Friday, 14 January 2011


Photo from: Hypno Pixel

Japanese arcades are very different to the dingy amusements that litter the great British seafront - there's no ugly flowery carpet or rusty 2p pushers - just bright white lights, pounding J-Pop and flashing, glowing, sparkling blinking lights. And sound, lots and lots of sound.

The arcades generally span several floors and entice people in with UFO catchers and walking robots. Once inside the colourful game centres, or geh-sen as they are commonly known in Japan, you can play the latest Tekken game, slap a sumo about, win the latest kawaii toy or have your picture taken in the puri-kura - kawaii photo booths which offer the chance to enlarge your eyes to anime-size proportions and jump into the latest pose. 

One of the firm favourites in geh-sen are the musical games where you can pick up a plastic guitar and strum along to the latest J-Rock song, or the fabulously strange Taiko Master - where you bang a plastic taiko drum and try to outdo your friend (occasionally by making vegetables pop on-screen - mooli away!).

Photo from: Kotter6

Occasionally you can find pachinko machines in geh-sen, however these are mostly restricted to dedicated pachinko halls.


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