Date visited: September 8, 2018
A game center reminiscent of old Kowloon.
At the heart of it, Kawasaki Warehouse, also known as Anata no Warehouse (あなたのウェアハウス), is a game and entertainment center geared towards adults. What makes it stand out among others is its attempt to recreate the walled city of Kowloon, the once overpopulated city of Hong Kong that largely went ungoverned by the authorities. This lawless city, sprawling with crime and prostitution has inspired many works of fiction, which makes Kawasaki Warehouse a must-see for enthusiasts of the dark and grimy.
Having played video games like Shenmue and Fear Effect in my childhood, my curiosity was piqued the moment I stumbled upon photos of Kawasaki Warehouse. The arcade is located in Kanagawa Prefecture and is an easy 30-40 minutes away from central Tokyo.
With its seemingly faded and rusty exterior, the game center is easy to spot in Kawasaki, which looks like your typical developed area outside the capital, with big shopping malls and cinema complexes. Kawasaki seems to have a thing for developing areas that replicate foreign locations, as the nearby entertainment complex called LA CITADELLA is designed to give off an Italian feel.
As you enter Kawasaki Warehouse, the doors slide open with a loud puff of air—the kind you hear from old sci-fi movies—as if signaling your entry to a dark fantasy. You are greeted with dim, red lighting next, walls and fake windows with faded paint, as well as an audio of conversations in Cantonese, played in a loop. Peek through the window near the entrance and you get a naughty surprise: a doll in a state of undress lies on a narrow bed.
Entering further, the extent to which Kowloon is replicated becomes apparent in the minute details—neon signs that give the city some semblance of light, tiny apartments that sitting on top of each other, clothes left out to dry, and meat hanging from hooks—the arcade successfully creates a surreal atmosphere any gamer or fantasy lover would be crazy about.
Outside the grim atmosphere, the rest of the game center is typical in its collection of games, with a few vintages ones to boot.
A portion of the Kowloon-themed areas can be enjoyed on the upper floors, but most of it stops on the first one. The second to fourth floors of the building resembles a casino, with slot machines, billiards, and darts among the array of entertainment. I found these areas scarier than the first floor, to be honest. Kawasaki also has a reputation for being less safe than other parts of Japan, and the looks that people gave when I happen to pass by are rather intimidating.
Still, I’d recommend visiting Kawasaki Warehouse for the fun of it. Whether you’re into arcade games or you just want to get a kick out of the creepy atmosphere, the game center won’t disappoint.
How to Get There
Kawasaki Warehouse (あなたのウェアハウス, Anata no Weahausu)
Google Maps URL
10-minute walk from JR Kawasaki Station
Mon to Fri – 09:00-23:45
Sat, Sun and holidays – 07:00-23:45
*Guests 18 years old and below not allowed