Question about Japanese arcades...maybe Kitsune can answer

Okay, so some X-Play folk, myself included, are heading for Tokyo at the end of September for TGS and all that good stuff. However, we wanted to do some shooting around town, and maybe hit an arcade or two. My question is, what’s the typical attitude/legality toward a bunch of gaijin bringing TV cameras into such places? I really have no idea who to talk to about permission or such things.

Anyone got relevant info on this subject? Any help appreciated.


You’ll want to look for Boonga Boonga. I hear it’s Kitsune’s favorite arcade game.

Don’t drink that.
It isn’t lemonade, seriously.

Here’s a tootsie roll instead.

Wait, that’s not a tootsie roll either…

They may not be helpful, but they are TEH FUNNAY.


Come on guys, you’re scaring Kitsune away. He’s a guy that writes Koontzian-length posts and actually fills them with coherent content, we need him here.

Kitsune rocks. He’s one of my favorite QT3’ers of all time. I would never want him to leave, despite his creepy urine fetish.

I’ll drink to that!

I’ll drink to that!


Oh, no! Iced pee?

Come on fellas! Stop taking the piss - it’s Kitsune’s…

Smile nicely, do the bow thing, and ask the manager first and I’m sure he’ll let you film. You will attract customers.

He, I bet its not very well known here that I’m an absolute arcade freak and spend a good deal of my freetime at or around arcades. (It helps that my girlfriend likes to hang out around them too. :))

Anyway, you should be fine, if you want to ask somebody, they will almost always be near the entrance or on the top floor, at the very least ask a vendor who sells prizes or the waffle cone thingies (what do you call those in English?) And he can tell you what’s up or where the owner is. The only time I can think of that you’ll run into trouble is if there are games on test, which is usually the case that the companies don’t want their early engines leaked out or photographed. You should be fine, as you’ll probably be tipped off by the long lines or the mean-looking people guarding them.

If you have any problems, take a train ride to Ueno or Kichijoji and ask around for an arcade there. People are much more laid back and likely not to give you any trouble. Another good idea is to hit up Sega or Namco-owned super corporate mega arcades, where they probably aren’t even going to notice you. :D Don’t forget that bowling alleys and pachinko towers also often have arcades near or in them, though of course pachinko guys would be more likely to shoot you if they see you with a camera, so they might not be such a great idea. :P

Yeah, we get people filming us playing in Kansai quite a bit, every country always seems to have multiple documentaries where they feel must get footage of us playing Dance Dance Revolution. Make sure you check out the sword-slashing arcade games, they’re some of the cooler new games!

Have fun. I probably won’t say anything to you if I see you there, but don’t take that as an insult, as I’m just hugely shy.


This one time*, Kitsune wrote a massive post (surprise) about Tales of Symponia on the gaming-age forum because I asked for some impressions. So, you know, Kitsune >>> most of you dorks who never write anything for me :P

[size=2]*not in band camp[/size]

Thanks for the response, Kitsune. We’re going through Sega of Japan and will probably shoot in one of their establishments while we’re there. Originally we also wanted to do something involving pachinko, but the more we learned about that and the average pachinko parlor clientele, the less that seemed like a good plan. I have no interest in trying to explain to a man covered in dragon tattoos what the white people with the cameras are doing.