Monday, March 28, 2016

:::SPECIAL:::Kickin' It Old School @ The Shinjuku 8-bit Cafe!

Kickin' It Old School @ The Shinjuku 8-bit Cafe! 

Do you not just enjoy games but really feel
as though the best years of gaming have
long since past us by? Do you desire to connect
with a sub-culture of video game lovers who
share the same interests as you? 

Well grab your bag of retro games and meet
us in Shinjuku for a blast from the past adventure
into the wild world of retro gaming at Shinjuku
8-Bit Cafe!

What is the 8-bit Cafe??!
-Imagine a bar/restaurant where you
have unlimited access to retro games!
-NES, SNES, Gameboy, Playstation,
and more!
-Unique action figures from hit Anime
and games!
- Comics!
- Food and drinks!


It's a bit obscure but wedged in between the building
with quite a bit of greenery and the Izakaya staircase
leading to the basement, you'll find a narrow
stairwell next to the tiny green "8" sign. To be completely
honest, I passed by it twice without even noticing... (lol)

:::Shinjuku 8Bit Cafe:::
Click for Larger Map

Price: *500 yen entrance charge!
Budget: 1000〜2000 yen / person
Phone: 03-3358-0407
Address: 3-Chome 8 - 9 Q Building 5 F Shinjuku,
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Hours: 6PM to 12AM (Friday & Saturday
6PM to 5AM) Closed Tuesdays
Official Website (Japanese):

Much smaller than you imagine

When all is said and done, you have to remember
this is Tokyo, and space is at a premium, so don't expect
the cafe to be as large as you would imagine. Though
it's labeled as a cafe, it actually more resembles a bar
with some light game themed music playing in the background
to help set the mood. Seating is extremely limited, and on
a busy night be prepared to sit next to people you
don't know.

Gaming bros!

For all my game fanboys out there, this place
is really a walk down memory lane. So much
gaming memorabilia, it'll have you saying "AHH~"
over and over again as you reminisce back to
your childhood speeding through the early
editions of Super Mario. ^^  

Something for non-gamers too

If games aren't your thing and you just
enjoy the gaming atmosphere, there is an
assortment of comics stuffed under the bar
just itching to be picked up and read.

Pick up your controllers!

In all honesty, I didn't get a chance to play the
games much because I was too busy ogling at
the different controllers and cool action figures!
Another cool thing I noticed is that there are actual
old school board games as well! Something to pass the
time while waiting to play a game I guess? 

The environment is very chill, and relaxing. Just
imagine hanging out in your buddies den, playing
games and swapping stories about what you games
you're going to get during the year and strategies
for how to beat the next boss in .... sorry got a little
carried away. ^^ Anyways you get the idea..

One quick look around and you'll notice there
are quite a bit of foreigners that visit the shop.
Luckily the staff are bilingual and can help you
out even if you don't speak Japanese. There
are also Japanese menus with English translations

Check out the new gear! What do you think?

How to enjoy

If you're thinking you can just waltz on
in and play as many games as you want
and leave as you please then you are surly
mistaken my friend. There is a cover charge
of 500 yen and you must at least order
a drink every 1.5 hours. So essentially
you're timed as you enjoy your meal,
drinks, games or whatever you decide to do
during your time there. Personally I can
understand where they're coming from
trying to discourage freeloaders from
taking advantage of the free games, but
mandatory drinks after the cover charge
seems a bit steep to me. Average drink
charge is approximately 500 yen. Something
to consider before visiting...

Getting down to the gaming

The controllers appear to be in perfect working
order and the buttons don't stick at all. They
obviously got high quality controllers, possibly
refurbished or kept in great condition by the
original owners.

Long wait times

After arriving, a couple was busy playing a
heated battle of Mario Cart and their rivalry
seemed to heat up after each succeeding race.
Something I noticed is there isn't really a rule in
place from what I saw about the sharing the
machines. So as a result, you just need to play the
waiting game until someone finishes. Found this
a bit frustrating, especially with the fact that you
are somewhat timed in between ordering food or

The Dark Night is born!

Wrapping your head around how the owners
got their hands on so many old school games
is tough to do so I recommend just enjoying
the experience for what it's worth. Pick up some-
thing old and see if you still got the skills to
play it. However you may find that handhelds
like this don't actually have batteries in it. It'll
be a good idea to bring some AA batteries with
you so you can play for bit when you arrive (that
is, if it actually works!).

All and all, I would give the Shinjuku 8 Bit Cafe
two thumbs up and praise it for it's original
idea tapping into the retro game subculture
market. Next time you're in Shinjuku, go
pay it a visit. ^^

:::Shinjuku 8Bit Cafe:::
Click for Larger Map

Price: *500 yen entrance charge!
Budget: 1000〜2000 yen / person
Phone: 03-3358-0407
Address: 3-Chome 8 - 9 Q Building 5 F Shinjuku,
Shinjuku-ku Tokyo
Hours: 6PM to 12AM (Friday & Saturday
6PM to 5AM) Closed Tuesdays
Official Website (Japanese):

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