Location: Inuyama City, Japan
Report by John
On the day after my visit to the Silver Ball Planet Pinball Arcade, I continued my journey with a return visit to the Japan Game Museum, where I stayed for two consecutive days.
There had been four major changes since my previous visit in December 2012.
The first change was that from 6th January 2014 the opening hours would change to 10am - 6pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Japanese public holidays (except 1st January). In addition, the Museum would no longer open on Fridays.
The second change at the JGM is the addition of a new second hall. The main hall is where you'll find the video games, where my favourite ones are Operation Wolf (1987) and Police Officer 2 (警察官2, 2001).
Meanwhile, the second hall is purely for the approximately 40 pinball machines. Luckily, my favourites - Bally Playboy and Big Hit (donated by Mr. Takeda) - were still there.
The third change is the lowering of the average age of customers at the JGM. On this visit I saw many kids coming in with their parents.
The fourth change is the closure of the Music Cafe. Instead it has been replaced by two coin-operated machines dispensing cup noodles and soft drinks.
This time I knew two new pinball friends; Mr. ZZY (the initials he uses on pinball high score tables) and Kumazo. They had both also visited the Silver Ball Planet the day before, and so we recognized each other at the JGM.
On this second day at the JGM I first met with Mr Nagoya. Taking advantage of the opportunity, we had a three-man mini-tournament on the Bally Playboy between Mr. Nagoya, Bruce - Director of the JGM - and me.
As a VIP guest, I had an opportunity to play the solid-state pinball Mikoshi (Sega, 1977) which is a display item only for other guests. According to Bruce, this may be the one and only Mikoshi pinball still operative anywhere in the world.
In the evening, Bruce invited me to attend a two-hour English lesson. It was a small group, with free talk among the six members. It was a big bonus that a full-day museum pass not only included unlimited play of pinballs for eight hours, but also a two-hour English lesson.
The fun day ended at 8pm with Bruce reminding me to come again to attend the next English lesson in two weeks' time. He is definitely a funny guy!
© Pinball News 2014