Namba Hills Arcade, Osaka
The other week I was going to the cinema in Namba (a big shopping area in Osaka, just round the corner from DenDenTown – the Akihabara of Osaka), and I popped into one of the few Burger Kings in Japan for a Samurai Burger (true fact).
On the way out I spotted Namba Hills on the other side of the street.
Obviously I had to check it out.
It’s a 4 storey, independent arcade, adhering to the usual layout rules of Japanese arcade centers.
The ground floor is full of UFO Catchers, to lure in the casual gamers, children and the ladies, and as you move further up or down the building the games become more obscure or “hardcore”.
It had all the usual figures, plush toys etc in the UFO catchers as well as some more obscure, unusual or just “huh?” items.
I then headed down to the basement where the Mahjong and old arcade games could be found.
I didn’t get any pictures of the Mahjong games as, a) I’m not that interested in them, and b) they were more popular so were in use and I didn’t want to take disturb people.
One of the Mahjong games actually had a camera set up pointing at the screen with the feed going into a monitor around the side of the cabinet where two people were sitting, smoking and watching the game. I guess that’s where the experts play.
The 1st floor (2nd floor in the Japanese floor counting system ) had all the fighting games and was very popular. Mainly Tekken and Guilty Gear but some older games could be found, King of Fighters, etc.
The 2nd (or 3rd if you like) floor was where the music and card games could be found. This was quite deserted. I think that was mainly due to the “downtown” location of the arcade as in the bigger brand arcades like Taito and Namco these floors are usually packed with queues for the more popular machines.
I captured a brief video tour of the place…
I quite liked this arcade and now visit it every time I’m in the neighbourhood catching a film.
So if you’re in the Namba, Osaka area (recommended mainly for DenDenTown where you can get some great retro gaming goods), it’s worth a look, although there are two large Taito arcades nearer to DenDenTown, which are easier to find and bigger, so this one is a little bit out of the way.
Just look for the Burger King just off the main arcade strip and you’ll see it opposite.
Burger King Namba map
You can get yourself a Samurai Burger if they’re still available.