Location: 3rd Floor, Big Step shopping centre, 1-6-14 Nishishinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0086, Japan
Date: December 2013

Report by John

In late December 2013, I got the exciting news that the Silver Ball Planet pinball arcade - with over 30 pinballs - had opened in Osaka in Japan.  This prompted me to make the quick decision to take a short trip to this paradise.

My wife and I took a midnight flight and arrived in Osaka in the early hours of the morning on 1st January 2014.

We couldn't undertake too many activities that day because we were both very tired from the journey. So after leaving our luggage at the hotel, we immediately continued our journey by visiting SpaWorld, where we enjoyed onsen (hot spring bath) and a delicious brunch. 

SpaWorld in Osaka
SpaWorld in Osaka

Lunch at SpaWorld
Lunch at SpaWorld

Surprisingly, I found two miniature pinballs there.

Gumball-dispensing miniature pinballs
Gumball-dispensing miniature pinballs

We stayed at SpaWorld until 1pm, and then we went shopping at the Namba shopping area in the afternoon. We finished the first day at 6pm.

Shopping in the Namba district
Shopping in the Namba district

On the second day, I arrived at the Big Step shopping centre at 11:00am sharp.

The Big Step shopping mall
The Big Step shopping mall

After I obtained a sales receipt to the value of 2,000 Yen by purchasing a jacket in one of the Big Step shops, I rushed into the Sliver Ball Planet pinball arcade as the first customer of the day. (^o^)

The Silver Ball Planet arcade
The entrance to the Silver Ball Planet arcade

There was a total 36 pinball machines there.

  • Capt. Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy (Bally, 1976, EM)
  • Playboy (Bally, 1978)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind** (Gottlieb, 1978)
  • Kiss (Bally, 1979)
  • Rolling Stones** (Bally, 1980)
  • Back to the Future* (Data East, 1990)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Williams, 1991)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Data East, 1991)
  • Batman (Data East, 1991)
  • Star Trek (Data East, 1991)
  • Super Mario Bros.** (Gottlieb, 1992)
  • Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World (Gottlieb, 1992)
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)
  • The Addams Family (Bally, 1992)
  • Hook (Data East, 1992)
  • Lethal Weapon 3 (Data East, 1992)
  • Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure (Williams, 1993)
  • Judge Dredd** (Bally 1993)
  • Twilight Zone (Bally, 1993)
  • Tales from the Crypt ** (Data East, 1993)
  • Jurassic Park (Data East, 1993)
  • Last Action Hero (Data East, 1993)
  • The Flintstones (Williams, 1994)
  • The Who's Tommy (Data East, 1994)
  • Johnny Mnemonic** (Williams, 1995)
  • Apollo 13 (Sega, 1995)
  • Twister (Sega, 1996)
  • Revenge from Mars (Williams, 1999)
  • Star Wars Episode 1 (Williams, 1999)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Stern, 2003)
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party (Stern, 2003)
  • Elvis (Stern, 2004)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (Stern, 2006)
  • Spider-Man (Stern, 2007)
  • James Cameron's Avatar (Stern, 2010)
  • X-Men (Magneto LE) ** (Stern, 2012)

The seven pinballs marked ** above are games I had never seen before.  It was eyes wide open for me, and very exciting indeed to finally get to play them.

Games at Silver Ball Planet
Games at The Silver Ball Planet

The reception desk
The reception desk

According to the Big Step website, around another 40 machines are coming soon. It is definitely a paradise both for pinball lovers in Japan and those visiting from overseas.

The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones

Johnny Mnemonic
Johnny Mnemonic

Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Close Encounters of the Third Kind

X-Men Magneto Limited Edition
X-Men Magneto Limited Edition

I love this pinball arcade since:

- It is very spacious and relaxing playing the pinballs there.  When I feel tired, I can just buy a bottle of coke and take a break on the sofa.

- Its location is very convenient and easy to get there by subway trains.  This is very helpful for overseas visitors like me.

- It is located in the shopping area Shinsaibashi (心齋橋 ), therefore my wife can go shopping while I am playing pinballs. 

- There are a number of restaurants on the same floor as the pinball arcade, so I can take a break and enjoy good food any time I want.

The rest area
The rest area

This has to be the biggest pinball arcade in Asia. I guess that some pinballs have either been purchased locally (by pinball operator Azuma) or specially imported from USA.

A sign indicates the game is from an operator called Azuma
A sign indicates the game is from an operator called Azuma

Games from the US with quarter coin slots
Games from the US with quarter coin slots

I stayed until 7pm and then caught the Kintetsu train to Nagoya to visit another pinball location the next day - the Japan Game Museum.   In fact, staying one day at the Silver Ball Planet is definitely not enough.  If possible, I recommend all of you stay at least two full days there.

General information about the Sliver Ball Planet Pinball Arcade is as follows:

  • Transportation:  A 3-minute walk from exit  #7 of Shinsaibashi subway station on the Midosuji line, or a 3-minute walk from exit  #5 of Yotsubashi subway station on the Yotsubashi line.

  • Business hours: 11:00 - 20:00 (except 1st January)

  • Cost: Unlimited free play for 2 hours for each spend of 1,000 Yen (~US$10)

  • Website:

  • Comments: All machines were kept in good condition.

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