UFO Catcher/Claw Machines
The most common machines you'll find, whether it's a small or large arcade, are the claw machines. These machines are mostly known for containing plush or stuffed animal prizes, something that is common is America back when arcades were a thing. Japan takes their claw machines up a notch with their prizes. Don't be shocked to see candy, chips, figures or even electronics. Even the classic plush toys are worth your time as they are especially cute and possibly from an anime you like. The downside to these machines are the difficulty. It is hard to get any of the prizes unless you've spent time mastering the machine. If you are interested in learning some tips on being successful with the UFO Catcher machine then click here to learn by watching a video. If you just can't seem to master these machines be prepared to lose a lot of money. You think you'll only spend about 300 yen or about $3.00, but you'll get so frustrated in losing that you'll easily lose an easy 1000 yen or $10.00. The most I've lost on one machine was probably 2000 yen/$20.00.
Gacha machines can be found in arcades and just stand alone places. You may have something similar in your country because I know in America I could compare gacha machines to those machines you'd put money in to get stickers. Japan, of course, is way cooler. Gacha machines usually have tiny figures and keychains in plastic balls to buy called capsule toys. Periodically you'll see other things but those are the main items. Gacha machines can range from 100 yen to 500 yen depending on the item and its popularity. The item themes range from anime to animals to food. There is a bunch of things to look for in a gacha machine when it comes to the theme of the items. There's also a sushi place that will let you win capsule toys for eating sushi, click here to watch a video on that.
It's Japan, of course they're going to have fighting games. Japan is one of the most competitive countries when it comes to fighting arcade games. They have Street Fighter, Tekken, BlazeBlue and much more. Some arcades will even dedicate a floor to fighting games alone. You'll probably see some really intense people playing, but don't get intimidate if you really want to play.
Dance Dance Revolution
Dance Dance Revolution is known as DDR. It's a popular dancing games where your steps have to match the directions scrolling upward on the screen. You'll definitely be testing your hand-eye coordination. You may have the chance to see some intense skills at the arcade with this machine. Japan is a really big fan of rhythm games as they have many such as Project Diva and Pop n' Music that can also be found in arcades. The DDR machines have beginner to insane levels so don't be shy to try it out.
Did you have a Nintendo console when you were growing up and played Mario Kart? Mario Kart can also be played at arcades in Japan. You can either play solo against the computer or you can have a friend join you at another kart and race with you. These machines will make you use the steering wheel to select game options. Another feature of these machines are that they'll take your picture and have it look like you are the character you chose. There are usually a good amount of machines for this game so you won't have trouble playing when you want.
Taiko no Tatsujin
This machine will be probably not be seen anywhere else besides Japan unless an anime convention or retailer paid good money for it, and even then it's probably an older model of the game. Taiko no Tatsujin is a taiko drum game that you can either play by yourself or with a friend. It's another rhythm game, but it deserves a place for itself. You'll have two sticks to play with and you'll have to beat on the drum when the glowing circles fly across the screen. One of the best things about this game is the music selection. If you are a fan of Japanese music then you'll love the chance to play this game. You can select anime openings/closing or the most popular J-pop song. As you go through the game's music library you'll find something you'll love. This game can be played casually but you have those intense players who play the game hardcore. It's very fascinating to see people play this game with such speed.
And those are the most common games you'll see at an arcade in Japan. You may also see some card game machines or even their own pachinco machines (slots) but not all arcades with those. Another tip is that arcades are the best places to cool off in the summer, when it's hot in Japan. Just keep track of your money and not spend it all. I hope you enjoyed this blog. If you haven't been already maybe now you'll want to explore a Japanese arcade. They're a great way to use your 100 yen coins.
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Until next time. じゃあね！