If you’re a big nerd, you’ll probably enjoy 8 bit cafe in Shinjuku. I’m only a small nerd and I thought it was cool. It’s basically a bar that’s packed full of retro gaming stuff, with themed cocktails to match.
There are game systems you can play (although not as many as we would have liked), and Game Boys and games lying around that you can use.
There’s no English menu, but there is a note in English telling you about their ¥600 seating charge. Seating charges are normal in Japan, but I can only assume that foreigners get upset, hence the English note. Again, seating charges in Japan are the norm and no, the bar is not trying to scam you. (Hey, you don’t have to tip in Japan, so you’ve probably made back the seating charge cost anyway.)
I’d never seen a Game Boy Micro before, although they were apparently released in North America.
It’s so small and cute! There were a bunch of games you could play but obviously the best game is Super Mario Bros.
A Dragon Quest slime!
Yeah, so learn to read katakana or come with a Japanese friend. Or just order the Dr. Mario cocktail because it’s pretty fun.
This is the Dr. Mario cocktail. I love the presentation — it comes in a beaker with a test tube of candy pills. I had the Metroid cocktail which was very green and sweet. Some of the cocktails sound kind of weird, like the “Galactica Magnum,” which is beer plus Catuaba (a herbal Japanese liqueur). You could always just order a tomato beer, but where’s the fun in that?
Piles and piles of old video game stuff.
I spent some time looking through the epic collection of instruction booklets. I found the one for Super Mario Mario 3.
Mike playing a tabletop arcade game.
Rockman = Mega Man
And of course, the bar only plays video game music.
More video game stuff.
There’s actually a bunch of retro video game themed bars in Tokyo. The 8 bit cafe was fun, but I’d like to find a bar that has more video games you can play. Maybe a Super Famicom (my favourite!) or two. Although there are zillions of arcades in Tokyo, I prefer my video games combined with alcohol and played sitting down.