Like clearing levels in a game before you get to the main boss. 

It’s been a tough year for fans of Japanese video game arcades, with Adores and Shinjuku Taito Station closing their doors in Tokyo, and Sega announcing it would be pulling out of the arcade business.

However, all is not lost in the land of weird and wonderful arcades, because Twitter user @kagura_moimoivr would like to introduce us all to Warehouse Iwatsuki in Tokyo’s neighbouring prefecture of Saitama.

Here, the arcade business is still going strong, perhaps due in part to its amazing entrance, which looks like this:

Since @kagura_moimoivr posted the video of the entrance to Warehouse Iwatsuki, it’s received over 3.7 million views. It’s easy to see why the video has captivated so many, because nobody would expect to stumble upon the cavernous adventure that lies behind the unassuming doors at the entrance to the building.

From the minute visitors open the front door, they’re taken to another world, with a stone-lined path leading them past a bamboo grove with a mysterious wooden effigy and offertory box.

The landscape then morphs into a rocky cave with low ceilings and stalactites and stalagmites, making you feel as if you’re Lara Croft exploring an underground cavern.

The final hurdle for visitors is a bridge crossing, lit in an eerie blue, beyond which is a set of spiral stairs that takes you to…

▼ The arcade!

The moment the final door opens is a discombobulating one, with the UFO Catcher crane game machines shining like jellyfish in an underwater lake. The arcade itself is huge, with loads of different games inside, and the sense of adventure created with the entrance makes this discovery all the more exciting.

People online were mesmerised by the video of the unusual arcade, leaving comments like:

“This entrance is awesome — it’s like clearing levels in a game!”
“It’s like Pirates of the Caribbean!”
“Indiana Jones for me!”
“The narrow entrance makes the arcade feel even bigger when you see it for the first time!”
“I never knew about this — definitely going to go visit!”
“I thought Warehouse Kawasaki was the last warehouse arcade of its kind! So glad to know this one still exists!”

After losing Warehouse Kawasaki, one of the country’s most stunningly decorated arcades, back in 2019, it really is heartening to see Warehouse Iwatsuki carry the torch for Japan’s otherworldly, atmospheric arcade houses.

With an entrance this unique, the arcade in Iwasaki is now enticing more and more people to make the trip out to visit Saitama. If you do visit the prefecture, though, you’ll want to remember one important piece of advice — don’t to walk up or down the escalators.

Arcade Information
Warehouse Iwatsuki / ウェアハウス 岩槻店
Address: Saitama-ken, Saitama-shi, Iwatsuki-ku, Kakura 3-3-63
Open: 10:00 a.m.- 11:45 p.m. (weekdays), 9:00 a.m.-11:45 p.m. (weekends)

Source: Twitter/@kagura_moimoivr via Jin
Images: Twitter/@kagura_moimoivr
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