JAPAN GAME MUSEUM
Location: Inuyama City, Japan
Our roving reporter returns to Japan, and this time John makes a second visit to the Japan Game Museum, this time for an extended stay to check out the latest arrivals, some non-pinball amusement machines and some Japanese-made pinballs.
On my next day in Nagoya, I visited my 2nd pinball location - the Japan Game Museum (JGM - previously named the Japan Pinball Museum) - where I stayed for three consecutive days.
My friend Mr. Takeda took me and another pinball junky Mr. Yasuda to the JGM. It was the first time I had met Mr. Yasuda face-to-face, although I had known him for some time via his blog blog.goo.ne.jp/shunichi_yasuda.
We arrived at the JGM around 11am.
Surprisingly, I was given a complimentary day-pass from Mr. Bruce Tsuji - the director of JGM. For this, I have to thank him once again.
Near the entrance there were four newly-added pinballs - Attack from Mars (Bally, 1995), Count-Down (Gottlieb, 1979), Medieval Madness (Williams, 1997) and Playboy (Bally, 1978).
The working conditions of the 4 pinballs were excellent and it seemed that they had been privately-owned before arriving at the JGM. I know they were all imported from the USA in November of this year.
Two of these are classic pinballs - Medieval Madness & Attack From Mars. As far as I know, JGM and Mikado in Takadanobaba (高田馬場) in Tokyo are the only two places in Japan with these two machines.
The third machine was Playboy - my personal favourite.
I first saw this machine when I was a child, and it was very exciting to be able to see it again after thirty years or more. It brought back a lot of good memories of my childhood. My highest score was 1,692,000 (although unfortunately the 1,000,000 points could not be displayed).
The fourth machine was Count-Down. It was the love of Mr. Yamanaka when he was a young guy. Although I'm from the same generation as him, I had never seen this machine before.
We played the pinballs like crazy until 6pm when the museum was about to close.
On that night I had my dinner alone in the Coco restaurant in Nagoya city.
Then I had an onsen bath in the Apaiser Spa near the Imaike (今池) subway station. It was an excellent place to relax after a hard day's work.
Next day, I would have to compete in the JGM Christmas pinball tournament. It would be tough, since Mr. Yasuda was a very skillful pinballer.
Mr. Takeda drove me to the JGM again and we arrived there at 9:30am. I appreciated his help very much.
As usual, we practiced pinballs very hard in the morning, since the 2012 JGM Christmas mini-tournament would start at 3pm.
The details were as follows:
It was a very tough tournament indeed. Very luckily, I got a total of 6 credits to win.
We left JGM at 6pm but the story was not over. We proceeded to Club Sega in Fushimi (with a Spider-Man pinball) as the second part of our fun day.
We had our late dinner with Mr. Yamanaka and Yasuda in a restaurant near the JR Nagoya station.
Although we could only communicate slowly with each other in English, it didn't prove to be a barrier. The fun day finally ended at 9:30pm.
Day 3: 24th December 2012
I took a bus to JGM alone at 9am and arrived at around 10:15am.
Apart from pinballs, in the morning I also tried the other mechanical games, such as bowling and car racing.
In the afternoon, my main task was taking photographs of the game machines. I found that most of the electro-mechanical pinballs had been piled up for display only, since space at the JGM was limited.
Personally, I liked the E-M pinballs more than solid-state ones, so I was quite upset to see a such scene. Upon my request, Bruce squeezed in some time to inform me about the history of the Japanese pinballs, and also showed me the interior of one of the pinballs.
I was aware that there had been a golden age of pinball in Japan too, during the period from 1971 to 1979.
At 6pm, Bruce drove me to the nearby Meitetsu station and reminded me to come to the JGM again soon.
My 3-day boot camp at the JGM has been completed. At that night, I had my delicious dinner in Matsuya restaurant (松屋) and then had an onsen (hot spring) bath in Wellbe near the subway station Imaike (今池).
The next day I would return home to see my lovely wife and cats.
© Pinball News 2012