Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade – Best Arcade in Japan!

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Any visit to Japan would not be complete without a visit to one of their cutting edge, no holds barred, high-tech video arcades. While it’s true you don’t have to look very hard to find an arcade with all of the latest games somewhere near your hotel, if you want to go to the absolute coolest arcade in town, you’ll have to leave the city. Don’t worry, it’s only a short train ride away, but the adults only Warehouse Arcade in Kawasaki is a sci-fi, cyberpunk dreamland well worth another trip outside of Tokyo, and in our opinion the best arcade in all of Japan.

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Entrance to the Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade and Amusement Center

Don’t Miss Out! Visit the Best Arcade in Japan

Also called Anata no Warehouse or アミューズメントパーク ウェアハウス (Amusement Center Warehouse), the warehouse arcade is a five story step into another world. Think dystopian grunge cyberpunk and you won’t be far off the mark. This place has been designed from the ground floor up to the fifth floor to feel, sound, and look like the gritty underbelly of society circa 1940’s Kowloon China. While you would never guess it from the outside–it doesn’t even look like a warehouse, let alone an arcade–the magic begins as soon as you make your way through the entrance.

gaming stations in the warehouse arcade Japan

In total, there are five floors in the Warehouse, the first floor is the covered parking lot and the front and rear entrances. Both entrances are slightly different but both feature sliding doors, loud noises, and the background sounds of street life you would expect to find in the alleys and sides streets of any seedy district in a large city. Of course, being styled after the Kowloon walled city where anything goes, Chinese is the predominant language. While we had no idea what we were eavesdropping on, it still worked to create an eerily exotic atmosphere.

Inside The Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade and Amusement Center

Leave the entrance via the escalator or the elevator to make your way up to the gaming floors above. The second floor continues with the whole dystopian sci-fi setting with very realistic, but thankfully faux, rusty fixtures, stained walls, graffiti, and grimy surfaces. This is where the arcades main floors are located. The second and third floors share a two story street facade complete with shops, a butcher, and  overhanging balconies (birdcages, hanging laundry, and all).

Street front inside the best arcade in Japan

There is a small snack type cafe here but we decided to get right into the arcades. We found the claw games, coin pushers, purikura photo booths, pachinko, virtual horse racing, and of course space-based battling games. The third floor had a large selection of retro games and racers that will be more familiar to foreign gamers and more affordable. Be sure and save up those 100 yen coins!

Warehouse Arcade Kawasaki Japan Coin Pusher Games

Even the games have that steampunk, science fiction feel.

After catching a few UFOs and feeding coins into the claw machines in a vain attempt to win a giant stuffed Pokemon, we continued up into the warehouses 4th floor. For some reason, the theme changed to a Roman temple which was a little strange but still fascinating. In fact, it was oddly familiar. It took a few minutes but we quickly determined this was a reproduction of the Tivoli Fountain in Rome!

Roman Temple facade in the Arcade Warehouse Japan

This floor is dedicated to billiards, ping pong and darts. You’ll need to register at the service desk before playing these games so be sure and bring a photo id. This was a simple matter of filling out a form and soon we had our handful of darts. Now was a good time for refreshments so we grabbed an ice cold coke from the retro vending machine and chose our dart board. There were several groups of people playing already but we didn’t have to wait since there were a few still open. It’s been awhile, but after a few throws the technique came back and we had a great time playing through a couple of rounds of cricket and 301.

Amusement Warehouse Arcade Quick Facts:

  • Adults Only, must be 18 or older to enter
  • Open Monday-Friday from 09:00 until 23:45, Saturday-Sunday from 07:00 – 23:45
  • Drinks and cafe type food available
  • 10 minute walk from Kawasaki station; JR Tokaido, Nambu, and Kehintohoku lines; Keikyu line
  • First Floor – Parking and Entrances
  • Second and Third Floor – Arcade games, pachinko, coin sliders, claw games, virtual horse racing
  • Fourth Floor – Ping Pong, Billiards, Darts
  • Amuse Warehouse Kawasaki homepage

]Purikura photo booth inside Japan's best arcade 

Our time in the warehouse was nearly complete but we did pop on up to the fifth floor to check out the cyber cafe. For those into online gaming, or in need of some computer time, this is the place for you. This is also a place to get away from the noisy arcades and pachinko slots below and relax with a cold drink or a coffee and have a snack.

Amusement Arcade Warehouse in Japan, close to Tokyo

No change? No worries, there are machines ready to help you out on each floor.

Our Final Thoughts

I love all of the energy and excitement, the sounds, and the action of a good arcade. Even if the Warehouse Arcade was just a large warehouse it would have been awesome. But the level of design and attention to detail in creating the walled city of Kowloon inside the building really is amazing. The overall effect transforms the experience from merely going to an arcade center into actually going into a video game yourself. I absolutely loved it! Finally, don’t let the adults only classification alarm you. That designation is due to the gambling aspect and the fact that they sell some alcohol on the premises.

Neon lights Inside the Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade

Don’t worry, this just looks like a seedy red light district.

Getting To The Warehouse Arcade from Tokyo

For this trip we had the luxury of driving ourselves, so we were curious about whether Google maps would lead us there and also whether there really was free parking. It turns out we had nothing to worry about on either point. To be fair, I wasn’t too nervous about driving and it was a straight forward drive with no tricky turns. On the other hand, I wasn’t too hopeful about the parking. The website states that limited parking is available and the idea of finding free parking anywhere in Japan seemed unlikely. However, there were plenty of open spots and the parking was, in fact, free.

Taiko Drums game at Warehouse Arcade Japan

One of our favorite two player games, everyone should give the taiko drums a try!

No car? No worries, the Amusement Warehouse Arcade is a short 10 minute walk from the Kawasaki station. JR East trains that stop here include the Keihintohoku, Nambu, and Tokaido lines. Visitors arriving on these trains should leave the station from the South East exits 22 or 23 then walk two blocks south on Sakura Dori. The Keikyu metro line also has a stop in Kawasaki and is only a few minutes further walk from the arcade.

Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade Entrance

The rear entrance to the Warehouse Arcade in Kawasaki, Japan whets the appetite for what awaits inside.

Other Places to Go Nearby Kawasaki

Pokemon Cafe – Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Cup Noodles Museum – Yokohama
Sumo Tournament – Tokyo
Top 6 Tokyo Attractions
Attend a Yokohama Baystars Baseball Game

Conclusion

The Kawasaki Warehouse Arcade, only a quarter of an hour from central Tokyo by subway, is one of the coolest arcades. Five full floors full of the latest and greatest arcade games, as well as some Japanese favorites. If you are the gambling type or want to take your date to play some pool or darts, this is the place to go. 

 

About the Author

Jim Vail, cofounder of Reflections Enroute, is a perpetual traveler who loves writing, photography, and learning and sharing more about the world around him. He's visited more than 80 countries and has lived outside his home country for over half his life in Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Germany, and the Netherlands. Least favorite question--Where are you from?

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