The Tokyo cityscape is known for many iconic landmarks: Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Tower, Skytree and more. But some of Tokyo’s most futuristic sights, immortalised in cyberpunk books and sci-fi films, are found in Akihabara. Dubbed Electric Town for its large variety of electronics stores, Akihabara is also an otaku (geek) haven with a plethora of anime and manga stores, maid cafés and music idol concert venues.
Unfortunately, one of Akihabara’s major landmarks has announced it is shutting down at the end of summer. Sega Building Two, the iconic game centre with thick orange stripes on the building’s facade, will close on August 30. Known for its retro and modern arcade games, Sega is a popular place for locals and tourists of any age to kill a few hours playing games or winning merch from UFO (claw) machines. So far, Sega hasn’t announced a reason for the closure, so we can only speculate, but the lack of tourists during the Covid-19 pandemic surely didn’t help.
The closure is a mega bummer, but it seems like other arcades in Akihabara are staying in business, including multiple Taito Game Centers and other Sega arcades. The Sega Building Two arcade will now join Tokyo’s infamous IRL Mario Kart in geek heaven. Let’s hope this year doesn’t see more Tokyo gaming culture disappear.
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