Sega High Tech Land – Shibuya


The game center scene in Shibuya is rather sparse, which is surprisingly given the sheer amount of young people that pass through the area every minute. Located roughly a 5 minute walk from the Hachiko exit at Shibuya station tucked in a building is a rather unassuming Sega location. It’s easy to miss and more than possible to walk past without realizing that it even exists.


This location is spread out over two floors, but more on that in a short while, the first of which is fairly well sized. With the standard assortment of crane games and other assorted games to play, though unlike other sega locations, this floor is devoted to more than just crane games as there is a rather large section of fighting games and Gundam Ex to cover the bases. The main floor also covers rhythm games as well.


One thing that I noticed was… how empty this location was, it was very devoid of people with few exception and it easily takes the crown for the quietest game center that I have been in while in Tokyo. There was a decent gathering of couples playing crane games by the exit and maybe a small scattering of players on the various fighting games. It did make it easy to navigate and play games that might other wise be crowded.


One tricky thing that threw me for a small loop is that the game center occupies two floors of this nine floor building… the first and the seventh. Deciding that I owed it to the location to visit it in its entirety I slogged up the elevator. Upon arrival on the seventh floor I was greeted with more of the same.


A rather empty extremely quiet area. The seventh floor offers titles you would usually encounter crowded or with lines at them in more popular locations. As was made apparent when the locations four Kantai Collection machines were unoccupied. Moving through the rest of the seventh floor the locations most popular game was noticeably Wonderland Wars as it was well represented as well as well played, Border Break had a small contingent as well.


Playing a couple of rounds of Wonderland Wars, and full credit play of Kantai Collection, the reason for the general lack of sound became all too apparent. The machines are set to what must be their lowest volume settings. I have never really needed to use the headphone jacks that many games offer these days, but it was almost necessary here.


If you find your self in Shibuya looking for a game center, there are not many and it may be better served to hop on the Yamanote line to Shinjuku about 7 minutes away though as none of the game centers in Shibuya are all that impressive. Though this location could work well if you want to try out a game you haven’t before, the general atmosphere of this place could be be described as sticky.

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Tokyo Leisureland – Don Quihote


Kind of creepy.

Tokyo Leisureland is nestled on the 6th and 7th floor of the massive Don Quihote building in Akihabara. This game center can be a bit off the beaten path for a lot of tourists who don’t make the venture up Don Quihote, but Don Quihote itself is an attraction worth seeing. It’s also home to some of the cheapest drinks around, which can be useful given the potential for restaurants here to give you a thimble of coke or what ever else your drink is.


Carp Energy… by the Cincinnati Reds?

After exploring the labyrinth of floors on the way up eventually you will come across the Tokyo Leisureland, there is another location in a stand alone building nestled off on the fringe of Akihabara but that will be for another time.


Leisureland is rather spacious for a Japanese arcade with a good assortment of games to spread around, though something about the lighting makes the game center itself feel kind of stale, it can be a good change of pace if the more crowded locations in Akihabara proper. The UFO Catchers offer a good assortment of prizes, some of which you wont find elsewhere and the vending assortment is solid as well, though out of curiosity I tried the fountain soda machine and it gave me a disappointing amount of liquid for the cost.


This game center gets particularly crowded at night, more so than some other locations due to that its open till 1 am as opposed to 11:30, so it might not be the best place to go if your looking for a more peaceful experience, but if your staying in Akihabara and still want to do something after everything else has closed, this is a good bet.


Gundam Ex seems to be the biggest game here, with the most representation by far, I hope to see a console announcement for Maxi On at TGS next month, but until then the Game Center version will have to do. All of the major games are represented here as you would expect, but there aren’t any real representation of less popular titles or older ones, so one would have to journey to HEY! in Akihabara for that.


Leisuireland is a solid place to play, though admittedly it does lack a bit of the atmosphere that the rest of Akihabara has. But combined with the trip up Don Quihote its worth a visit once, and possibly more times in the late night hours. Be sure to check out the grocery area on the second floor as well for some good and fun finds.