Earlier this month the interwebs were shocked to learn that one of Japan’s most unique game arcades, and arguably the coolest place in Kawasaki, would be closing down for good on November 17. Anata no Warehouse (which literally means “Your Warehouse”) is a multi-storey arcade modelled after Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City, and it is just plain cool. But it looks to soon be a thing of the past, just like the original Walled City which was demolished in 1994.
While I’m not much of a gamer, over the years I’ve visited Anata no Warehouse twice purely for its amazing atmosphere, and would happily go again. If you haven’t been yet, now’s your last chance!
Here’s a little homage to this gritty, iconic arcade which
offers offered a dystopian escape from the real world.
Standing next to a modern, nondescript apartment building, the faux-rusted facade of the arcade with its name in red lettering really catches the eye.
At the entrance, a huge rusted steel door opens to reveal a red-lighted corridor, where jets of air blow to give you that extra jump. Immediately you are hit by the change in atmosphere, which provides the perfect setting for creepy photos. Especially if your friend can do a convincing impersonation of Sadako.
Moving through the darkened alley, head upstairs for the main attraction – an elaborate rendition of Kowloon Walled City that will knock your socks off. If you’ve ever been to some of the less savoury areas of Hong Kong even today, you’ll know that the city they’ve recreated is amazingly accurate.
Laundry, including underwear, can be seen hanging from the grilled windows of ramshackled apartments squeezed close together.
Even the insides of the apartments are recreated with painstaking attention to detail.
Roast duck, a very typical Hong Kong favourite, for sale in a grime-splattered kitchen. You can even stand behind the racks and pretend to be the butcher.
Peppered around are arcade games and UFO catchers, adding a sci-fi element to the scene and creating a rather Blade Runner type feel to everything.
The Hong Kong Walled City theme ends on the top floor, which instead has a Greek-like fountain, pool tables and resembles any old arcade. I failed to take any photographs because it just seemed too normal after experiencing the other floors.
When you are ready to exit, get ready for another visual treat. By now, you can abandon the Kowloon Walled City theme, and instead plunge into a full dystopian science fiction world.
The doors open into a sheltered carpark and disappointingly back into the real world.
Getting to Anata no Warehouse
The arcade is less than 10 minutes walk from Kawasaki Station, which is served by a number of JR lines. You can also walk from Keikyu-Kawasaki Station in around 15 minutes.
3-7 Nisshincho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Opening hours: 9am – 11:45pm on weekdays, 7am to 11:45pm on weekends
(until November 17, when it will be permanently closed)