine for me and did a 996
    -visited the masters at Pier21, lost every game in the tournament, still a lot of fun
    -additionaly: Taiko no Tatsujin with my friends whenever we found one ;)
    Qlex likes this.
  17. So I visited Ebisen now, too and went a second time to Kodaira (Improved my TGM1 PB ). Sadly its time to go back home already tommorow. Had tons of fun and thanks again for all the kind advice!
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