(Topic ID: 156774)

Pinball in Japan? Exploring a slice of Americana in Osaka, Japan.


By Yukendoit

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 30 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by blowback1976
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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29
#1 3 years ago

Hello all you wonderful people! I'll admit that I'm not a collector or an expert on pinball but I do really enjoy some tables. I moved out to Japan about seven months ago to become a teacher and boy it's been a lot of fun so far. I was lucky enough to get placed near a major city, that being Osaka, Japan which if Tokyo is New York then Osaka would be like Japan's L.A. So after a while of exploring and slowly trying to learn the language I came across something near the Osaka tower called Smart Ball or スマートー・バールー for those of you that can read Katakana. Imagine a mix of pachinko mixed with a simple pinball machine.

You put in your money that you want to play with. Balls come out over the board, you pull the plunger, if your balls go into the right holes you get more balls that come across the board. When you are finished you inform the person working there you are done, they count the balls and then you can pick out what prizes you want. I.e. candy/chips/pocky. So to beat a dead horse I felt "balls" out of luck because this was pinball but I missed the actual experience of playing a good board.

Then my friend showed me a place inside of an area called Americamura, literally America village. Where you can find not only burger king and mcdonalds competing side by side but also a hidden gem. An awesome pinball arcade called "The silver ball planet" with some amazing games, you do have the classics like twilight zone and addam's family but they also have some good obscure ones like Elton John's pinball machine, three different star wars boards, and my personal favorite two great Indiana Jones boards. When it comes to technicals I know nothing but I did shoot a video if you are interested in seeing my favorite hang out place in Osaka, Japan.

#2 3 years ago

That place looks awesome, thanks for the video!

my fav part was when you said benghazi run hah

looks like all the machines are in really nice shape too

#3 3 years ago

Wow that place has a great lineup! Thanks for sharing

#4 3 years ago

I've seen vids and read articles of that place before. You made a good video though. Very enthusiastic. I loved how you called coke "pop". I think that's a midwest thing.

#5 3 years ago

So pinball DOES exist in Japan. Amazing. Noted. In fact... thank you very much for this video....

#6 3 years ago

Wow! They've got a great collection!

#7 3 years ago

I enjoyed your video. Cool looking place!

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

I loved how you called coke "pop"

Eveyone in Canada says pop not soda. I prefer calling it soda but everyone looks at me weird and asks if i want to be or am a american.

#9 3 years ago

How about 'bubbler' vs 'water fountain' Canada?

#10 3 years ago

Great video! Thanks!!

#11 3 years ago

Holy crap, everything I could think of and more is in that hall. Should I ever visit Japan, that's definitely on the list!

#12 3 years ago

good stuff, I might go to osaka and tokyo next month. I cant wait, looks like a overload of stuff to do. I just want to see shibuya crossing. This will be on list too.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from Yukendoit:

Hello all you wonderful people! I'll admit that I'm not a collector or an expert on pinball but I do really enjoy some tables. I moved out to Japan about seven months ago to become a teacher and boy it's been a lot of fun so far. I was lucky enough to get placed near a major city, that being Osaka, Japan which if Tokyo is New York then Osaka would be like Japan's L.A. So after a while of exploring and slowly trying to learn the language I came across something near the Osaka tower called Smart Ball or スマートー・バールー for those of you that can read Katakana. Imagine a mix of pachinko mixed with a simple pinball machine.
You put in your money that you want to play with. Balls come out over the board, you pull the plunger, if your balls go into the right holes you get more balls that come across the board. When you are finished you inform the person working there you are done, they count the balls and then you can pick out what prizes you want. I.e. candy/chips/pocky. So to beat a dead horse I felt "balls" out of luck because this was pinball but I missed the actual experience of playing a good board.
Then my friend showed me a place inside of an area called Americamura, literally America village. Where you can find not only burger king and mcdonalds competing side by side but also a hidden gem. An awesome pinball arcade called "The silver ball planet" with some amazing games, you do have the classics like twilight zone and addam's family but they also have some good obscure ones like Elton John's pinball machine, three different star wars boards, and my personal favorite two great Indiana Jones boards. When it comes to technicals I know nothing but I did shoot a video if you are interested in seeing my favorite hang out place in Osaka, Japan.
» YouTube video

In typical Japanese fashion the machines at the Silver Ball Museum look supremely well looked after and clean.

Whilst you're over there, perhaps you could tell the Pachinko, Smart Ball and other amusement machine manufacturers in Japan about the insane retail prices and margins currently in the pinball industry. We could do with the Japanese re-entering ....

#14 3 years ago

I'm pretty sure that T3 and Tommy are my old ones! I sold them to Endless Pinball & Pat told me they went to a museum in Japan. The T3 LED job looks like mine. The camera moves by fast, but I'm pretty sure I saw the autograph on the translite (I bought it from the writer of the movie).

#15 3 years ago

Awesome video! I would love to visit sometime!

#16 3 years ago

I saw this and expected pachinko. Very happy to see actual pinball, especially where pachinko seems to rule the land. I can't wait to watch the video. I would like to hear comparison and thoughts from Japanese who play both types of pin machines. I find pachinko too random and monotonous, but always wondered if I was missing some subtlety that only a 'true' player would understand.

#17 3 years ago

If you want to check out another place, you should see if this place is still around. This one has a lot of Sega EMs from the 70s that are really cool. There are actually three videos showing off this place.

#18 3 years ago

Great video. Thanks.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Yukendoit:

I did shoot a video if you are interested in seeing my favorite hang out place in Osaka, Japan.

