Osaka is a really cool city to visit; very different energy/atmosphere from other Japanese cities. From Tokyo it’s only about 2 and a half hours by Bullet Train, so definitely make the trip if you have time!
For the arcades, you will want to go to Namba Station (you can use the subway or the train, but they go to different stations). Use http://www.hyperdia.com to find out the best way to get there. The big arcades are conveniently located on the same street, in an area surrounded by shopping, restaurants, hotels, and more. It’s great!
From the Subway Station, it’s about a 10-15 walk. If you get off at the Train Station, then the arcades are right outside! Anyway, on to the arcades…
ATHENA: This is the place to go to for non-Capcom games- BB/P4U/AH3/whatever. It’s a little small, but the players are very welcoming and friendly. This is a HIGH LEVEL arcade, so if you’re a lower level player, better to practice at one of the other spots.
AVION: Big Fighting Game floor; good balance of games + skill levels. It seems to be the main Capcom arcade in the area- many high level SF4 players when I visited. This arcade is the main arcade for tournaments/events.
TAITO STATION: Every time I visited here, it seemed to be very low-level/casual spot for FG’s. Good for practice?
NAMCO- Only Tekken + Gundam machines, but very busy and popular for those games. It’s worth a visit to see the Tekken Museum and the Ring!
That’s it, those are the Big Four! There are more Osaka arcades, but they’re at different stations so it’s best just to head to Namba. If you need a place to crash at, I circled the location of a great capsule hotel on the map. 2500 yen/night, very convenient location and nice baths! Give it a try, you can make reservations here (but even without a reservation you can get a spot)- http://daitoyo.co.jp/amza/
As usual, if you have any questions or you want me to introduce some Osaka players to you, just hit me up on Twitter @jiyunajp !
Today’s post is all about NESICA!
Nesica cabs came out around two years ago and quickly spread across Japan. They’re great because you can access dozens of games on a single cab; anything from Blazblue to Raiden 2 to Psychic Force 2012(what?).
They’re also cool because you can register a card in your name that will track your stats across games as well as give you access to in-game shops where you can buy new costumes/colors/titles/etc.
I’ll explain how to register your card in this post, but that’s only the first step! You need to register your account to each game individually ;( I’ll cover that in other posts.
1) Anyway, first step is to go Buy a card! Look for a vending machine, put in 300 yen (don’t buy one from a 500 yen arcade!), then out comes your shiny new plastic NESICA card.
2) All the card systems in Japan require you to use the card once before you can register, so go Put your card on the reader and play a game.
3) Now we wait 10 Minutes, and Send an EMPTY E-MAIL to email@example.com
4) Click the link in the reply and you will be brought to this screen. Fill it out and click the 送信 button! I don’t know where you are, so it’s up to you to figure out what Prefecture you’re in. (Pro-tip: Google) Tokyo = 東京都
5) Uh-oh, I hope you’re Japanese is up to par… Select the last arcade you used your card at. Ask an Arcade staff for help, use Google, or just go to ＨＥＹ！in Akihabara.
6) This is where you Decide your Card Information. Pay attention to the name- you can’t use regular input method, needs to be Full-Width English or Japanese Characters. Good luck!
7) Now just Confirm you information and you’re finished! Congratulations on your new NESICA account!
That wasn’t so bad, right? Now you can set up accounts for Blazblue, Persona 4 Arena, Arcana Heart, AquaPazza, King of Fighters, and more! Just click the links off the game site: http://nesica.net/index/gamelist/?guid=ON and then check here (in the future) for guides on how to get set up.
Going to use this blog to post up information/directions on Arcades across Japan. It’s easy to go to Akihabara, wander around, and find 5 Arcades; but what do you do if you’re traveling outside of Tokyo? I’ll write about Arcade Culture in different posts, these Write-Up’s will be mainly for info. And to start….
Comtech Tower (Nagoya Station) While not the biggest or most famous arcade, this has been my “Home Ground” for 2 years! It’s an 8 story building surrounded by Pachinko Parlors and Restaurants. It’s only 5 Minutes from Nagoya Station, so this arcade stays crowded a little later than other places since it’s easy for players to catch the last train home. The level of play varies, but it’s generally considered one of the High/Mid-High level places in the city for SF4/Nesica Games. So if you ever find yourself in Nagoya (why are you here?) this is a good/convenient place to stop by.
The Fighting Game section is on the 4th Floor. Setups as of 3/16/2013:
Gundam EXVS: 4
Plus assorted smaller fighters.
DIRECTIONS: From Nagoya Station, Go out the Sakura-Dori Exit (by the Gold Clock), You will be facing a very tall building (Midland Square), Cross the street towards MLS, turn right and walk down to light, turn left and you will see Comtech on the corner.