Tokyo's underground game bars

Castage: 16Shots

Official Website
Street Address: Shinjuku 2-3-8

How much will it cost?
About ¥2820 - ¥7051
About $30 - $75
About £18 - £45

16Shots is hidden away from other Shinjuku bars. It’s also one of the smallest of the sites on our pilgrimage. On most Friday nights the bartenders turn people away for lack of seating, so if you do go, it is best to bring just a few friends.

Despite its size, 16Shots is packed with gaming artifacts and curios. Books line the bar, alongside a small DS and PSP library for drinkers to play along with the handhelds at the bar. A projection on the rear wall displays a constant stream of retro game commercials from all over the world. A small monitor with an Xbox 360 and Wii adorns the opposite side, as well as the Famicase, a cabinet full of Famicom cartridges that can be loaded and played with the push of a single button. Game music is constantly booming, providing a constant stream of nostalgic memories to chat about.

Above: Bartenders at 16Shots Naoko (left) and Hata (right) 

Friday nights are always the most popular, and roughly seventy percent of the bar’s clientele are in the game industry. More than a few famous developers visit the bar, and the bulletin board in the restroom, where customers pin their business cards, hosts the names of some of the most famous developers in Tokyo.

Despite the large crowds, 16Shots is an intimate little bar where everyone knows your name. Friday nights are not characterized by wild parties, but by quiet chats among customers and staff about the games industry.

Above: A small sign marking the entrance to 16Shots 

Above: A small sample of the games available at 16Shots 

Above: A menu on the bar's tabletop arcade machine 

Above: Naoko minds the register while Hata chops onions 

Qunai Bros.

Street Address:???
Phone Number:???
Business Hours:???

How much will it cost?
About ¥??? - ¥???
About $??? - $???
About £??? - £???

Our last bar is called Qunai Bros. But only the most resourceful bar hunters will learn of its existence, let alone find it. Specializing in Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki and Famicom games, Qunai Bros. is located somewhere in Shinjuku’s jungle of bars called the Golden Gai. Establishments in this area usually can’t seat more than five people and newcomers are not always welcome. In fact, the owner of Qunai Bros. doesn’t want his place getting too popular. Even if you do find the bar, finding out when the place opens is another matter. It does not always run on the same schedule as every other area bar. Even our band of pilgrims have never actually been able to check the place out, as the bar has been closed every time we’ve tried to visit it.

Above: Finding the Minus World is easy. Finding Qunai Bros will be much more difficult. Per the owner’s request, we aren’t giving you ANY clues as to where it is 

If you think you’re up to the challenge, you might be able to find Qunai Bros. If you’re lucky you might even be able to check the place out and try out their Okonomiyaki. Congratulations if you do, it seems only the luckiest and most dedicated gamers get that chance.

Above: If you can’t find Qunai Bros, there’s always ice cream. Yes. You too, can enjoy the delicious taste of iced cream 

Jul 24, 2009

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  • dakotak51 - October 3, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    they have a place out here in wellington, new zealand like that ones called "gamesland" and the other is called old boy"
  • deadeye521 - August 17, 2009 12:55 a.m.

    looks awesome im going to visit a friend next month ill be sure to visit these places
  • adadadad - August 14, 2009 4:07 p.m.

  • Major_Wuss - August 13, 2009 7:46 p.m.

    Well, now I know I'll have places to check out when I move there.
  • ShadowMantis - August 13, 2009 12:39 p.m.

    OMG!! I HAVE TO GO TO TOKYO!! Who wants to come with me.While we're over there the only thing I'm gonna eat is NOODLES!
  • coolbeans - August 12, 2009 2:35 a.m.

    us Americans are left with only two option; 1: build some sweet bars like these here or, 2: all move to japan
  • gatornation1254 - August 11, 2009 7:17 p.m.

    Man I agree with you guys why can't here be places like that in America. I wud love to go and check out some rare games.
  • adadadad - August 11, 2009 7:05 p.m.

  • MitsuharuSan - August 11, 2009 2:55 p.m.

    PS.: For those wondering... Tokyo is evolving to a level in wich you can already live well just by speaking english. I don't know if that's good or not (for Japan, I mean), but that's pretty much it. I wish the "people of nowadays" there would care more for the beautiful japanese culture of yesterday, but at least I think that will make the world closer somehow (and here's hoping this will mean less japanese berating "gaijins").
  • MitsuharuSan - August 11, 2009 2:50 p.m.

    Go to hell, Cwf2008. I lost members of my family because of your f'n bomb. If you don't have a heart, at least shut up. Anyway, domo arigatou gozaimasu for this article, GamesRadar!
  • dweller - August 11, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    I have to admit I'll probably drink more if there was gaming bars around here. reCaptcha: spittle Department
  • dante1924 - August 11, 2009 2:34 p.m.

    Sorry for a second post, but to mizzy: Are you on pot? Because that didn't really make sense.
  • dante1924 - August 11, 2009 2:02 p.m.

    Why do the bars get smaller and smaller as the article progresses? Anyway, I will go to A button one day, even though I don't know japanese! And I'll also find Qunai bros. one day, even though it will take forever.
  • 88Meters - August 11, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    Fuck you guys, I wanted atleast a clue for Qunai.
  • FETALJUICE - August 11, 2009 4:25 a.m.

    Shit, now I have a sudden urge to go visit Japan...
  • Red - August 11, 2009 2:22 a.m.

    I love Japan.
  • mertor3190 - August 11, 2009 1:50 a.m.

    Man i always wanted to go to Tokyo. But now I HAVE to go.
  • mig000 - August 11, 2009 1:02 a.m.

    Actually thats a great idea. I should start a bussiness like that with a few friends if we could get the money.
  • lovinmyps3 - August 11, 2009 12:45 a.m.

    SWEET!! I'm already learning Japanese so I can move there in a couple years!
  • Hobojedi - August 10, 2009 11:43 p.m.

    But.. I can't speak Japanese..

Showing 1-20 of 47 comments

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