Excellent video!

That place has a great selection of games.

Were there any SEGA pins there that were made in Japan in the 1970s?

#20 3 years ago

Awesome video, thanks for sharing!

#21 3 years ago

dmbjunky
Thanks for sharing that video with me! I'd be interested to check it out if I had a couple of days in Nagoya. Which is not too far away from Osaka.

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from Yukendoit:

dmbjunky
Thanks for sharing that video with me! I'd be interested to check it out if I had a couple of days in Nagoya. Which is not too far away from Osaka.

There is a competitive pinball scene in Japan as well. I have met some of the top players, they are really good.

I'm 99% sure they meet in Tokyo at a "private place" like a club rooms. I'm sure you'd be able to get hold of them through the IFPA.

rd

#23 3 years ago

very nice location and line up

#24 3 years ago

The Tokyo folks are called oddly enough "Tokyo Pinball Organization". Google that for more details, they show up at Expo every now and then.

#25 3 years ago

Thanks for the video, they look nice and minty....

occasionally a container of pins come from Japan to Aus and alot of the time really nice imports, they look after them and you can tell if they were sited in the 90's as from what I have been told they have to have visible plates fastened to them.

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#26 3 years ago
Quoted from SergioJ:

The Tokyo folks are called oddly enough "Tokyo Pinball Organization". Google that for more details, they show up at Expo every now and then.

We are going to Tokyo on vacation next summer - so will check this out - thank you!

#27 3 years ago

The strip clubs are better...

#28 3 years ago

Well this is perfect. I was going to start a thread last night where to play in Tokyo. I am here on business and was planning to go out this weekend and try to find the neverland arcade. Just have to figure out what train to get on...

Keith

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from kpull:

Well this is perfect. I was going to start a thread last night where to play in Tokyo, Japan. I am here on business and was planning to go out this weekend and try to find the neverland arcade. Just have to figure out what train to get on...
Keith

I've been searching forums, websites, etc... trying to find pinball in TOKYO, since Osaka and Inuyama are a bit further south and require a several hour train ride.

Luckily I have found and confirmed 10 public pins IN Tokyo! You get on a train to Odaiba (accessible from Shinagawa Station, and only a ~$3, 15min ride) and head to DECKS. On the 4th floor is a retro fitted arcade and shopping area. (there are over 100 shops in this building, so if you're traveling with friends and family that aren't gamers, they have plenty to be distracted by too!)

Overall the pins are in good shape, and after a few days of not playing pinball, finally finding this place was such a relief.

My only gripe is that I wish the solid state machines, especially the Sterns, had more of an incline. The balls were super floaty (proper terminology right?) making gameplay slow. I'm working on editing a video now re-capping the whole arcade, so you can see what I mean later.

Here's the website to the mall they're in: http://odaiba-decks.com/services/en.php (Even though you can scower that whole site and not even realize that pinball exists here)

Bring more pinball to Tokyo!!
EMs in awesome condition
The toppers say, if you win this many points you get a free cookie! ... ... but... where's my free game, Oniisan?
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You gotta admit, instructions in Japanese is pretty rad... and talk about detailed!
This guy played REALLY great.
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Someone come and blast this Grand Champ score away! (not mine btw, I suck still)
Not pinball... but good plunging practice to win toys!

#31 3 years ago

^^^ Thanks for the write up. Ended up going to Akihabara yesterday and found a bunch of arcades with fighting games and super crane games. Not a single pin Interesting area though. Hopefully I will have some time today to wonder around.

Keith

3 weeks later
#32 3 years ago

Thanks for the tip, I was in Osaka yesterday and went here. Japan is amazing, and this place was really nice. The machines are maintained like a home private collection. Everything worked and was shiny like new. There was an older gentleman with a cart and tools going around fixing every detail on the games, I tried to strike up a conversation but he spoke no english. If you go Osaka go here, the whole area of Namba, Dotonburi, and this America Mura mall is cool.

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#33 3 years ago

Dude thanks for all your other videos

After I saw this pin video I watched your others on japan. I loved them and thanks for putting them up and going to some not so known places.

I always check for new ones but I dont comment on YouTube but hopefully you'll see this.

Going to japan has been a dream since I was young and is still on my bucket list but it is nice to see it through other eyes as well

#34 3 years ago

Thanks for the heads up. Will look into this place when going to Osaka.

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from imotoarcade:

I've been searching forums, websites, etc... trying to find pinball in TOKYO, since Osaka and Inuyama are a bit further south and require a several hour train ride.
Luckily I have found and confirmed 10 public pins IN Tokyo! You get on a train to Odaiba (accessible from Shinagawa Station, and only a ~$3, 15min ride) and head to DECKS. On the 4th floor is a retro fitted arcade and shopping area. (there are over 100 shops in this building, so if you're traveling with friends and family that aren't gamers, they have plenty to be distracted by too!)
Overall the pins are in good shape, and after a few days of not playing pinball, finally finding this place was such a relief.
My only gripe is that I wish the solid state machines, especially the Sterns, had more of an incline. The balls were super floaty (proper terminology right?) making gameplay slow. I'm working on editing a video now re-capping the whole arcade, so you can see what I mean later.
Here's the website to the mall they're in: http://odaiba-decks.com/services/en.php (Even though you can scower that whole site and not even realize that pinball exists here)

Loved this place when I was in Tokyo. I stayed in a hotel just down the street from it, and came across it by accident. A nice find, for sure.

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