Friday, December 6, 2013

Japan Arcade Dead, We'll Miss You

Sad news this Christmas season, Japan Arcade is dead. The well-known arcade of Little Tokyo has closed shop as of Nov 16. Japan Arcade was nestled in the Little Tokyo Shopping Center a block or two from Little Tokyo proper.

The arcade's owner was under financial and medical strain and higher rent forcing them to closed down the Family Fun Arcade in Granada Hills last year. Japan Arcade managed to stay afloat with a decent new look. It served the gaming community as a weekend get-away for gamers and anime fans.

The reason for it's demise was the increased rent by mall management. Japan Arcade's Twitter explains the owner tried to negotiate, but they couldn't come to a solution.

Asif Siddiky shows the arcade before it's game over
No plans have been revealed if it will open shop elsewhere in Little Tokyo, a constant oddity of the area, businesses will close down and reappear in a different corner in Little Tokyo. Though this seems highly unlikely with the Twitter feed explain many of the machines and merch going back to their owners, I assume they were renting them.

Unlike, Family Fun Arcades closing there was no proper ending party. No event that took place. No stream-a-thon. Employees were told not to tell anyone and the mall did not allow any filming when the place was closing.
I remember countless matches with friends. Seeing cosplayers dance away on the DDR's. Teaching the art of punching a machine just the right way, it was a punching machine, don't worry I wasn't just destroying machines. Oh, there was the time when Retro Gamer visited LA.

The talk of awful smells and how ugly some of the staff were and how they some times smelled by my friends, who are truly cruel human beings happened often after visits. It was a real arcade.

The area is not dead to arcades though. X Lanes LA remains on the same floor of the mall. It's filled with some of the newest arcade machines of the west and premier bowling. Eighty Two the arcade bar is to open soon at least by February 2014. LA Game Space may open up to, though it's lack of updates make me worried. Both will be walking distance from where Japan Arcade was.
In the LA area a new arcade, console based, opened up in Panorama City, Ultimate Gaming Center.

Japan arcade, you were one of my first posts on this site in my Arcades in LA series. You were always there in Little Tokyo for me to relax and just play something. You will always be a memory of me being a gamer. A stuck a quarter in a suddenly I was stealing diamond with a vacuum cleaner as Lupin the 3rd. Typing away the dead or playing my absolute favorite Taiko Drum Master. You even had it fixed after it broke.

Taiko drum master was such fun. You could just laugh seeing others beat out on the big ol' drums. Good-bye my arcade.

If you want to leave your own good-byes here's Japan Arcade's Twitter, which is still active.

a former employee laments its closure